T Nation

It's a Heavy Topic

First off, no you are not enabling by maintaining contact. One of the most important things for an addict is to know they are loved and worthy.

Two years ago we had an intervention for my sister for meth addiction, and the actual process was very rewarding. As my wife said, everyone should have at least one intervention in their life so they can really feel how many people really love them. The actual process of recovery can be a difficult one however, and they have to want it. I will repeat the consensus here and say go to the meetings, more so for you than her. Yes they mention a higher being but they are not pushy about it. I am not AT ALL a religious person and I found it pretty unobtrusive.

As for my situation, my sister had one relapse to meth but now is clean of that. However, it all started because of physical pain she had and that is still ongoing so she is prescribed opiates. I know, not a good situation but not the rapid decline I was seeing with the meth. At least now she is off the streets and is on a plan so she is not doctor shopping.

TLDR go to the meetings

[quote]Chushin wrote:

[quote]jchenky wrote:

[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:
[/quote]

Not at all terrible to say that; very understandable.

And there is nothing wrong with going at your own pace. Perhaps once you’ve gotten some feedback here, you’ll feel more ready to join a group.

It’s like lifting: The name of the game is progress, not “achievement.” :slight_smile:

Can I ask how old your sis is? Has she had trouble in some area of her life that may have caused her to “self-medicate” like this?

Feel free, of course, to not answer if you prefer not to.[/quote]

My sister is young. She just turned 22. I want to say no to having trouble in the past that would cause her to start this. I do know he has extremely low self esteem. She lives her life constantly worried about what she is doing is “cool”. I think once she is high she forgets about that
And she feels great.

Family life has always been great, parents have a great marriage and unless there are some secrets that I don’t know about I can’t see anything in regards to family that may have caused this.

[quote]pushharder wrote:
Jen, do take care of yourself. I wish the best for you and your parents. It must be excruciating. I’m just down the road from you…kinda. Let me know if I can help in any way.[/quote]

Thank you :). I tried to pm you but I’ve been having troubles with the site and sending pms.

Jen, my niece has been an addict since she was 12, and she’ll be 29 in another month. She’ll be celebrating her birthday in a jail cell. So, I can relate a little :slight_smile:

I’ll post more details when I get to work this afternoon.

[quote]imhungry wrote:
Jen, my niece has been an addict since she was 12, and she’ll be 29 in another month. She’ll be celebrating her birthday in a jail cell. So, I can relate a little :slight_smile:

I’ll post more details when I get to work this afternoon.[/quote]

Wow, I’ll wait for you to return.

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

[quote]jchenky wrote:

[quote]imhungry wrote:
Jen, my niece has been an addict since she was 12, and she’ll be 29 in another month. She’ll be celebrating her birthday in a jail cell. So, I can relate a little :slight_smile:

I’ll post more details when I get to work this afternoon.[/quote]

Wow, I’ll wait for you to return. [/quote]

I’ll spare you any personal details about niece, unless you have any questions, of course…

Anyway, what my family and myself have learned from her:

  1. She is an amazing liar and manipulator. She will tell you everything you want to hear, just so she’ll get what she wants.

  2. “Hope” is cruel, in that every time she said that she wanted to get better and go to rehab, you hope that it will happen “this time”…but it doesn’t. Until, things get so bad again and she seeks help…again… then, nothing happens. Or, it gets worse.

We’re to the point that nobody gives her anything and is pretty much numb. To be honest, it’s almost a relief to feel this way. But, there’s been a lot of pain and heartache until then.

There’s not a whole lot you or your family can do, until SHE is TRULY is ready to get clean, Jen. It’s a brutal process, so I sincerely hope your sister seeks help and stays clean.

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

From my own personal experience I know that drug addicts are the best liars, and will be able to justify every wrong decision they make to get what they want.

Maybe you could show her this thread, that might get the message across how much you care about her and that its not just her life this is affecting.

[quote]Chushin wrote:

[quote]imhungry wrote:

[quote]jchenky wrote:

[quote]imhungry wrote:
Jen, my niece has been an addict since she was 12, and she’ll be 29 in another month. She’ll be celebrating her birthday in a jail cell. So, I can relate a little :slight_smile:

I’ll post more details when I get to work this afternoon.[/quote]

Wow, I’ll wait for you to return. [/quote]

I’ll spare you any personal details about niece, unless you have any questions, of course…

Anyway, what my family and myself have learned from her:

  1. She is an amazing liar and manipulator. She will tell you everything you want to hear, just so she’ll get what she wants.

  2. “Hope” is cruel, in that every time she said that she wanted to get better and go to rehab, you hope that it will happen “this time”…but it doesn’t. Until, things get so bad again and she seeks help…again… then, nothing happens. Or, it gets worse.

