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It's a Heavy Topic

Friends, lifters, strangers…

I find myself in a situation and i’m looking for advice, opinions, anything of value in regards to this topic.

BE WARNED its probably going to be a long one.

It all started when my sister entered rehab for the use of cocaine. She broke the rules and interacted with a man twice her age. When she returned from rehab she continued and established a relationship with him. This was a toxic move.

Over the years she became more distant, I don’t really even remember the last time I saw a genuine happy smile on her face.

There were times that I picked her up to take her to our soccer games and she was passing out/falling asleep in my car.

It came to a point where I received a phone call at 4 in the morning from my sister. High as a kite on cocaine, this gave her the confidence to tell me that she has been using and is highly addicted to heroine. She had admitted that she has tried to end her life twice.

She has since been to rehab twice, first time she was kicked out as she tested positive and the second attempt she did make through it but it was only 20 days.

I guess i’m spilling this on the internet because I don’t know what to do… I’m looking for advice I suppose? How does a family cope? Is anyone experiencing this? Do you maintain a relationship?

I find myself texting/calling her to make sure she is still alive. TO make sure she is home. To make plans so I know she is safe and not using. Am I enabling her?

Whether you are the addict or a loved one of the addict i’d love to hear you out. IF you are not comfortable posting feel free to PM me.

Thanks for those of you who took the time to read this. If you want to know more you can ask me in a PM. I’ve left many details out to make it bearable to read.

Congrats on finding the courage to let that out. Most people don’t.

My wife has found a great deal of relief and camaraderie from Al-Anon. It is a support group for the families of alcoholics and addicts. They share coping strategies and support for each other within a self help format.
She came from an alcoholic family and not surprisingly, married a drug addict(Me). Fortunately, I had been in recovery since before we met, and steered her toward that.

[quote]jchenky wrote:
Friends, lifters, strangers…

I find myself in a situation and i’m looking for advice, opinions, anything of value in regards to this topic.

BE WARNED its probably going to be a long one.

It all started when my sister entered rehab for the use of cocaine. She broke the rules and interacted with a man twice her age. When she returned from rehab she continued and established a relationship with him. This was a toxic move.

Over the years she became more distant, I don’t really even remember the last time I saw a genuine happy smile on her face.

There were times that I picked her up to take her to our soccer games and she was passing out/falling asleep in my car.

It came to a point where I received a phone call at 4 in the morning from my sister. High as a kite on cocaine, this gave her the confidence to tell me that she has been using and is highly addicted to heroine. She had admitted that she has tried to end her life twice.

She has since been to rehab twice, first time she was kicked out as she tested positive and the second attempt she did make through it but it was only 20 days.

I guess i’m spilling this on the internet because I don’t know what to do… I’m looking for advice I suppose? How does a family cope? Is anyone experiencing this? Do you maintain a relationship?

I find myself texting/calling her to make sure she is still alive. TO make sure she is home. To make plans so I know she is safe and not using. Am I enabling her?

Whether you are the addict or a loved one of the addict i’d love to hear you out. IF you are not comfortable posting feel free to PM me.

Thanks for those of you who took the time to read this. If you want to know more you can ask me in a PM. I’ve left many details out to make it bearable to read.

[/quote]
I have family members who are addicts; and I suppose I am an addict of sorts, myself.

I would suggest maintaining a relationship if possible, on your terms. Not on her terms. e.g. lend me some money or you’re not my sister anymore? Bullcrap. Listen to a bunch of crazy stuff at a reasonable hour, when you have time? Sure, why not.

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:
Congrats on finding the courage to let that out. Most people don’t.

My wife has found a great deal of relief and camaraderie from Al-Anon. It is a support group for the families of alcoholics and addicts. They share coping strategies and support for each other within a self help format.
She came from an alcoholic family and not surprisingly, married a drug addict(Me). Fortunately, I had been in recovery since before we met, and steered her toward that.

[/quote]

Thank you for your response. It means a lot to me. I will definitely look into Al-Anon. I think it would be nice to meet people who are going through the same thing.

