Drug Addiction

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by eternlgladiator, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. eternlgladiator macrumors 68000

    eternlgladiator

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    Jun 20, 2010
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    Twin Cities
    #1
    I'm curious if any forum members have dealt with a family member who's addicted to drugs. My fiancé's brother is addicted to heroin and things are starting to get very bad. I'm trying to figure out how we can help and all the research I'm doing is pointing in so many different, and conflicting, directions. There's a lot to tell so I'll try to get it all out here. He's been doing the drug for at least couple years as far as I can tell, though possibly longer. He has been occasionally very good at hiding it so there were times it was thought he was better and was probably not really. Her whole family uses drugs regularly as far as I can tell. She does not and has not. As far as I can tell, most of the family is using pot and does so regularly around him, a big no no, though one brother was at one point a heavy cocaine user (he now lives out of state and I don't know if he's clean or not). I know using drugs is a big part of his life I want to be there for my fiancé and him but I don't want to do more damage than good. Some places say cutting the person off and letting them hit bottom is the only way they can understand the damage. I'd prefer to find a solution that gets things on the right track sooner so he can avoid having serious criminal charges or worse that may make things difficult down the road. Since most the family are regular drug users I think an intervention would be pretty meaningless to him since it would probably appear pretty hypocritical. Anybody have any other ideas? I'd really like to help them through this in the best way I can even if that means he needs to be cut off. It's about what's best for him, not me.
     
  2. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    Jan 18, 2005
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    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #2
    I'll be keeping my eyes on this thread.

    A relative of mine isn't physically addicted to anything, but is psychologically addicted to cannabis, ecstasy, speed and such. To the point that "the addict" (to hide any gender) steals from the rest of his family, lies, goes into rages over things, gets depressed etc.

    What can you do for someone who doesn't want help? That's slightly rhetorical and also not.
     
  3. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    Jul 29, 2011
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    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #3
    This is a tough one. I lost my brother to Heroin addiction many years ago. As hard as it sounds, you can't really help. You can't give money, it will just go on more abuse.

    The individual has to decide that he or she wants to stop...Then you can be as supportive as possible and leave the withdrawal to dedicated clinicians who know how this is done. Locking addicts in rooms to go "Cold Turkey" is not only dangerous, it won't work either. It's very sad, but the addict has to actively seek professional care. My brother never did, and he paid the price, losing his job, his friends and finally, his life.

    I sincerely hope that your'e scenario ends happily, but remember it's tough love all the way.

    Good luck.
     
  4. eternlgladiator thread starter macrumors 68000

    eternlgladiator

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    Jun 20, 2010
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    Twin Cities
    #4
    I'm kind of starting to believe that's the only option. I agree, he has to want help. If not anything help that's given will be wasted. I just hope he can hit bottom and want to turn things around before he's destroyed his life and possibly others. I know lots of addicts get convicted for buying, being under the influence, or otherwise and the subsequently get clean in prison/rehab/etc but that drug conviction is enough to make transitioning back into society difficult and thus increases the odds for a relapse. He's very smart and was going to school to be a doctor before things fell off track. I doubt many hospitals would want a convicted drug addict on staff if were to get to that point.
     
  5. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    Oct 22, 2007
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    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #5
    You don't say what your fiancé's take on this is. Quite honestly, I don't think there is anything you can except walk away from the brother. I don't mean that he deserves what he gets... just that it may not be in your power to help. There are some problems that can not be solved without more resources than an individual can pull together. An addict whose family is enabling that condition is probably one of those situations.

    Does your fiancé want to stick around and help, or to move on and away?

    It may be that in this sordid situation your role is to help her move on and not get sucked down into this abyssal black hole.

    Good Luck...
     
  6. eternlgladiator thread starter macrumors 68000

    eternlgladiator

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    #6
    I tried to get her take this morning but we were kind of talking via text and she opted to talk about it later. Hasn't brought it up since and its kind of a touchy subject. I know she'll want to talk about it again and when she does I don't want to just sit there and nod or say I'm not sure what do. I'm trying to develop an opinion or some ideas for what we can do. We live about 3 hours away from her parents house which is where he's staying and stealing. If he were to go into rehab or something along those lines with would be an additional hour away her parents house. I don't think her parents are necessarily enabling but I don't think doing anything to stop. To me it just seems like they keep pulling damage control. For instance he usually steals money from them but recently he's been stealing and pawning jewelry. Instead of turning him and trying to fix things they just bought it back. Not a good solution IMO
     
  7. ender land macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 26, 2010
    #7
    I rarely find people who are living self-destructive lifestyles are receptive to any help at all until they've hit rock bottom.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Boston
    #8
    Truthful words. I know of people who are addicts and they'll say anything and do anything. How can you help a person when you can't tell when they're lying or telling the truth. Also as Dagless pointed out, they themselves need to take the first steps.
     
