how do you help a recovering drug addict?
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    My nephew is 22 and claims to be a "recovering" drug addict. I have been trying to be supportive by commending his efforts to stay clean, reminding him that he has a beautiful baby boy, and even at times being a little hard on him--tough love. For instance, after a post he made about everything crashing down and just wanting to give up, I reminded him of his baby boy, that his uncle and I love him dearly, and that he can't give up every time life gets tough. Through conversation, I discovered that he was supposed to be getting evicted because he and his "clean" baby mama/girlfriend (idk which) aren't making enough money to pay rent. So after discussing it with my husband (his uncle) we decided we would pay his rent this time. He seemed so appreciative! We met him today, and I explained that I would get a money order in the landlord's name to be sure the money went to rent...and my bank info was not jeopardized. I also found out my SIL has pretty much gone no contact with him, so he has no other family. We really thought we were helping him...until I looked at his friends list on FB and saw the "landlord's" name...a 20 yr old girl! I am devastated. And then I read a post that he had a great day today until he went to a friend's house and had to call 911 because he found her dead! They took him away in handcuffs. So I'm fairly sure he's doing drugs and my "rent" money went to buying more! They didn't keep him by the way, so I don't know what's up with that. Also, his friends basically told me that I need to stop preaching at him, but his friends need to support him...in person. WTH??? So back to my question...HOW DO YOU HELP SOMEONE LIKE THIS?
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    you let them fall on their face and learn how to stand up. sounds harsh, but true. support the people around them if need be, but..
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    Sad to say...I am going to have to agree with you. I am a 'fool me once shame on you...there is no fool me twice' kind of person. I really put myself and my husband out there for someone who had no problem hurting us. If he ever wants to prove himself now...he better find an in-house rehab. My next step is talking with my husband to confront my nephew...just so he knows that WE KNOW what he did and it won't happen again. So sad. And he has an adorable 2 year old. :(
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    My husband is a recovering addict. I hope he is recovering. You have only one choice. Tell them to get help and get clean or you will not help them or be there for them. My husband is currently sitting in jail because of his addiction. I told him he could NOT come home unless he went to in patient treatment and continued with outpatient, and it all had to include family therapy. I am not a drug user, before people start attacking me. I love him, he is an amazing and wonderful person with the most beautiful heart and soul I've ever seen. He's also a different person that I hate when he is using, so I have no problem divorcing him if he chooses to use. I'm willing to stand by him, but he has to be willing to take the first steps. He has agreed and is adamant about making the changes that will make his life better and wants to do it, and I believe in him. The bottom line, though is if they do not want to, you cannot make them. You can, however make them want to a bit more when you stop enabling them.
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    First let me say...hugs to you and your family, I hope that everything works out. I feel the same way about my nephew...he was always a good person, but made bad choices. I loved this kid like my own. He really had us believing that he was trying to get clean...I guess he talked a good talk. This is the first and only time that we gave him anything...there will be no more enabling him. My husband works very hard to give our family a good life. In fact that night I talked to my nephew, he was supposed to be home by 1:30 am and I hadn't even heard from him until 3:30...he works in the coal mines. You never know what could happen. And yet knowing this, my nephew had no problem using his child to lie to us to take my husband's hard earned money! I just have no choice at this point but to walk away from him if these are the choices he is going to make. It's like walking away from my own child. it really hurts.
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    As a mother to a 'former' drug addict, they have to help themselves. You cannot help them get/stay clean, THEY have to want it. My DD has been clean 2 1/2 years now, but the events leading up to her sobriety were the most horrible experiences of my life. I had a really hard time, as I'm a "fixer" and I was gonna fix her problem.
    Doesn't work that way though. She started young, and her 1st stint in rehab was during her junior year of HS. I am so very proud of her and her progress, but I'd be lying if I said it's not something that worries me daily. She can fall off any day, any time. She chooses to stay clean. I can't help her with that. All I can do is support. And be there for her.
