What to do about someone you can't help?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Dagless, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
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    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #1
    Let's say I have a friend, and that friend has a brother. Now, this friends brother had all the opportunities a jolly family could provide. He was good at school, had a good circle of friends, enjoyed sports and instruments, an all-round human being. But in his early teens he started doing cannabis and later moved onto more serious drugs. Since then he has stolen from family, forced us *ahem* them to install locks on bedroom doors, frequently threatens himself (but never means it). He doesn't take care of his appearance and barely holds down a low-end job that his parents (he's in his mid-20's now) still has to wake him up for.
    Recently there was an event where he vanished for a day and came back smacked off his face on some drugs, not sure which. He was found sleeping outside on bins that he had knocked over. He began an argument that lasted for 3 days where nobody in the house got any sleep. He became delusional, threatening, believed he was still a child. The argument was simply that he wanted money for drugs, an argument with a story that continued to change and warp as the days went on. At one point he passed out and an ambulance was called, but at the hospital he just tried to steal medicine (hiding them down his pants) he was caught but nothing came of it.

    He has no responsibility for anything and acts no different than when he was in those early teens. He doesn't cook, clean, help out. Just argues and shouts, believing the world is against him and it's everyone elses fault the way he is.

    My friend's family can't take it any more but they don't know what to do. They've tried taking him to a doctor, but progress is very slow and nothing has changed (yet), ultimately the doc won't be able to fix his drug problem either. Do they call the police the next time there's an episode? Does the family kick him out? He wouldn't survive on his own and would probably become homeless, if he lost his current job he wouldn't be able to get another for a while (left school without any qualifications). But his behaviour is making his parents sick and his little sister very scared.

    He believes he's got mental problems. I think he has, as well as being a drug addict. They're UK based and they think the next step might be to phone social services.

    (despite the silly tone of this it's actually really destroying my friends family.)
    I'm not even sure about posting this but I don't know where else to ask.
     
  2. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    Mar 22, 2010
    #2
    I'd take that next step.
     
  3. firedept macrumors 603

    firedept

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    #3
    Social Services or psych evaluation. If that does not work, then the police would be next. Not trying to be heartless, but some kind of intervention needs to happen. Tough love!

    Will be tough though if he does not acknowledge he has a problem. Have a close friend who has battled the cocaine demon for most of his life. He has been through the programs many times but always falls back on the drugs. I am only around him when he is sober as I can not trust him when he is using.

    It will be a battle no matter what route they decide to take.
     
  4. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    #4
    Watching someone you care about repeatedly make self destructive choices is one of the most difficult things anyone can endure. The enabling has to stop if there is going to be any progress. It's so hard to put those boundaries in place, but if there is truly mental health issues on top of substance abuse issues then he needs serious professional intervention.
     
  5. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

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    Dec 19, 2004
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    Georgia
    #5
    Perhaps things are different in the UK. But at least in the US the police can do nothing besides try to intimidate him. Unless he has attacked someone (and they press charges), tried to kill himself and it is visibly apparent or damaged someones property (and they press charges). Also if he becomes unruly and threatening to the police when they get there.

    As for mental problems. Unless he has reached the point where he absolutely wants to change hospitals and therapy will not help. Especially as he is an adult and can not be compelled to do so.

    Beyond that. His family can try to convince him to seek help. If that doesn't work the only option is to boot him out. Since his presence is just adding stress and conflict to everyone's life while not helping him. It's just enabling him to continue his self destructive behavior.

    He has to reach that point where he wants to change. That help can only be provided by professionals and rehab which his family can pay for. Not letting him back in or giving him money. He'll just resume his activities.
     
  6. Astroboy907 macrumors 65816

    Astroboy907

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    #6
    This. As long as he keeps blaming others and denying the fact, I don't think anything will change. Something has to happen to get him to want to take hold of his life and change it. It's his battle, you can fight with him but you can't fight for him. How hard he chooses to fight is his own decision.

    With that said, I sincerely hope this issue is resolved. It brings me great pain and sadness to hear about these things, even when I don't know those involved directly. I'm praying for those involved with this. Hopefully something will change in his life and he will realize that life is an adventure and its within his grasp.
     
  7. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
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    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #7
    My mom has been addicted to different medications since at least 2003 now (or at least that's when she started getting violent with us). So I've been there, and am in the same situation.

