How Do You Truely Help An Addict?

I have tried to help a family member with an addiction to pills. She was addicted to heroin and has done weed all of her life (since 12 years old). She is now 50 years old, so she has a lifetime of addiction. I am married into the family and my own family does not do these kinds of things. I have been a member of this family for 10 years, but only the past two years has the addictions been too much. Many of my husbands family is drug users. It is too the point I am having to take care of her as if she were my child (pay her bills, buy her food, cigarettes, take her to her appointments, clean and maintain her house, all the above). The drugs are eating her life. She spends all her money on pills. She gets pills from her doctor and then sells them on the street, then as to buy them back by the end of the month to feed her addiction. I have tried to stop the maddess by talking to her and even calling her doctors. The only thing I have succeeded in doing is having the family angry with me. My husband is her enabler, he makes her feel pills are okay. He told me that because of me she was going to go back to herion and probably die this time. Why should he put this on my shoulders? He thinks the pills are okay as long as she stays away from hard drugs. The woman has nearly set herself and house on fire for passing out after taking handfuls of zanax and then smoking a cigarette. The family sees me as being on a "high horse" because I have tried to help. I am seen as a snoot and the bad guy. My husband and I are expecting our first child, I am now at a high risk pregnancy as the doctor found issues in my blood that may result to genetic disorders of the baby. I am scared. I am afraid I will have a baby with health issues and when it is born I will fear him/her being around these family members. It is all too much. I have stepped up and tried to save these people and now I am worn out and seen as the B**ch! I have concluded it is easier to watch someone die from drugs than to try to help them. It is sad and disappointing, but at least when they finally die the struggle is over.
nightwhisper nightwhisper
26-30, F
14 Responses Jan 4, 2011

You cant help an addict who doesn't want help, especially if the family is enabling her. Your goal should be to maintain your peace in the midst of chaos. I encourage you to try Alanon . Also, i support You limiting contact with the addict and especially if you have children. Addiction has built in denial, thus your goal is to be healthy so you can support addict if they want help. Also, stop enabling her. Why are you buying her cigs and cleaning her house? Stop that immediately. when she has NO ENABLERS, she might have a chance to be clean, but not until then. The kind thing is to practice tough love. I am in recovery from cocaine for 26 years and have degrees in addition studies. Good luck!

My 44 year old son is the same way. He neglects his 13 year old daughter , doesn't feed her or get up for her to go to school. Basically she is on her own. He gets really angry with her at the least thing and curses her and makes her feel like she is nothing . When he is awake he is constantly degrading her about her grades , her room or anything he can think of. She at at the point she rarely eats because she is afraid she will mess up the kitchen or a dish. She is frightened of him, but she loves his and wants his approval and love so bad , she always defends him. He has locked her out of the house , left her out in a storm , makes her walk to the bus stop in pouring rain or freezing weather without a coat. He never attends any of her school functions and takes no interest whatsoever in her. He would not know if she was missing for days because of his habit. His doctor gives him drugs for his back and he also goes to the pain clinic and gets pills. ; Plus he gets drugs from his friends . I am at my wits end. I don't want to report him to DEFAC because of my granddaughter, she would hold it against me. She had lived with me until this year and decided to live with him for a year. He has another 6 year old daughter also,, He is attentive to her and seems to show her attention and love, however, she only visits every two weeks , so she isn't with him much . I am really frightened for my grand daughter and don't know what to do about the situation, I can not talk to my son, he gets violent to the point ,it frightened me , so I keep quiet . How does one deal with this situation. I want him to get off the drugs so he can be a father and a son to me. He is my only child and I love him . Drugs have ruined his mind and I don't know how to help him.