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    I agree with PPs, you need to stop helping the nephew. But you might be able to help the grandnephew. Do you know for a fact that the baby momma/girlfriend is clean? You could try to find out, and if she isn't then you could get guardianship if you wanted to do so. And if your family doesn't have the money, there is assistance for people taking care of a child in need. My family had to do something like this, and we got food stamps and healthcare for the baby, and we could have gotten cash assistance had we been willing to turn in the parent's info to the Child Support Agency here. I live in a state that puts deadbeat parents in jail, and that isn't what we wanted ( no one gets help for addiction in jail) so we chose not to report them. My nephew is now 18 and has a child of his own (moron) but he has a diploma, a job, and is a CLEAN and active parent. His mom, not so much, but you save who you can.
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    4:36 pm here. One other thing. Do not believe or agree to help if he has "quit" but has not gotten professional treatment. There are underlying reasons a person becomes addicted, and only professional help can work through that to get an end result of staying clean. I do not do drugs now. I do on occasion have a couple beers, but that's even rare. I was once an addict, I have been clean for 10 years, but still see a therapist to make sure that whatever stresses I go through, I do not turn back to that lifestyle. Professional help is the only way to stay clean. Anyone can detox, but addiction is a lifelong disease.
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    Thank you all...I really only ever meant to be there for emotional support, to cheer him on. I have a big heart, especially for little ones, which is why we agreed to give him the money. I really thought I had one on him by getting a money order in the "landlord's" name. I figured if he agreed, it was probably ok, if he put up a fuss, he was only after the money. Like I said, it was never about the money. Just about showing him that someone still cared and was there for him, and would even go out on a limb for him when everyone else abandoned him.
    I don't know for sure after meeting the mama and her family if she actually is clean. What a bunch!!! I know we would be so much better for this child than either of them ever could be...and not because we are better off. We just actually have a sense of direction, morals, medical (and the sense to use it!), and yes the financial ability to raise a child. I don't doubt for a moment that they love their son, I just don't believe a good parent puts their child in harms way. I am not a person who likes to judge others less fortunate than myself either..please don't think I am. I spoke to someone else today that basically said these are the kind of people who abuse the system...great...deadbeats and a drug addict! What kind of life will this kid have?
    Everyone's experience and advice is welcome and appreciated...I thought I was doing the right thing...clearly I wasn't. I want him to get clean and have told him to get help and avoid any kind of negativity, partying and of course people who use. I now know that unless he goes for professional help...there is nothing more I can do. Best wishes to all of you.
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    5:18...my nephew also started young. He was sent away as a juvenile for something...his adult rap sheet is unbelievable. He claims that it all stems from a car accident...I think its waaay more than that. So many lies! I'm happy to hear that your DD is doing well. I also have a niece (his cousin out of state) that has been through rehab...I worry about her constantly. Scares me that my DS-11 will be headed to HS soon.
  • Julintherough
    Posts: 3Member
    My brother died at 31 as the result of a drug overdose. He battled addiction from about 13 years old. There is honestly nothing that you can do to help, unless you can get to the bottom of his pain. You have to find out why he can't deal with real feelings. It has to be addressed. He has to want to stop or he never will, no matter what. He has to hit his rock bottom and live to recover from it.
  • crazymommy
    Posts: 776Member
    When I met DH he took prescription drugs. He hurt his back at work and that is how it started. I honestly didn't at the time realize there was a problem until 2 years ago when he was laid-off from his job and we lost our medical insurance. He started buying them from other people, paying sometimes 4 or 5 dollars a pill. It makes me sick to realize that the loss of the money is what made me open my eyes to his problem but it was. We fought for months about it until I told him he had two choices. Either continue doing what he was doing and lose his entire family because I would take the kids and leave, or he could take the money he was spending on the pills and go to a doctor for help. We had to pay a lot of money but found a doctor that was willing to take him slowly off the oxy and norco. They offered a prescription called suboxeon for it but we couldn't afford that so he had to suffer through the withdrawals without it. He's doing well and I'm very proud of him. I also keep track of our money like a hawk and question every purchase he makes which makes both of us sad that this caused such trust issues and we are working on that as well. My point I guess is that I had to be there for him every step of the way with patience. No way was it an overnight fix and you can't expect it to be. There are a lot of hard choices to be made, but the number 1 thing is that he has to want to get better.
