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Consequences of Trying to Help My Nephew
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This forum is for people who are trying to help family members or friends with their addiction problems. It is a way to share experiences and to exchange information related to your experiences with helping an addict in their recovery efforts. It is also a place for people with addiction (alcohol, drugs etc.) issues to ask for advice and help.

Founded by Tab57 on July 17, 2010
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Consequences of Trying to Help My Nephew

I have a 21 year old nephew who has had issues with both drugs and alcohol. He has had his ups and downs and most all of his downs have been linked to either drugs or alcohol.

I am the father figure in his life as his Dad passes away six years ago. The problem is that he can't seem to get his life in order. He does well for a while then takes several steps backwards. After his Dad died my nephew went to live with his Aunt in Calfornia. He was using drugs the entire two years that he was out there as a juvenile. He got in some trouble but nothing very serious. He was kicked out of high school late in his Senior year and he came back to live with his step mother. He was evetually kicked out of her house for stealing and other problems. He was on both alcohol and drugs during this time.

I had a series of long talks with my nephew a couple of years back and he decided he was going to get clean and do something with his life. He did for a while as he got his GED and jined the Navy. Prior to joining the Navy he lived with me for amonth a was never a minute's trouble. Things were going well at thyat point in my nephew's life.

My nephew was in the Navy a little over a year before he turned 12. His troubles began again after he turned 21. He had two serious episodes in the span of three months. He was released from the Navy as a result of this. The second time he got into a physical altercation at a bar. He resisted arrest and bit a police offficer. He was convicted of assulting an officer which is a third degree felony.

He was in jail for a month before we even knew it. He has a public defender and who did nothing for my nephew. I debated long and hard about getting him another attorney as I did not want to enable him. SInce this was a felony and the lawyer was optomistic about his chans of getting the charges reduced I hired him. It was a fine line but since this was a felony charge I felt the need to hire a private attorney. I waso went to his trail in Florida in June to testify on my nephew's behalf.

My nephew will be released early next month. I will have to drive to Florida to pick him up. He says he is ready to change but blames everyone else for his problems. He still has the attitude that the world owes him something. I see no hope for any long lasting changes at this point. He has no money and has alienated nearly everyone in his life with his actions. He has been enabled for far too long.

He needs to know what he has done but I don't know how to approach him. There is not much we can do with him unless he reallly wants help. As a family member I am so disappointed in him. I am really disgusted with how carelessly he has thrown away his future as the felony conviction will never be removed from my nephew's record. This greatly limits his employment opportunities. The wasted opportunity with the Navy really was a big dissapointment to me.

I pray that my nephew wakes up and realizes that he has a problem and that he needs professional help. I refuse to enable his behavior any more. The same goes for other family members. He has used us all too long. I plan on spendig a wekk with my nephew here as I am takinga week off wok to do so. I am not sure how I am going to approach things but I need to send him a message in a loving but very firm way.

He has a lot of potential but that potential has been very limited now. I ask for feedback from others on this as far as what to do. I also would encourage you to share your story from the perspectivbe of a family member or clsoe friend of an addict.

I would really appreciate some comments and suggestions.
5 Comments
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495284_tn?1333897642
I understand your frustration with your nephew.  All i can say is make sure you let your nephew know that it is his behavior you are disappointed in.  He is extremely disappointed in himself only he doesnt know how to deal with it.  He has alot on his plate with many past demons he needs to face.  I hope and pray that he will clean up and get the help that he so desperately needs.  Dont give up on him but dont enable him.  As one wise lady on the forum says, Support his recovery, not his addiction........sara
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1167108_tn?1328442913
Sra,

Thanks for you response.  I do indeed plan on being very specific with my nephew about how disappointed I am in his behavior. I am not yet ready to give up on him but the enabling has stop on all fronts as he moves from person to person to get bailed out all of the time.

I only helped him this time because it was a felony charge and he was looking state pen time on top of that. Also his public defender was not doing any thing for my nephew.

I really struggled with this and finally had to hire a private lawyer who was very expensive. If the charge had not been a felony I would not have hired a private lawyer for my nephew.

I fully intend on supporting my nephew's recovery efforts but first he has to support his own recovery effort. He presently is in denial and blames his problems on someone other than himself. I will pick him up[ from jai; in earlyu Augusty and he will spend a week with me before being sent home.

I appreciate your prayers and any other ideas that you may have as presently I am not at all optomistic about my nephew's future.

God Bless You,
Tom
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495284_tn?1333897642
You are doing what you need to do right now for your nephew and that isnt really enabling him to continue in his addiction.  I was a child of alcoholic parents so i understand more now that i have cleaned up from my addiction.  With addiction we talk of hitting our bottom but always know there are trap doors.  It would be nice to see your nephew placed in an in house treatment facility as i feel he has many demons he is fighting.  The road to recovery is a slow process, painful and scary but not near as painful as continuing in our active addiction.  I hope and pray with everything i have that your nephew will decide on his own that this behavior has to stop.  Someday he will know just what a great uncle you are....Keep doing what you are doing Tom.  You just never know when the time will be when he says enough is enough.........sara
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495284_tn?1333897642
Thank you also for allowing me to post here.  I have been an addict all my life and now i am a very grateful recovering addict.  If you have any questions feel free to ask or pm me.     sara
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1167108_tn?1328442913
Thank you so much for posting Sara. Please post more as you have great insight into relavant topics for people who visit this site.

I will PM you later when I have time as it sounds like we have a lot of common experiences.

God Bless You,
Tom
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