We’re to the point that nobody gives her anything and is pretty much numb. To be honest, it’s almost a relief to feel this way. But, there’s been a lot of pain and heartache until then.

There’s not a whole lot you or your family can do, until SHE is TRULY is ready to get clean, Jen. It’s a brutal process, so I sincerely hope your sister seeks help and stays clean.[/quote]
Just want to add that, sadly, the person may NEVER choose to recover-- something that kind of surprised me when my family member died.

I had been so sure that SOME day…[/quote]

QFT.

Absolutely.

My niece “forgot” to see her PO and they sent her back to jail. I laughed my ass off when I heard that. I mean, who the fuck forgets to basically “stay out of jail”?? It’s obvious that she probably likes it there… All her “friends” are there and she gets 3 squares a day, so why not? It’s the only life she’s really known.

I’m sorry about your friend, Chush. I had a good childhood friend slowly deteriorate from angel dust, while we were growing up. It’s sad.

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

It’s sad to see someone fall apart before your eyes, but the final say is up to them. They are the one who has to come to the realization, there is no ‘illness or sickness’ no matter what other people say. Somehow you have to be there for them but detach once they jump ship. Good luck ( :

Hi Jenks,

I have a similar story, thought I would share…

I have an older brother who is fucked up on all sorts of stuff, from alcohol to dope. He is now married to a woman who runs a marijuana co-op, meaning she grows and sells marijuana legally for “medical uses.” Their relationship is extremely toxic and volatile. When they got married, she had a restraining order on him, which made me scratch my head as to how all that worked at the alter.

Throughout the years of their dating, they have always been back and forth with turmoil and drama. I have come to the conclusion that people like my brother (and perhaps your sister), need people as equally fucked up as they are to enable their lifestyle. My brother moved to San Francisco, which is pretty liberal and tolerant towards drug use/abuse.

He and I don’t talk, because I had to cut him out of my life from his drama. He once emailed me a copy of his last will and testament, followed by a phone call telling me he was headed towards the San Fran Bay Bridge. I told him time and time again, that he needed to get help, but he insisted he did not have a problem. The guy needs a fifth of vodka and Vicodin to get to sleep, I would call that a problem indeed.

I know I cannot help someone who cannot help themselves, I just pray that I don’t get a phone call one day telling me that he is gone. He has gone to jail on occasion, and I would hope he learned his lesson. No luck.

If you want to know the way I handle it, since it seems you are in a similar boat, is to stop thinking you can help. Just be there if they want help.

Toots ! You’re back !

[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]

Ok, as someone who has worked at an in-patient drug and alcohol rehab, this is B.S.

You’re missing the point of the whole powerlessness / higher power thing. These steps force group members to check their ego at the door before they come into a group. People in general are too tied up in their egos, defense mechanisms, and inflated false sense of worth to have a serious discussion - addicts tend to be much worse on all fronts.

As for the OP, I’m not saying you should not look into advances in neurology or pharmacology, but I hope you aren’t taking advice from an organization that is running its website on yahoo groups. Second Al-Anon as something to look into.

No one is ever hopeless. I’ve met a ton of people who were people in and out of rehab for years before they finally got cleaned up for the long term. Who’s to say if they will ever relapse again but they have had long stints of sobriety after many failed attempts. Just because your sister has had 2 failed stints at rehab does not mean that she cannot benefit from another trip. If she does go to rehab, I would recommend trying to find one which has a family program and attending that if you can.

Initially I thought I might be able to say something relevant/helpful, as I had some issues with binge drinking in the past (a few months shy of two years without a drink now) but reading the replies here I’ve realized I don’t understand or know much at all about the physical and psychological dependence associated with hard drug abuse and addiction. Fortunately I haven’t had to face that yet in my life (knock on wood). However, as regards the following -

[quote]jchenky wrote:
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:
[/quote]

Hopefully you’ve already conquered this (at least in part), but I feel obligated to say that nobody ever achieved anything by shying away from what scared them and made them feel vulnerable. I can sympathize with that; I ask myself all the time whether I’m choosing not to do something because I’m being introverted, or whether I’m refusing to do it because I’m shy/afraid. Regardless, you have the power to make a conscious decision to be strong and overcome your fears and vulnerabilities in an attempt to introduce positive change in a loved one’s life. Maybe it’ll make a difference, maybe it won’t, I haven’t been there, I don’t know, and it’s probably highly individual anyways. But it sure seems like the better option to me.

Or maybe I’m making a mountain out of a molehill. Maybe you’re stronger than I’m giving you credit for. I hope that you are, and I’m hoping for the best for you and yours.

Jchencky sorry for all you’re going through. I had been dealing with an addict in my family for a time. This person was very close to me. This person was an alcoholic, of which I don’t consider an addiction I have different terms I use, but for the sake of staying on topic we will say addict. This person went to rehab at least 3-5 times, the best of the best, money was not an issue. This person failed over and over. This person and I maintained a relationship throughout my youth.

