Carol Burnett knows all too well what it's like to see a loved one struggle with substance abuse.
After growing up with alcoholic parents, the iconic actress has also seen some of her own children fall victim to the disease. Earlier this week, her daughter Erin Hamilton's current battle with addiction prompted Burnett, 87, to file for legal guardianship of her grandson, Dylan.
"Due to addiction issues and other circumstances that my daughter, Erin, has been struggling with impacting her immediate family dynamic, my husband and I have petitioned the court to be appointed legal guardian of my 14-year-old grandson," Burnett said in a statement to PEOPLE.
"Guardianship will be for oversight purposes concerning his health, education and welfare and not intended to deny him nor the parents proper visitation with one another," she continued. "We look forward to recovery being the next stepping stone towards normalization and ask for privacy at this time to allow that process to occur."
Over the years, Burnett has said that she wants others with loved ones battling addiction to know that they shouldn't blame themselves.
"It's not your fault. You think, 'Oh, what am I doing that causes all of this?'" she said during an interview with Marlo Thomas in 2011.
She also encouraged anyone living with addict parents to reach out to the resource Alateen, which is part of the Al-Anon Family Groups and provides support for young people whose lives have been affected by someone else's drinking.
"They help you realize that you're not the problem," Burnett said. "You can't cure them and you didn't cause it. So, you have to look out for yourself."
Most recently, in AARP The Magazine's August and September 2020 issue, Burnett looked back on her late daughter's struggles.
"My daughter Carrie got into drugs. In that situation, don't be their best friend," she advised. "When we got her into a third rehab, oh, she hated my guts! You have to love them enough to let them hate you."
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
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