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    Nephew says that it all starts from a car accident he was in when he was 18 and the drs gave him oxy...when the pills ran out he went through w/d and didn't know what it was or how to handle it. It may be true to an extent, but most of it is pure bs. He has been in trouble since hs. Partying and hanging out with the wrong crowd. Even has a juvenile record. His underlying problem? His dad also served time in jail (I think for drugs...surprise!) and didn't want him anyway...major father issues. My SIL was a single mom who had no clue. She let her kids run around all over town and usually had no idea what they were up to. So he had NO DIRECTION growing up...except when he was here, which as he got older was less and less due to rules. This last time he says the doctor gave him something they call "oranges" but from what I hear now he abused and/or sold them. Now I read in the paper that he is in jail for another DUI/drug charges...he can't make bail this time...but I'm glad, maybe this is what he needs for awhile. I hope no one helps him. I want more than anything for him to be helped...he actually used to be a very sweet boy, and I think he would be if not for the drugs. Its just so sad. I pray that I never have to go through that with my boys. It would kill me.
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    I should be able to rename this...how to deal with a lying drug addict!!! Nephew did in fact lie about the landlord...left us, went to the person on the money order and did his drugs. She OD'd and they were both charged. My money almost took someone's life. I just read it in the paper today and I am just devastated. Shaking and in tears. I know they would get it from someone else, but its not someone else...its me. I can't even visit him in prison, because I am not on his list. I want him to see me shaken and devastated while he is sober. I want him to see the hurt in his uncle's eyes. And I can't even do that. There is nothing I can do. I don't even think I can go to his trial. This sucks.
  • thezmommythezmommy
    Posts: 79Member
    That is awful! *Hugs* to you :(
    Wishing you and your family the best as you guys struggle with this.
  • Meg
    Posts: 346Member
    There are no words to encourage an addict to stay sober. It is a part of who they are, then best thing you can do, and perhaps other members of your family is to try Al-Anon out. Teaches you the skills needed to remove your emotion from their situation. You can't fix them and no amount of encouragement matters when they need a fix. I was married to an addict for 10 years and I feel like this is ten years wasted some day, but then I take a deep breathe and know that I learned a lot about myself during that ten years. I learned to be strong, I learned that no one else can take care of me but me, and I learned the signs of addiction that I can take with me into future relationships. Good Luck to you and lots of hugs with the latest developments. Also - DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT, EVER GIVE AN ADDICT MONEY! IF THEY NEED HELP WITH A BILL PAY IT DIRECTLY DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY FORM OF MONEY OR PAYMENT...because it will never make it to the bill.
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    I appreciate all of the advice and support here...I have printed all communications with him, just in case anything comes back on me as a protection...my name was on that money order. I certainly learned my lesson with the money...I actually thought I was doing good not to give cash but a MO in the landlords name...just turns out I didn't have the landlords name! Like I said while he is sober, I would give anything for him to see the hurt he caused. After that...well he crushed us. I don't do well with lies...even if the source is an addict who is expected to lie. So, I have closed myself off. I always like to give people a chance...and I just hoped that if he saw that someone believed in him just once in his life then he might be ok. If he realized that he really was loved and really was worth something. Maybe he could do this. But all the love in the world CANT help him...and I do know that... Even more, I feel sorry for his baby boy...he has no daddy and his mommy and her family are complete losers too. And there is nothing I can do about that... he has no chance at life. This whole thing just sucks.
