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Battling addiction???

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by The Q Man, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. The Q Man

    The Q Man Member

    Some of you here know me, most do not. I'm a frequent reader, rare poster.

    I'm writing tonight because I'm trying to draw on the experiences of a vast group of people to see how they've dealt with a particular struggle that my family is facing.

    Over the past year, my sister has been spiraling downhill. She began drinking heavily on her birthday a year ago (a year ago yesterday, Sept. 10, 2006, to be exact) and she hasn't quit since. She is a problem drinker and we've known that since she started as she frequently drank until she blacked out and generally couldn't hold her liquor better than a toddler.

    But to compound the problem, she fell in with a group that believed in the wonders of cocaine. Over the past 3-4 months, she has, by her own admission, spent nearly $2,000 on the drug for her and her worthless new boyfriend, who, double trouble, is a dealer.

    Throughout the whole of this spiral, she has become adept at not paying bills. So adept that when the truth finally came out, she was revealed to be $20,000 in the hole with credit cards and nearly $2,500 in principal with those fast-cash places, which equals about $10,000 when you factor in their sky-rocketing interest rates.

    The good news is that on Monday night, we got her checked in to rehab. The bad news is she checked herself out 12 hours later. When my dad tracked her down, she went ballistic, so much so that the police had to be summoned. Fortunately, a kind-hearted officer persuaded her to return to the rehab facility.

    I have questions that, if anyone out there is able to give some perspective, it would be appreciated.

    1) If you've ever had a close friend or relative in rehab, how do you encourage them to stay and invest in the program? Or do they have arrive at that crossroads themselves?
    2) How did you deal with it? Did you find those support groups for people whose family members are addicts helpful? If it was a sibling, how did you help your parents maintain their sanity?

    I appreciate all your insight in advance.
  2. ArnoldBabar

    ArnoldBabar Active Member

    I'm afraid all I can offer are good thoughts for your family, but you've definitely got those.

    I'm a regular watcher of the show "Intervention," and it has given me an appreciation for how painful and frustrating it can be for families in your position.
  3. pallister

    pallister Guest

    It's going to sound cliched, but it's true: If a person doesn't want to quit, no rehab in the world will help them. My limited experience has been with people who voluntarily came to the crossroads you alluded to and checked themselves into rehab. Nothing happened until they decided they needed help. Even then, it's not easy. But the odds are even more stacked against an individual when they are put in rehab against their will.
  4. Just_An_SID

    Just_An_SID Well-Known Member

    Many years ago, my family confronted my sister who had followed a similsr path. With two kids involved, we threatened to take them away from her legally unless she cleaned up her act. She fought like hell against it but ultimately, she had no choice and got help. She's been clean ever since.

    If you challenge her, you have to be prepared to do something that might hurt her in order for her to see the light and want to get better. It may be the hardest thing that you ever do, but it has to be done. Good luck.
  5. The Q Man

    The Q Man Member

    Thanks again guys.

    SID, I hear what you're saying, but to be honest there's not much that we can do to hurt her that she hasn't already done or we haven't already tried.

    We seized all the antique furniture in her apartment. It was valued at nearly $10,000 and she was going to sell it for $500.

    We seized her car simply because we didn't want the creditors to get a hold of it.

    What's amazing through all this is her non-chalance. I sat and watched my father, the most stoic of man, a man who deals with heartache regularly as a funeral director, bawl his eyes out in his office this morning. And yet she continues to blame us for "not loving her enough."
  6. You're not giving enough thought to what you can take away from her.
    You and the other people she loves -- the ones she really respects and cares about -- have to be willing to get out of her life if she won't get help.
    Maybe that's all that is left for you to take is your relationships with her.
    It sucks to have to make that threat, and it will suck even more if you have to follow through with it.
    But trust me, I have seen a LOT of addiction -- some to the point of near death -- and you have to do whatever you can to help.
    If she won't decide she wants to get better, there will be nothing you can do. But then you follow through and don't see her anymore.
    That's still less painful for you than slowly watching your sister kill herself -- and if she won't get cleaned up one way or another, that will definitely be the way it ends.
  7. zimbabwe

    zimbabwe Active Member

    Go to an Al-Anon meeting.

    (And ditto what has been said above here.)
  8. Dan Rydell

    Dan Rydell Guest

    Don't know what else to say except to have a heart-to-heart, if it's possible, and ask her something like: "Don't you think it would be wonderful to wake up every day and not be fucked-up and hurting for more drugs and booze? It's not that hard if you believe in yourself and let those who love you help you."

    The longer she's in rehab, the more she might think about that.

    Good luck, Q Man. I know it's hard to watch.
  9. The Q Man

    The Q Man Member

    I'm fully prepared for this possibility. Quite frankly, I've had hardly any contact with her since she stole $1,000 from me in early August. Two weeks ago, it seemed that my parents were prepared to as they let her waltz off on another bender, changed the locks at the house and had a security system installed at the funeral home. But then she re-surfaced when she was broke and they took her back in. She kept on doing coke and stealing money from them right up until we put her in rehab on Modnay night.
  10. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Q, I can't offer anything other than to say: I hope it all works out.

    I've been through much more trivial dips in my life, and SportsJournalists.commers have been good people.
  11. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    Whoever mentioned Al-Anon had a great idea.

    Other than that I've really got nothing, but it has helped several very good friends of mine work through their parents/siblings/SO's drug problems.
  12. boots

    boots New Member

    For some poeple, it takes hitting rock bottom to realize they need help. For others, it's an awkening.
    If your sister doesn't want help, all you can really do is pray that she shoon realizes that she needs it. Like the old saying, you can lead a horse to warter but you can't make them drink.
    My prayers to you and your sis.
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