[quote]undoredo wrote:

[quote]jchenky wrote:
Friends, lifters, strangers…

I find myself in a situation and i’m looking for advice, opinions, anything of value in regards to this topic.

BE WARNED its probably going to be a long one.

It all started when my sister entered rehab for the use of cocaine. She broke the rules and interacted with a man twice her age. When she returned from rehab she continued and established a relationship with him. This was a toxic move.

Over the years she became more distant, I don’t really even remember the last time I saw a genuine happy smile on her face.

There were times that I picked her up to take her to our soccer games and she was passing out/falling asleep in my car.

It came to a point where I received a phone call at 4 in the morning from my sister. High as a kite on cocaine, this gave her the confidence to tell me that she has been using and is highly addicted to heroine. She had admitted that she has tried to end her life twice.

She has since been to rehab twice, first time she was kicked out as she tested positive and the second attempt she did make through it but it was only 20 days.

I guess i’m spilling this on the internet because I don’t know what to do… I’m looking for advice I suppose? How does a family cope? Is anyone experiencing this? Do you maintain a relationship?

I find myself texting/calling her to make sure she is still alive. TO make sure she is home. To make plans so I know she is safe and not using. Am I enabling her?

Whether you are the addict or a loved one of the addict i’d love to hear you out. IF you are not comfortable posting feel free to PM me.

Thanks for those of you who took the time to read this. If you want to know more you can ask me in a PM. I’ve left many details out to make it bearable to read.

[/quote]
I have family members who are addicts; and I suppose I am an addict of sorts, myself.

I would suggest maintaining a relationship if possible, on your terms. Not on her terms. e.g. lend me some money or you’re not my sister anymore? Bullcrap. Listen to a bunch of crazy stuff at a reasonable hour, when you have time? Sure, why not.
[/quote]

She does ask for money and I always refuse. I know its either going to go towards alcohol or drugs.

Its so frustrating for me when in front of me, I see this beautiful girl that is smart and talented but has fallen to this drug. I just don’t understand how someone gets taken by this. I have not experienced addiction I cannot relate. In my eyes it should be as simple as “Ok, this is taking over my life, I have no money, I live a life of lies etc etc. It’s time to STOP.” Its just not that simple.

Sorry some people are going to be pissed by this, but Al-Anon and the other twelve-step programs based on Alcoholics Anonymous are a cult.

Yes, I am aware that a lot of people have experienced positive changes while involved in the twelve-step programs. Others have experienced negative changes while involved in the twelve-step programs.

I suggest that someone impacted by a family member’s alcohol or drug addiction consider doing one or both of these, instead:

  1. If you want something scientific and evidence-based, look into something like this:

“HARM LESS is a secular support group for people who have been negatively impacted by the alcohol or drug use of a loved one. No 12 steps, no Higher …”

  1. If you want to get involved in a support group that is spiritually-based: look into something based on Christian principles; or at least the principles of some other specific religion you believe in. I would suggest avoidance of these nebulous, non-specific-Higher-Power-as-you-understand-it twelve-step spiritual support groups.

Pray, and ask God for help, surely. But I would recommend doing that in some context other than the 12-step programs.

Feel for you man. Always tough when a loved one goes that way.

As SkyzykS suggested, get support for yourself. Connect with others who have been/are there.

I’m sure you know there’s nothing you can really do for her until she’s ready to get clean. That doesn’t make it suck any less. You cannot understand her way of thinking because she is an addict and you aren’t. You aren’t even speaking the same language. Again, that doesn’t make it suck any less.

All the best. Stay strong.

Like Skyzyks said, find some Al-Anon meetings and go to them on a regular basis, as in several times a week. There’s probably only a few people here on this site who can give you any sort of meaningful advice and the fact is that you need to be around people who have been through what you are going through much more often than what you can get from this site. There’s also something to be said about simply sitting down with these people and looking them in the eye rather than sitting at home staring at a computer screen, regardless of the quality of advice you receive here.

