HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » OK, DUers- I need advice,...

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:13 AM

OK, DUers- I need advice, and this is not a political post

If this belongs in the Lounge, please let me know- and I will post there.

My sister in law and her husband have had terrible problems with addictions for years. They are in their 40's--- right now, they are in a treatment program.

Their folks- my inlaws- have always tried to "help" them, but it feels like they have always set them up for failure: "If you jump through THIS hoop, then we will do this..." type of help.

We are in a position (thank goddess) to help- but, we are looking at permanent solutions to help them get on their feet and get healthy.

Neither of us have ever had a drug addiction (and this IS drugs- not alcohol) and don't know where to begin. I am somewhat scared to move them in with us as they are constantly having "accidents." They are always in trouble with the law for driving without a license, etc. Their trailer burned down, and the only explanation we got had something to do with a space heater.

I need something other than "rock bottom." Homelessness is not "rock bottom" for them. I literally cannot face them dying while we have the means to help.

Any advice? I have heard of "Al anon" for family members. Is that a good start?

Maybe it's me, but I just feel like if they had a stable home, and learned to do things like get their oil changed in their car, learned that paying their phone on time would mean it wouldn't be cut off....Maybe they could get it together?

I really do not know where to turn at this point-

68 replies, 2162 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 68 replies Author Time Post
Reply OK, DUers- I need advice, and this is not a political post (Original post)
essme Jan 2021 OP
roody Jan 2021 #1
tblue37 Jan 2021 #28
redstatebluegirl Jan 2021 #2
essme Jan 2021 #3
lunasun Jan 2021 #13
redstatebluegirl Jan 2021 #17
Horse with no Name Jan 2021 #39
janterry Jan 2021 #4
essme Jan 2021 #7
janterry Jan 2021 #14
essme Jan 2021 #21
Rhiannon12866 Jan 2021 #67
KarenS Jan 2021 #5
essme Jan 2021 #11
ARPad95 Jan 2021 #6
essme Jan 2021 #8
ARPad95 Jan 2021 #22
essme Jan 2021 #30
ARPad95 Jan 2021 #58
forthemiddle Jan 2021 #61
handmade34 Jan 2021 #26
OhNo-Really Jan 2021 #9
essme Jan 2021 #15
OhNo-Really Jan 2021 #54
Joinfortmill Jan 2021 #10
Joinfortmill Jan 2021 #12
SheltieLover Jan 2021 #16
Squinch Jan 2021 #35
SheltieLover Jan 2021 #40
4Q2u2 Jan 2021 #18
mopinko Jan 2021 #19
SheltieLover Jan 2021 #42
mopinko Jan 2021 #44
SheltieLover Jan 2021 #47
mopinko Jan 2021 #49
SheltieLover Jan 2021 #51
mopinko Jan 2021 #52
SheltieLover Jan 2021 #63
moonscape Jan 2021 #62
bif Jan 2021 #20
SheltieLover Jan 2021 #48
Jirel Jan 2021 #23
tulipsandroses Jan 2021 #24
judesedit Jan 2021 #25
essme Jan 2021 #27
dclarston13 Jan 2021 #29
BComplex Jan 2021 #31
essme Jan 2021 #34
ismnotwasm Jan 2021 #32
58Sunliner Jan 2021 #33
Squinch Jan 2021 #36
Wounded Bear Jan 2021 #37
gibraltar72 Jan 2021 #38
lostnfound Jan 2021 #41
SheltieLover Jan 2021 #43
Turin_C3PO Jan 2021 #46
Turin_C3PO Jan 2021 #45
Phoenix61 Jan 2021 #50
VOX Jan 2021 #53
Stinky The Clown Jan 2021 #55
Amaryllis Jan 2021 #56
RobinA Jan 2021 #57
Cbus Girl Jan 2021 #59
TheBlackAdder Jan 2021 #60
essme Jan 2021 #64
Rhiannon12866 Jan 2021 #65
ecstatic Jan 2021 #66
EndlessWire Jan 2021 #68

Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:18 AM

1. Al-anon, yes!

Super strict rules, yes.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to roody (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:01 AM

28. There is also a Narcotics Anonymous for drug addiction.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:18 AM

2. Al anon has been a life saver for my sister.

My nephew is totally messed up and they were enabling him for a long time. Al anon helped her so much. Do not let them move in! That was almost catastrophic for my sis an BIL, he stole from them for over five months until she kicked him out.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redstatebluegirl (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:22 AM

3. That's what we are so afraid of

Sober, they wouldn't harm a fly- but, I could see them "accidentally letting the cat out," or leaving the stove on when we aren't home.