As I got older this person would call and ask for money, I would visit on occasion. Visits stopped phone calls became distant. I’d get over it then the phone would ring and I’d be dragged back in. Finally one day a phone call came when I was about 19-20 years old and the conversation , which I won’t disclose here went south. I ended it right then and there. Nobody in my family ever heard from this person again. On feb 11 it will be the one year anniversary of when i received a phone call and was asked some tough questions at which point the “plug was pulled” it had been about 3-4 yrs since that conversation occurred and just like that my father was dead.

I know that’s a strange story but when that day came, which I knew was gonna come due to the lifestyle choices of him, I was fine with it. Handled it as an adult even gave him a funeral and attended it, buried him where he always wanted. As tough as this sounds sometimes the best option is coming to peace with the road others choose to follow. I’m not saying alienate her, but for me the only way to come to peace and move on with my life was to 100% completely cut it off, otherwise I was always worried, stressing, wondering when the phone would ring.

In this world sometimes the best choice is to take care of number 1. Make yourself happy, if allowing her to stay is part of that then ok, but if you know deep down that can’t happened… I took time but one day I woke up feeling better than I ever had in years. Lean on those you still have. The rest of my family is great and respected and stood by all decisions I had made.

Let me know If I can help at all. And good luck with whatever path you choose, I hope you come to peace and are happy.

[quote]challer1 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]

Ok, as someone who has worked at an in-patient drug and alcohol rehab, this is B.S.
[/quote]

Ok: as someone with a family member who went through rehab; went through the twelve steps; got off drugs; became a sponsor of other participants; but also became a grandiose con-man who went to prison at least twice afterwards – could you please provide one of the following, A or B or C:

A) Peer-reviewed scientific study showing the twelve-step programs are more effective than other methods.

B) Serious comparison of twelve steps & “Big Book” vs. Catholic doctrine, demonstrating how the twelve steps & “Big Book” put the latter into practice.

C) Serious comparison of twelve steps & “Big Book” vs. the Bible, demonstrating how the twelve steps & “Big Book” put the latter into practice.

In other words: either show compatibility between the twelve steps & “Big Book” and scientific evidence; or else show compatibility between the twelve steps & “Big Book” and Revealed Truth. At least one or the other.

You’re missing the point of the whole cult / nebulousness thing.

  1. People turn themselves over to a made-up Higher Power; with a pretense of no dogma but in fact a different set of cleverly-presented dogmas.

  2. Some of them manage to stay sober or attain more sanity in their dealings with an addict or a drunk. Understandably, they credit their involvement with the group for their improvement in this area.

  3. The success rate for the immediately preceding is no better than for people not involved in the twelve-step programs.

  4. But meanwhile the cleverly-presented dogmas and the ways they are intrepreted under the guidance of the senior members of the group sometimes lead to bad changes in the attitudes and characters of participants (in areas other than drinking, drugging, or getting dragged down by others who do the former).

There is more than one way to encourage people to check their egos at the door.

Al-Anon does not apply the steps, the sponsorship, and the personal transformations to the addict, but rather to the addict’s family member or friend. Admittedly: being tied up in egos, defense mechanisms, and inflated false sense of worth applies to the addict’s family member or friend as well. In fact, it applies to almost everybody to some extent. And these things all constitute a clever pretext to steer people towards a cult, whether intentionally or (almost always) unknowingly.

[quote]
As for the OP, I’m not saying you should not look into advances in neurology or pharmacology, but I hope you aren’t taking advice from an organization that is running its website on yahoo groups. Second Al-Anon as something to look into.

No one is ever hopeless. I’ve met a ton of people who were people in and out of rehab for years before they finally got cleaned up for the long term. Who’s to say if they will ever relapse again but they have had long stints of sobriety after many failed attempts. Just because your sister has had 2 failed stints at rehab does not mean that she cannot benefit from another trip. If she does go to rehab, I would recommend trying to find one which has a family program and attending that if you can.[/quote]

Damn, undoredo, sounds like you’ve had a bad experience with those organizations.

Fortunately mine has been entirely different. The thing is, I had to make a conscious decision to change things in my life. I saw a good opportunity and have been running with it as for as long and far as I can, and it has worked very well. Not everybody does that. They’re perfectly content to put down the bottle and keep everything else the same. Given what you’ve shared, it is not at all surprising that you are suspicious and resentful.

A little adage we have for that goes like this- What do you call a drunken horse thief who puts down the bottle?

A Horse Thief.

I respect the struggles of the people who are doing well (or otherwise) in conjunction with being involved in the twelve-step programs; and I respect the good intentions of the people who wish to steer the O.P. toward Al-Anon. Even though I believe this is a mistake that happens to work out ok for some people.

Jchenky, be careful and take care.