Truth be told, there is no simple answer for your problems so you aren’t going to find it here anyways. Fragments maybe, but that’s about it.

[quote]undoredo wrote:
Sorry some people are going to be pissed by this, but Al-Anon and the other twelve-step programs based on Alcoholics Anonymous are a cult.

Yes, I am aware that a lot of people have experienced positive changes while involved in the twelve-step programs. Others have experienced negative changes while involved in the twelve-step programs.

I suggest that someone impacted by a family member’s alcohol or drug addiction consider doing one or both of these, instead:

  1. If you want something scientific and evidence-based, look into something like this:

“HARM LESS is a secular support group for people who have been negatively impacted by the alcohol or drug use of a loved one. No 12 steps, no Higher …”

  1. If you want to get involved in a support group that is spiritually-based: look into something based on Christian principles; or at least the principles of some other specific religion you believe in. I would suggest avoidance of these nebulous, non-specific-Higher-Power-as-you-understand-it twelve-step spiritual support groups.

Pray, and ask God for help, surely. But I would recommend doing that in some context other than the 12-step programs.[/quote]

Why do you say they are based on a cult? I’m purely asking out of curiosity. Personal experience?

Thank you for your two options. I will most likely be looking into option 1.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

[quote]Chushin wrote:
To echo DB, it’d be great if somebody here could give you some great advice, but it’s not likely that anything will help as much as being with others in the same boat.

I would just say that, based on my experience with addiction in the family, there really is no “winning” with an addict. You can either lose – or lose big.

I hope that you will take care of yourself, first and foremost. [/quote]

You are right. There is no “winning”.
I feel for my parents most of all. :frowning: I know they are having an extremely hard time.

[quote]jchenky wrote:

[quote]undoredo wrote:
Sorry some people are going to be pissed by this, but Al-Anon and the other twelve-step programs based on Alcoholics Anonymous are a cult.

Yes, I am aware that a lot of people have experienced positive changes while involved in the twelve-step programs. Others have experienced negative changes while involved in the twelve-step programs.

I suggest that someone impacted by a family member’s alcohol or drug addiction consider doing one or both of these, instead:

  1. If you want something scientific and evidence-based, look into something like this:

“HARM LESS is a secular support group for people who have been negatively impacted by the alcohol or drug use of a loved one. No 12 steps, no Higher …”

  1. If you want to get involved in a support group that is spiritually-based: look into something based on Christian principles; or at least the principles of some other specific religion you believe in. I would suggest avoidance of these nebulous, non-specific-Higher-Power-as-you-understand-it twelve-step spiritual support groups.

Pray, and ask God for help, surely. But I would recommend doing that in some context other than the 12-step programs.[/quote]

Why do you say they are based on a cult? I’m purely asking out of curiosity. Personal experience?

Thank you for your two options. I will most likely be looking into option 1. [/quote]

A little bit of personal experience, combined with some reading and some discussions with other people.

Best wishes and take care.

[quote]DBCooper wrote:
Like Skyzyks said, find some Al-Anon meetings and go to them on a regular basis, as in several times a week. There’s probably only a few people here on this site who can give you any sort of meaningful advice and the fact is that you need to be around people who have been through what you are going through much more often than what you can get from this site. There’s also something to be said about simply sitting down with these people and looking them in the eye rather than sitting at home staring at a computer screen, regardless of the quality of advice you receive here.

Truth be told, there is no simple answer for your problems so you aren’t going to find it here anyways. Fragments maybe, but that’s about it.[/quote]

As terrible as it is to say, its so much easier to read advice on a computer screen rather than look someone in the eye and ask them face to face. Emotionally I mean. For whatever reason, I don’t feel as vulnerable.

I guess it’s a fear I have to face in order to start dealing with this.

Thanks :slight_smile:

I saw this Nature of Things show awhile ago about treating drug addiction through ayahuasca

Seemed interesting

I’ve heard many stories of people having “Mother Earth” talk to them and tell them to straighten up.
Anyway, good luck.