  9. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    Oct 22, 2007
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    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #9
    That may be exactly what she wants you to do, nod and make sympathetic sounds. One of the things I've learned from my wife is that, stereotypically, men and women have different expectations when the other person talks about a problem.

    Typically, we men want to go out and "fix" the problem. We want to do something about it. It comes from a place of affection/love. We want to make the situation better for the person we care about. However, typically, women want us to sympathize with them. To listen to them. To give them a place where they can unload at their own pace and in their own way. Afterwards, they may want us to go fix the problem. But first - they want us to listen, and agree that the situation is crappy.

    Of course, this advice is based on your fiancé fitting the typical mold, so your mileage may vary. But unless you know her better and that this won't work... just listen. The odds are in your favour if you do.

    Keep in mind she knows much much more about this particular situation than you do. She may already have tried several things. There may have been a failed intervention. So just listen, ask the (occasional) question, and get as much info as you can. She may not want you to fix anything. She may just want you to provide her with a safe, happy, spot to go on with her life. Be the safe and stable anchor in her life.

    You mean well, that is obvious. But be patient... what you can do is very limited. Especially since you are so new to the family. No one there is going to take any advice a 'newbie' very well.
     
  10. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

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    #10
    First I will state that I do not use drugs and never will. I had a very close friend that was addicted to cocaine. We were friends for close to 30 years before he died of his addiction. Was a real waste as he was such a kind and giving person when he was off the drugs. But I could never trust him when he was using. We had many conversations over the years in regards to his addiction. He really struggled with this and tried many times over the years to beat the problem. This is part of the reason we stayed good friends, was because he would be the greatest person in the world when he was away from drugs. He realized this over the years and I believe this is why he tried hard to get away from them. But his biggest problem was the places he would hang around and the other users he had acquaintance with. Interventions do not always work unless the person wants it to. Takes a very strong person to get away and unfortunately my good friend finally lost his battle with his demon "Cocaine". So I guess my suggestion is to be a friend but watch your back. Listen to them. But if they do not want help there is pretty much nothing you can do. Good Luck!
     
  11. avro707 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    #11
    Listen and discover as much as you can, and try to be as supportive as possible.

    Interventions (with professional help) I think do work quite well, but it's going to be hard because the individual with the problem is going to deny they even have a problem.

    I don't have family members, but I remember someone I went to school with who had a problem with hard-drugs. I have no idea what happened after that, or if the person even is still alive. :(
     
  12. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #12
    I am a drug addict (even when one is not using, one is an addict for life), but have not been depending on it for over five years. While outside forces tried to help, many didn't know, what was going on, only a select few knew I was abusing drugs. I had to get help myself, I was actively looking for it for one year (moved to a big city with a big drug addict support system in 9/2005 and went to a clinic in 10/2006 and been sober/clean/low since 1/2007).
    While I was not depending on heroin, which is a lot stronger than what I have taken, it was hard work, it still is, though it gets easier every year. The first year is the hardest (of course), and one can get close to relapsing, but if you have a good support system, even having friends, that are addicts (but not using), than it is easier (a bit like a competition in the beginning, who gets high first).

    Anyway, if your fiancé's brother does not see, that he has a problem and wants to change that, then there is little you can do. Maybe be blunt and ask him about his addiction and how he sees it (and how he sees himself), thus you could spark some new thoughts in him. I don't know, if you should bring up rehab in such discussion, as no one was ever bringing it up towards me, I had to bring it up myself and others thought that step would be too extreme, but you can try if the mood permits that.

    I hope you can help your fiancé's brother, especially with such a hard drug, which is hard to get away from and easy to get back to, in any way he permits.
     
  13. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    Aug 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    I used to be an addict. I'm not anymore. Worst years of my life.
     
  14. eternlgladiator thread starter macrumors 68000

    eternlgladiator

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    #14
    You have all made some great points. We talked about it slightly a little bit ago. Didn't really seem to a big deal again. She tends to be interested in helping and then not bring it for awhile. We've got enough of crap going on so I'm just going to leave it be. You've all given some great advice and I'll take most of it into account when/if we talk about it again. Thank you all!
     

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