ScaredInIndy,<br />
<br />
I feel your pain, not from a Mother's point of view, but from a worried family member's point of view. Not only is my Mother-in-law deep in abusing persc<x>ription drugs, but my sister-in-law is a repeated heroin addict. She had gotten clean and relapsed so many times that I don't even listen to her or get excited when she tells me she is getting clean. I care, but I don't care. I have my daughter now that I need to worry about. I have told them, they will do what they want, but if they want to see their granddaughter and neice, then they will have to be sober. If they choice to get high, then during that time, I will not come around or bring my daughter around, and they know damned well better than to come my house high. I care, but I have stopped worrying and making much effort to help them anymore. If they want to waste away then I just let them try commit suicide. I mean their bodies may still be alive, but their souls are long gone.

gu1987,<br />
<br />
It is good to hear that you acknowledge your problems and that you realize how you have lost some very important people in your life. I am glad that you made the choice to stay clear of drugs. I know it had been a while since you commented and i am just now getting a moment to write back to you and all others<br />
<br />
. I gave birth to my first child, a beautiful baby girl, back in April. She was premature and we had a little bit of a battle and have kept her home nearly all the time, except for doctor visits. She is over 4 months old now and I am able to take her places now without fear of her catching every bug out there. She has changed my life. I went from being severely depressed to being grateful everyday for her presence. I love her more than life. She is my life now and I live and love just for her. My husband and I are completely aware of the gift we have in her. This being said, a senerio such as this should be a focal point for all of those dealing with drug abuse. Find something in your life that has great meaning and focus on that entirely. Know that if you choice drugs, you will loose all that truely gives your life meaning. <br />
<br />
I have never done drugs, but I understand the pain of hating yourself and hating your life. I have battled deep depression for many years. I do understand that struggle.<br />
<br />
gu1987, keep focusing on the important people in your life and how you need them more than you need the drugs. I hope you are staying strong and clean.

I am a mom of 2 boys and 2 girls, I have never used any drugs and alcohol only at special occasions a couple times a year, my oldest son was in a serious car accident and became addited to pain medicine, I tried talking to him about it but he never really listened, when he turned 19 he moved out of state and stayed away from all family for about 3 years, I got a phone call he was homeless and a herion addict I drove 8 hours to pick him up. I was shocked to see this shell of what use to be my son. He was ill from dirty needles and went straight to the hospital to find out he had merca, he almost lost his hand, he started withdrawling immediantly in the hospital and went into a recovery home for 60days. He came out and went and bought more herion, we played this game for 2 years, in and out of detox, I had a heart problem and was ill for several months, I could tell he was in bad shape but didnt have the strenght to tackle the issue, after I recivered I went in to checkon him and found a addicts rat nest of a room, there were hundreds of needles and foils stuffed with bloody paper towels stuffed in the corners and under his bed, I drove him to detox and left him knowing he could not come back, he was on his own, I didnt see or hear from him for 6 months and got another call he was found living in a vacant building, I went and got him brought him home for the night and he went back to detox, I picked him up Thursday afternoon and we were home 1 hour and I got the call, my younger son was arrested for possesion of herion, what do you do??????

you cant. thats the answer. <br />
the only way somebody can get help is if they help themselves. <br />
you cant push it on them. <br />
i have a dear friend whom desperately needs help but because hes not seeking it he cannot get it no matter how hard we try to push it at him. <br />
you'll only push your family member deeper into this hole.

