Please Help! My family and I are despite for information and insight. My 49 year old sister has had an addiction problem of some type for the last 34 years. Her substances of choice have spanned pot, alcohol, cocaine, meth, and a wide range of pain killers. For the last 15 years it has been pain killers. She is the mother of 2 children under the age of 10. She has been in an out of rehab, long term, short term and out patient. Her husband has had her committed but the hospital would not keep her. He is lost at how to help, so now he just looks the other way. She won
Welcome to the site I am so sorry for the sitation though.. Unfortunatly it takes some people a few times.. I know for myself.. when i was a heroin addict when i was younger I too was in and out of rehab, detox, half way houses for years.. it takes what it takes.. It took me along time.. you can only hope at some point a seed is planted for her to want to get better.. i know for me it was waking up in my car in the midddle of the Badlands in North Philly in the middle of a hurricane... I think it was the tail end of Andrew.. was 1999.. I was living in my car.. I was tired, scared, alone.. I picked that moment as my moment of clarity.. your sister needs to have that moment where it hurts so much you have no other choice.. I stayed clean for 6 years until I had mouth and jaw surgery.. I wish you the best in your journey with your sister..
I know how concerned you are for your sister, and I would be if it was mine. I hate to say this but, concentrate on getting the kids to a safe place. Your sister has to want to get help before she will get any better. You can encourage her and support her. Talk to her. Give her plenty of love but tell her you know she needs to be the one to make the decision to get help.
I wish the very best for you and your sister
Thank you for your sharing your experiences. I have struggled for what feels like a life time trying to ease her pain and help her find a way to live life and enjoy it without having to rely on drugs. I love my sister and her family and I feel that I am letting them all down by doing nothing! I know that her children are in danger. If she gets behind the wheel, leaves a cigarette burning, etc
Hello, and welcome. This is just a thought but what about some type of intervention. Where everyone gets together and tells you if she chooses to get help you will all be there right along with her. And if she chooses the drugs she's on her own. I think sometimes it might take something harsh like that to get through to people. It's just a thought, but certainly the children need to be taken care of ASAP. They always seem to be the ones that get hurt the most. I wish the best of luck to you and your family.
As far as my rehab experience.. the first time I went cause I was backed into corner with my family..I was 17 and had just begun shooting heroin from snorting it.. I was unreachable.. i got high hours after being released after 14 days.. however i do believe a seed was planted. The other 4 times I went willing by choice. However the last time I was offered a deal to go if I testified against friends of mine that were dealers instead of being indicted myself. That scared me sober for awhile.. and I faked it til I made it really.. things started to click life got better.. I started making better choices in life.
You are doing all you can for her... she is gonna have want it.. or get scared straight long enough for something to click.. she is lucky to have you as a sister.. during my addiction to heroin my family wrote me off after rehab #3 they got life insurance policy on me and waited for me to die.. we have a wonderful relationship now.. and when I was ready they were there for me.. in the middle of it i was hurting them so much they had to detach and take care of themselves.. looking back I understand.
Unfortunately, this disease strikes everyone around the addict as well as the addict herself. An intervention or putting her in rehab is a waste of time. She knows the way and doesn't choose it. you cannot force someone to surrender to their disease. The lady you love isn't even in there right now. there is a monster running the show and no one needs the revolving rehab door. If she is willing to get to an NA meeting that is where she needs to be before she becomes another statistic. The only way any true addict has ever stayed clean is through constant recovery with meetings. The disease cannot be cured by anything, let alone rehab. It must be placed under arrest through recovery. In case it helps, I have seen women worse off than she recover with many years clean right now leading a happy, fulfilling life. As it was said in the post above, get the seed of NA planted any way you can, and then only she can do the rest. You are in my prayers.
I understand what you are going through and it's hell!!!! My 28 year old sister is a recovering addict. Her drug of choice included pain killers, heroine, & zanax, but she was doing anything & everything at one point. Towards the end she was shooting up anything she could get her hands on. She was shoplifting & stealing from everyone to support her habit & was arrested a few times. She stole thousands of dollars from my family, our jewlery, and even my son's video games. She had been in & out of detox & rehab for years & nothing worked. She ended up contracting Hepatitis C from sharing needles & went through the year long gruling treatment high as a kite as if she had learned nothing.