We would make sure, darned sure, that there is nothing to steal--- but, that said, I worry about the safety of my pets (again, letting them out, leaving the gate open), or burning down the house.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:31 AM

13. Start with al anon for you they need to finish treatment. I personally would not let them move in

Don’t get yourselves burned like that trailer . You love them but..

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:35 AM

17. My nephew was a sweet sweet young man before

he got hooked on pain killers. I do not even take his calls anymore. He has to get clean and apologize to all of the people he has hurt before I will deal with him again. My sis has mortgaged her house twice to put him in rehab and he walked away both times, right back to his deadbeat friends and drugs. It is hopeless right now.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:30 AM

39. "Make sure that there isn't anything to steal"

From personal experience, I will tell you. There is ALWAYS something to steal.
I was trying to help someone close, I allowed them to borrow my Jeep.
They took my Jeep to a used tire place and stole my tires.
They put some skin thread tires in their place and I didn’t notice it right away because I wasn’t driving it much.
But there is always something they can steal.
Good luck to you. My hard advice is that you try everything but moving in.
Once that is their residence, if they don’t want to leave, you will have to go through the eviction process.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:22 AM

4. What do they want in terms of help

You can tell them that you'd like to connect with the counselor at the treatment program and have a discussion (it could be three way, with them there in the room - speaker phone.

What kinds of drugs? Would they do well with a clinic (methadone? This works - but MOST treatment programs don't support that - which is a shame, especially if someone has had many attempts to get clean and just sort of can't manage it - for whatever reason).

Do they steal (practical question. If they are in your home and when they are desperate - they steal. Well, that would be really hard).

Finally, are there good halfway houses that the treatment program could recommend? LONG term treatment with support works.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to janterry (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:26 AM

7. They are in a methadone clinic

But, are "couch surfing" right now.

So, no stable home, or getting help with learning how to pay their bills on time- or...showing up for court dates (they forget).

Thank you for your words- Talking with the counselor is a good starting point, and I did not think of that. I am going to look for an Al Anon meeting too-

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:33 AM

14. also, a bit of a piggyback on what others are suggesting

the hardest thing for couples - is that when one relapses, they both do. It's incredibly hard for both to get clean/sober together (ime).

Just to toss that out there. They already know this themselves. But they need a safety plan if one relapses.

Couch surfing is a terrible way to get clean (I imagine their friends aren't the most stable).

Did they refuse a halfway house? They really need a GOOD one (hard to find, depending on the state you live in). But they exist.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to janterry (Reply #14)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:40 AM

21. I don't know

But, from what I am learning on this thread, I am going to find out.

And you are right- one relapsed- then the other.

I effing hate drugs- and I despise that we live in a country that makes people want to get stoned or doped up because they can't afford a decent place to live affordably, food, and healthcare.

As goddess as my witness, I am so ready to start a commune in the countryside of France, or something (That's just off the wall wishful thinking).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 5, 2021, 12:47 AM

67. Good advice! I also replied downthread and included the Alanon website link in my post:

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:23 AM

5. I think Al-anon and some family therapy for you & your Husband

is a good start to really talk about it all,,,,,

I know your hearts are in the right place.

There are some folks without a bottom in my Family and it is tough.

Another part of me says "Run away like the wind"

It is all very complicated and once you are emotionally involved it is excruciating.

Sending ((hugs))

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to KarenS (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:31 AM

11. Thank you

I am going to look for an al-anon chapter in our town today, and see if we can find a therapist.

This is heartbreaking- They ARE very good people- would give the shirts off their backs if asked, and yet- consistently make horrid decisions that land them in jail, or get their trailer burned down--- it's an endless cycle.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:24 AM

6. Do NOT allow them to move in with you. You are not qualified to take on this very complex mental

Last edited Mon Jan 4, 2021, 06:23 PM - Edit history (1)

health issue for one person let alone two who are that enmeshed. They need to be kept separated during their post-rehab life, too. Two unhealthy people NEVER add up to even one healthy person. You will get sucked into their dysfunction the moment they move-in.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ARPad95 (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:28 AM

8. Thank you- and you are correct, we are not qualified

at all. I am a librarian in a middle school, my husband has an office job with the state.

