Lamar Odom’s daughter Destiny hopes that her story of growing up with a father struggling with addiction can one day help other children in the same situation.

“When someone is on drugs there is really not much that you can do except just tell them that you love them and that you’re here for them,” she says in the new People/Entertainment Weekly (PEN) feature, Surviving A Father’s Addiction: Lamar Odom’s Family Speaks Out. “You can’t force an addict to get better. They have to want it themselves.”

The former Los Angeles Lakers star’s surprising recovery after a drug overdose in October 2015 changed everything for Destiny.

Watch the full People/Entertainment Weekly (PEN) feature, “Surviving A Father’s Addiction: Lamar Odom’s Family Speaks Out,” here

“I think he was meant to be here because of me and my brother,” Destiny tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “It sounds like a cheesy movie, but I think that everything happens for a reason.”

Speaking publicly for the first time about her father’s overdose and his journey since, she, too, has come a long way.

Liza Morales, Lamar Odom, Destiny Odom (patterned dress,) Lamar Odom Jr. (white shirt) and cousin Liza (denim jacket)
Courtesy Liza Morales

“I used to worry that [my dad’s] addiction was my own fault but after talking to therapists and drug specialists, you just know the way that an addict’s brain is chemically wired,” says Destiny. “They can love you, they would do anything for you, but at the end of the day, there’s a chemical dependency on drugs.”

She added: “When your parent’s an addict and they get clean, it’s like a whole new world. When he’s clean, he’s more able to see the pain that he’s caused.”

For more on Destiny and Lamar Odom, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

Destiny says her father’s struggles have also taught her about how she wants to live her own life.

“After seeing my dad struggle with addiction,” she says, “I don’t ever want to touch a drug in my life.”


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