I was beyond angry, not only at her, but at my parents for enabling her behaviors for years. It tour our family apart & from what I hear you saying it sounds very similar.
As far as her husband is concerned, if he loves his children he needs to leave her immediately & take the children with her. While your sister is using drugs she should be no where near her children. If her husband is not protecting the children then you should call child protective services in your town immediately. NO CHILDREN SHOULD SUFFER OR BE AROUND DRUGS EVER!!!!!!!! The children did not choose this life. Child protective services will work with you to make sure they are put in the best care. They will always try & place w/ family member first, perhaps you or the grandparents??? They will mandate her to receive treatment & will help the family get into therapy. If she refuses then they will give her husband the choice of keeping the children away from her & not allowing her to live in the home or loosing the children. If the court decides the children can see her it will be supervised in the court house. Your sister will have to submit to drug & alcohol testing to see her children & keep any kind of custody of them.
I realize that you may not want to call on your sister or you are afraid she may loose her children, but the reality is that someone needs to protect those children & that someone may need to be you. That may be the scare your sister needs to get clean. She obviously hasn't hit her rock bottom yet, maybe that will help her get there, maybe it won't. You won't know until you try. That phone call can be the one that saves her. You can call anonymously & don't have to give them any indication that you are family.
The place that ended up saving my sister's life is called Good News Home for Women in Flemington, NJ. My parents refinanced their home to send her to an expensive facility in upstate NY, she was in & out of crap places on state insurance, she was in other places that were okay, but this place saved her!!!!!
She had been on a waiting list for a long time. It's a strict, Christian facility that does not turn you away based on inability to pay. My parents had no more money, my sister had state insurance and exhausted all of her options. She was in her 10th detox & about to get sent to another half way house, this time in Lancaster, PA when she got the call from Good News Home that they had a bed available. My sister knew at that time that if she didn't go she would die.
There are only 10 beds & it's a long-term treatment facility that takes in the women anywhere from 9-18 months. They are extremely strict!!!! You have to go in completely clean off drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, & medications (unless for a medical condition). No R movies and the only readings have to be clean & good. They keep them busy 24/7. They go to meetings all over NJ. They cook, clean, go to groups, etc. They actually stay in an old restored barn. If you smoke you get thrown out, if you use the phone when your not supposed to you they throw you out! But if you are ready to get clean & change your life they will help you do that.
Your sister has to have no other options then getting clean or death. You can't all continue to enable her by giving her a roof over her head, food in her stomach, money to steal for her habit. She needs to be done & the only way that might happen is to let her go.
Here is the website for Good News Home:
Check it out. I wish you the best of luck! I'll be praying for you. I know how difficult it is, but there is always hope.
My sister just graduated the program & will be celebrating 9 mths clean this month. She is moving into her own apartment w/ assistance from the state for a year. She has medical, dental ins. food stamps, assistance to pay all of her bills, even car insurance while she attends a work force program while she is applying for nursing school for the fall. She has been given a second chance & the only person who can screw that up is her.
Good News Home gave my family an amazing education on addiction. Each week the family goes to a meeting w/out the addict. If you don't go you can't visit them. It helps you to learn about the addict & enabling & how to not ever get back to that place again.
I still struggle w/ my sister's choices, especially coming from such a good home w/ no addiction in it, but we are on the journey to healing.
My parents no longer enable her & will never do it again. I believe that is part of why she will recover b/c she is on her own good or bad.
I know it's hard but tough love is one of the keys to your sister getting clean.
I'm sorry to say I'm a snorter too and use to be a drinker. I for some reason stopped drinking 2 or 3 years ago (don't remember when because I never intendend to stop) so I know how it must look for you to see her in such bad shape. I'm just fighting one problem now and am coherent and no one would think I was on anything.
There is always hope. I wonder what is bothering her so much deep down that she is at where she is??
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