    Sadly, the only thing you can do is talk to a lawyer. The police won't do anything, it's not like we haven't been talking to them for the last couple of years when it's only gotten worse. Doctors are useless. They'd rather give you the pills then refer you to someone to get help.

    Rehab is a longterm thing, and we've gone through it three times with her. It takes A LOT of money, and it's a complete waste of it when the person just uses it as a holiday.

    Like someone said, you are just better off kicking the guy out. He's going to suffer, but you need to think about your own wellbeing too. There's no reason to go through so much mental abuse just because you love someone and are afraid of what may happen to them.
     
  8. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #8
    Social services sounds good to me. My guess is that if they can't help directly, they can point you in the right direction.

    Remember this, when it comes to addiction or terrible personal life choices, the individual will never change until he/she feels the need and wants to change. You can't simply talk them out of their poor choices. As a rule parents who try to carry their kids are not doing them any favors if they want them to grow up into productive well-balanced adults. Don't enable, tough love is the right approach. While offering assistance, they must be allowed to fall to their lowest point. If they are arrested, let them sit in jail and think about it. Don't bail them out. They have to be sick of where they are, if they are ever to see the light and want to make a change.
     
  9. LumbermanSVO macrumors 65816

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    Denton, TX
    #9
    Your family needs to go to Al Anon. The folks there have been through this before and can help your family through this situation.
     
  10. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #10
    I would also recommend this.
     
  11. sviato macrumors 68020

    sviato

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    #11
    Kick him out. Keeping him around is just showing him that he can get away with this behavior.
     
  12. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #12
    Agreed!

    Falling under the category of Tough Love, this is not the only action a concerned loved one should take.
     
  13. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #13
    If we weren't talking about family, I would have already called the police.

    That being said, even if it were my brother, I would have already called the police. This type of behavior doesn't get better on its own, IMO.
     
  14. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    Aug 24, 2009
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    UK
    #14
    I'd kick him out. That'll teach him. When his prepared to make an effort with his life, he can return.
     
  15. NightLightSeven macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    #15
    Familiar Story

    Your friend's story is almost a mirror of what I have gone through with someone. Went to a good school, invited to a gifted class, fell in with a group who suggested many stupid things. Talked him out of that class got him to shoplift introduced him to cigarettes>marijuana>hard drugs. Began stealing from family including heirlooms (locks were also installed on doors).

    They've been struggling with addiction for about 15 years now on and off interrupted by jail stays. Right now they still have a serious problem and are in the adult teenager stage of addiction. Easily annoyed by small things and storms off when you try to talk to them about drug related topics. However they are very patient and polite when trying to get money out of you.

    The best thing your friend can do is find a good well rounded program that covers mental and physical aspects of addiction. I know their hands are tied unless the addict danger to themselves or others which is the most frustrating things about it. Even declaring them incompetent can be a potentially complex and drawn out process. Investigate any and all free services, ideally long term residential (easier said than done). Other than that, pray. If the family is not religious find a Ned Flanders neighbor and ask him to do it for you.

    When it gets to the point where the addict just expects you to support their habit/lifestyle and stay out of their business, the kick out ultimatum may have to come out.
     
  16. LumbermanSVO macrumors 65816

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    Denton, TX
    #16
    Sorry I didn't have the time to make a longer post yesterday. I've been through this stuff before and my recommendation is based on my own experiences. Through these times I learned a LOT about addiction and recovery, and still love learning about it.

    The reason you and your family need to go to Al Anon is because you don't know how to handle the situation, that part should be clear by now. The Folks at Al Anon DO know how to handle it and will teach you.

    The "tough love" just kick them out approach has it's flaws. Al Anon will teach you how to kick him out and set boundaries in a way that makes it clear to him that it is his actions that caused this. But also that you are there to him when he finally seeks it, and will teach you how to help him.

    Without these tools, you are likely causing more harm than good.

    Even if you can't get the rest of your family to go, YOU need to go, get a sponsor and work the steps.
     
  17. Dagless thread starter macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
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    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #17
    Thanks for all the replies, my iMac GPU is broken so I can't write out proper replies just yet.

    We've been looking into social housing for people with problems, and there's an Al Anon meeting in our town next week that we're attending.
     
  18. Jbenn425 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #18
    I'm dealing with this myself right now, but with a family that is not my own. For that reason I am distancing myself from them as I have my own life to deal with and I feel that I've done as much as I possibly could.
     

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