Yaaa. Nightwhisper you sound like a awsome person for sticking around... i am 23 i aint no herion addict but i smoke soo much weed.. and drink every single day... i had an abusive childhood my dad was a ***** n hes rip cuz of his alcohol addiction. But I have this mother of mine who is the best person in the world... i usto work i got fired cuz i went drunk to work didn't sleep did cocaine all this crap i got fired 1 year ago, iv been in a cloud i wana stop i can't seem to have no self control... i say ok no i am not going to do it but i do it :(, and about a month ago my mom found cocaine in my pocket and bottle of boose next to me i was passed out on the stairs coming home from partying... as you can see that is just f''d up, now i gota take aa meeting cuz i gota criminal record and i am a drug dealer on paper i quit that to.I lost 3 beutiful gfs cuz when im drunk and high on stuff i don't care i was soo high once i beat my ex gf up i hit her i don't remeber doing it when i regained soberness 2 days l8r she said it was over... lol of course who wouldn't i told her to be happy cuz, if i can't take care of my self how am i going to take care of a women. it's been a 1 week iv been sober not even, i had a big family they all hate me now... even my mom hates me crys and says she going to leave cuz of me, i swear that kinda gave me kick in the a$$ now i wana get better by my self, SO my point is you said u wana stop calling and talking to your husbands family maybe even him, do it that would probably help, but if my mom didn't say she was hurt by me and was going to leave( so that would have made 4 women i lost 2 boose and no caring) i woulda been drinking my brains doing cocaine and smoking weed till i die...thank god ur husband isnt a druggy otherwise u woulda been goonee long time agooo :) take careeeeeee

Thank You, Davdee619, appreciate the encouragment! :)

continue being strong

So to sum it all up, to those who read our comments, it really does not pay to try to help those that have no desire to help themselves. You are better off to just let them drown in their own misery.

Zep,<br />
Yep, I see that crap too. My nephew is living with my parents because he is simply lazy. We believe he has toyed with drugs, but we are unsure. One thing is for sure, he is a habitual liar, a snoop, and a thief. He can't seem to keep his hands off other peoples stuff, even he never steals it. My mother is consTtantly saying how he gets into everything just to ***** with stuff. He thinks he knows it all and if you try to teach him anything, he always thinks he knows a better way. My sister and her husband simply gave up on him and kicked him out. My parents took pitty and took him in and now they can not get rid of him and he has lived with them for almost a year. They fear kicking him out because they are afraid he will retaliate and do something to them. He does not work, and they have to buy all his clothing, food, and cigarettes. My father has even had to pay his court fines when he got into trouble. They buy him minutes for his phone just so he will not run up the land line on long distance calls. He eats them out of house and home. I have bought groceries and within days the freezer is empty again, he drinks pop like it is going out of style. A twelve pack is gone the same day and no one else gets any. My sister nothing for the situation, when he turned 21 he went out and got drunk. He went to her house and she had the nerve to call my 64 year old mother to come get him cause she did not want him in her house. Mom did not want him in her house either, but guess who had to get him. Must be nice to dump your kids off on someone else and let them reap the problems you started by not raising them worth a ****. All this behavior is my sister and her husband's fault because they always favored their eldest son over him and made him their scapegoat for household chores and such. The father always told him he would never be worth a damn and therefore he grew up with the idea I am not worth a ****, so why bother? My father had told me that when the winter is over his going to tell him that he must go, but I don't see my father doing it. He will lose sleep worrying about whether he has a place to sleep. Nothings works for this boy either, there is NO helping him. He has been homeless before and never changed his ways so why do anything now?

I have had a family member that was a drug addict and I did some similiar things to try to help. Let me tell you one thing i have learned. Calling the doctor, and talking with them for the majority of the time doesnt help at all. In truth, your talking to the drugs, not the person inside. Maybe where this drug person is in life, isnt rock bottom, So stop helping this person in ALL ways possible. Offer them treatment or No help anymore. Alot of the time if you get a group of people that love them together and offer this, The majority of the time they will take it. Good Luck!

Zep,<br />
I have come to that conclusion as well. I told the daughter and my husband's sister that it may be best if I stay away for a while and not call either. She sounded brokenhearted, but the pressure is getting to where I am angry all the time and say things out of anger to the mother and daughter. My husband lived an abusive childhood. How he is not an addict is a miracle. Although he battles severe depression. His childhood sucked and I guess I have tried to make his adult life and relationship with his mother better. I have tried to make things better by having holiday dinners and such but nothings works.

Is not your responsibility to fix someone elses problem.<br />
how did you meet these people...........they dont sound very functional at all.