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Confronting Drug Problems

Hi!  Recently my sister and I have noticed one of our younger cousins (just turned 21 though so not too young) seems to be abusing drugs (most likely xanax/oxy's/heroin) and noticed her "nodding off" and really losing weight.  We have other family members who have these problems and can tell something is up with her but we don't know how/if to confront her about it.  We all live within 30 minutes and spend a lot of time together and have a large, close family.  

My sister's ex-fiance was addicted to heroin which caused them to break up and he overdosed and died recently... so this hits REALLY close to home for her (and helped her notice and realize some of the symptoms).

 We don't know if we should say anything and risk her getting mad and shutting us out, or maybe talking to her mom, or what?  Also, is she an even addict if she is just occasionally using, or just at fun events like concerts?  (Her boyfriend deals marijuana that I know of and she has mentioned to me before about taking Xanax, but other than that she is a huge pothead which doesn't concern me as much as the harder drugs) Any help is appreciated, I just really don't know how to go about it in the right way!

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Re: Confronting Drug Problems

  • When you are dealing with drug abuse and addictions, the only person that can talk sense into the addict is the addict himself.

    No sense in talking to her mom, her this or her that, or anybody else she is close to -- Cuz needs to hit rock bottom and realize she's got a problem --- and only then will she seek help. (anybody at AA will tell you the same thing)

    I vote you cut her off.

    Tell her that you love her but not her drugging and until she cleans up her act, that's the end of your relationship and hers -- if she gets help from AA or NA and rehab (a doc would have to make the call about rehab for her) and she can prove she is clean and sober for a good clip of time, then the door's open and you'll be happy to welcome her back into your life: NO TIME SOONER.

    AlAnon for you. YOu are the sister of a drug user -- and as for you: avoid all addictive situations. Addictions and addictive personalities run in families.

    It doesn't matter if this is "recreational use": drug use is drug use and abuse is abuse. (and stay away from her BF; he's bad news)

    Wishing you luck; sorry for your troubles.
  • I know what you're going through. My brother is a recovering drug addict. This takes an emotional toll on the entire family but as PP stated, there is nothing you can do for her if she doesn't accept she has a problem and request help. An intervention might help. It consists of a sit down with the entire family to explain your concern and suspicions. please note an intervention is not to attack the "abuser" and the opening sentence should always start with "we're here because we love you...." Please understand that by not confronting the problem; you're in some way or another becoming the enabler. When an abuser has enablers, they will take much longer to hit rock bottom. For example, I was my brother's enabler; he was living with me and my family and by me not addressing the issue, he was comfortably using and sleeping in my house all day, i was blaming all his surroundings instead of accepting he was at fault. I had him come live with me to remove him from the bad "environment" he was in when living at my parents house. About two years ago; he went missing for about three days, in this time, i searched day and night for rehab centers and found a few close to home but unfortunately i could not afford. I came across Teen Challenge, I installed an alarm system in my home that he didn't have the code to so when he decided to back home I instantly knew and told him he was more than welcome in my house but after he was clean. I gave him the option of the street or rehab. he accepted the help and my entire family came over to wish him luck and let him know we were proud of his decision.

    sorry for making this super long but this one hit real close to home. good luck.

  • Thanks for the advice!  That was why we just really didn't know how to approach it because most likely at this point she will deny it and just push us away!  
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  • You're welcome. :) An addict goes through phases. I think it depends on the drug but my brother used Crystal Meth. The "worry" stage for them is when they start denying they're using letalone they have a problem. This is self-destruction stage; most come out of it and right afterwards, they hit the lowest most vulnerable state (rock bottom) which is typically the easiest time to knock some sense into them.
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