  • crisslynn
    Posts: 1Member
    Being a recovering addict myself I would agree with hard love. They have to hit their rock bottom to actually be able to help their self. Weather he spent your money on his rent or not, your money still went to support his habit. If he hadn't spent his money on drugs then he would have the money to pay his rent. He has dug his own hole he has to climb out now. All you are doing by giving him money is enabling him. Always be there with kind words. But let him know that that is as far as it will ever go. And as for the child the mother needs to be aware that growing up around a parent that is addicted is a horrible life, if you don't believe me ask my children. My kids never once seen any drugs in my house or me doing them but lived in a house full of chaos, fighting, bills not getting paid, and anger filled the house. I have been clean for 4 years now but my children still suffer.
  • [Deleted User]
    Posts: 5,196
    @crisslynn, congrats, and hugs. We are going through making right our family that addiction has affected. Hopefully, our family therapy will start and we can grow stronger together.
  • Anonymous
    Posts: 29,074
    OP here...@crisslynn, 4 years...I am so happy for you! And @rap422 best wishes to your family! To all of you who have been touched by this...my heart goes out to you! I have not talked to my nephew since he was arrested. I honestly haven't even tried. I went through every emotion...sadness, hurt, anger, hatred. And I'm sure that he wouldn't have responded back anyway. I have seen that he was released and I think he may be in a rehab facility, but I don't know. I pray that he is and that he does get help. I'm sure he is embarrassed of what he did to us, but I don't know if he will do anything about it. I probably won't see the money and that's ok. I did it to try to help. I learned a lesson. And if he truly did go to rehab and does pull through this, then I don't want that weighing on him anyway. I pray that my own kids never get mixed up in this...
  • head_nuthead_nut
    Posts: 46Member
    there is no such thing as a "former" drug addict or "former" alcoholic. once one always one. my husband is both a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. it is never cured. the urges will always be there. all you can do is support him and be a sounding board. try to to be judgemental when/if he relapses. relapse is a part of recovery. try to talk him into going to as many meetings as he can. the more the better. AA, NA, Celebrate Recover....and many more are available for people with all types of addictions. It would probably benefit the family as well to go to somewhere like alanon for family members of recovering adicts. they can give you the tools to deal with his recovery and be a great place to vent and get advice.
  • irhoon
    Posts: 1Member
    Hello everyone,
    my heart goes out to all the individuals going through this experience, it's been an emotional roller coaster but I have learned how to cope with it. I am now seeking help on how/what to do with my son.

    I found out my son was using meth, cocaine, and is still smoking marijuana. he has been sober from meth, cocaine for a month as my husband and I sent him to another city to live with his cousin that is a complete role model to him. he refused to go to rehab, seems like hes always stressed, depressed and is angry towards us because we took everything (car, phone,) away (we gave him many chances) he feels as if he didn't do anything wrong and doesn't understand why we are being tough on him. we told him it's because we love him and want him to better his life without the nasty drugs. he isn't willing to disconnect from his old friends, still craves marijuana as an outlet for his depression, stress. we are now deciding whether he should stay with his cousin and continue working for him or let him live on his own but still work for his cousin? will he be mentally stable to do so? I am so lost in what to do just because I'm am worried that he will go mentally crazy... but athe same time I want him to live on his own!!!

    thank you for your time, any input is gladly appreciated
  • [Deleted User]
    Posts: 5,196
    @irhoon, My heart goes out to you. You can read my story here or under DH pain. You are doing the best that you can. give him nothing unless he gets clean. I strongly believe in rehab. However, I was once an addict. I quit on my own, and its been 10 years, this month. I quit just before I got pregnant, and probably would have went back to it if not for my son. He saved my life. I owe him the best one he can have now, and will do anything in my power to give it to him! :)
  • ImWendyImWendy
    Posts: 6,529Member
    @irhoon I was an addict too, to cocaine. It happened between having my 2nd child and getting pregnant with my 3rd. I couldn't have quit on my own if I hadn't gotten pregnant.

    I think it's best to have him keep living at his cousins. It takes a lot longer than a month to get past that addiction.
    deus ex machina