The second you said she was nodding off in you’re car I knew there was heroin involved… My brother was addicted to it for 6 years… He just got out of rehab actually, Doing much better now but the first time he went he came back and used… then again on a detox, its hard to see people go through this but it really is a personal decision they have to decide for themselves from within… There is no one that can make or get them to stop other then a personal decision made from within them self.

Even willpower does past a certain degree because of the intense addictive nature and them knowing the feeling of the high… The thing that changes though after a bit of time not using is the impulsive nature and erosion of willpower slowly starts to build back up to a normal state of balance at least ad far as I know it.

Most people I hear that have fully recovered including my brother all said the same thing, something internally just changes and all of a sudden the interest in doing it just vanishes, maybe they are just sick of it. Maybe its a breakdown of personal will, not really sure.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

  • from what I understand, the actual detox (getting over the physical withdrawals) is commonly seen as rather easy for the experienced addicts (even with heroin), if you know a bit about using other meds/drugs to minimize the physical effects. People can do it on their own, if they actually want to
  • the killer is the psychological addiction part and seems to never go away
  • bottom line seems to be that nobody knows how to make it happen in other people

Not long ago I watched the doc below about the life of a heroin addict and it was touching, but I think it’s also pretty informative about the factors involved. You might take something from part about the family perspective.

ps: you should also seek out some of the drug forums on the Net. There are some really good ones.

[quote]undoredo wrote:
Sorry some people are going to be pissed by this, but Al-Anon and the other twelve-step programs based on Alcoholics Anonymous are a cult.

Yes, I am aware that a lot of people have experienced positive changes while involved in the twelve-step programs. Others have experienced negative changes while involved in the twelve-step programs.

I suggest that someone impacted by a family member’s alcohol or drug addiction consider doing one or both of these, instead:

  1. If you want something scientific and evidence-based, look into something like this:

“HARM LESS is a secular support group for people who have been negatively impacted by the alcohol or drug use of a loved one. No 12 steps, no Higher …”

  1. If you want to get involved in a support group that is spiritually-based: look into something based on Christian principles; or at least the principles of some other specific religion you believe in. I would suggest avoidance of these nebulous, non-specific-Higher-Power-as-you-understand-it twelve-step spiritual support groups.

Pray, and ask God for help, surely. But I would recommend doing that in some context other than the 12-step programs.[/quote]

At the very least, they are cult-ish.

That may not be a bug though, that may be a feature.

Cults are powerful hands on magic and to counter the irrationality of drug abuse with an equally irrational quasi mystical experience might be the way to go for some people.

Maybe they are not cultish enough?

[quote]infinite_shore wrote:

  • from what I understand, the actual detox (getting over the physical withdrawals) is commonly seen as rather easy for the experienced addicts (even with heroin), if you know a bit about using other meds/drugs to minimize the physical effects. People can do it on their own, if they actually want to
  • the killer is the psychological addiction part and seems to never go away
  • bottom line seems to be that nobody knows how to make it happen in other people

Not long ago I watched the doc below about the life of a heroin addict and it was touching, but I think it’s also pretty informative about the factors involved. You might take something from part about the family perspective.

ps: you should also seek out some of the drug forums on the Net. There are some really good ones.[/quote]

Some people seem to misuse detox into a different means of addiction though, thats why it should be monitered by some helpful individual… my brother went to detox for two weeks, in that time he had taken two prescription bottles of xanax, methodone, pain killers, presription cough syrup, hash, weed, basically anything that could get some sort of high… So sometimes people claim they are detoxing but in reality its just replacing one thing with another. For my brother It is just as you said that psychological addiction and seeking, even detoxing he was borderline overdosed on other pharmaceuticals… Hmm He also had severe sleep hysteria, mind break states, delusions, hallucianations, and sudden on set psychosis break for a bit of time… My guess is he was doing something a bit more then just an opiod alone… Video is great though! Thanks for the link!