I appreciate you writing; I needed to see that in black and white

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:42 AM

22. You're welcome! The alarm bell went off when you made this excuse for them...

Their folks- my inlaws- have always tried to "help" them, but it feels like they have always set them up for failure: "If you jump through THIS hoop, then we will do this..." type of help.


Just letting you know I saw the martyr syndrome (which all of us with a heart can be afflicted with) come through in that statement. As much as we want or feel we need to be the rescuer in these family dramas, the odds are that you'll end up needing to be saved from the stress and turmoil. It will not be worth it for you to compromise your own health and sanity.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ARPad95 (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:05 AM

30. Thank you!

That is what prompted my post- I am on break from work right now (I am a librarian, and the kiddos don't come back for a few days)...and I was walking around my house....just lost. It's heartbreaking.

You are correct about being a martyr.

I will say that I am going to start with looking for an al-anon chapter, and a therapist for us to find healthy ways to assist.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Reply #30)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 02:31 PM

58. I think learning about the Karpman Drama Triangle may be very beneficial for you & your husband.

https://www.bpdfamily.com/content/karpman-drama-triangle

Excerpts...

Avoiding a Life of Karpman Drama Triangles

According to psychologist Margalis Fjelstad, PhD, in order to stay out of drama triangles, we need to stop taking on the roles of victim, rescuer or persecutor.

Sounds easy enough? It may not be. If we are pre-dispositioned to get into drama triangles from our upbringing, we will most likely have some well-ingrained thinking patterns that will need to be replaced with healthier ones.

Refuse to be Superior or Inferior All of these roles requires one person to be superior, right, good, and better than the other person, while the other person has to be inferior, wrong, bad and worse. This one-up/one-down game has to be stopped in order for you to stop having a drama filled relationship.

Fjelstad says you have to be willing to stop playing the superior/inferior game to stay out of drama triangles.

Almost all conflict interactions with a person with Borderline Personality Disorder traits (BPD) or Narcissistic Personality Disorder traits (NPD) are based on who is better than/worse than, right/wrong, deserving of blame/deserving of defense, who gets more/gets less, who does more/does less, etc.

To break the dynamic of superior/inferior requires us to learn to accept differences and similarities between ourselves and others as neither good nor bad.

What does it look like to live without succumbing to superior and inferior feelings about ourselves and others? It means we will see ourselves and other people as unique individuals with our own different strengths and abilities, weaknesses and lack of skills without seeing anyone as better or worse than another, completely without the judgment of right or wrong.


Stop Fixing the other person. Don't be a Rescuer. If we've been a caretaker to a person with personality or impulse disorder for a long time, it might be a hard habit to break. We have felt obligated to do it. We have felt guilty for not doing it. We may have needed to do it with a parent to make our childhood bearable. We may have enjoyed the superior status of being the helper, the good person, etc. It may be very hard to relinquish the false hope that the other person will someday step permanently into the role of a responsible and giving adult, partner, or parent. We have to face our own outdated fantasies, feelings and beliefs and let them go before we can stop fixing, rescuing and caretaking the other person.

We have been the caretaker as a way to keep the peace, keep the delusion, keep the fantasy, keep the family together, keep the other person calm. But perhaps it's time to face the fact that none of our caretaking methods have worked for more than a few minutes or a few days.

Giving up rescuing the other person is an action, not a discussion. It isn’t something to announce to the other person. It isn’t something to negotiate with the other person. It isn’t something to threaten the other person with. It is all action. We stop participating in the merry-go-round interactions, we stop arguing, we stop worrying about what the other person will do next, we stop expecting the other person to fulfill our needs. This does not mean that we have to stop caring about or loving the other person. We change from being a rescuer in the interaction by making choices and taking actions that work better for us and might even work better for the other person.


Start Using the Caring Triangle / Winning Triangle

In 1990, Acey Choy M.Ed., PTSTA, introduced the Winning Triangle in the Transactional Analysis Journal as the antithesis of the Karpman Triangle. Her work has been heralded by Dr. Karpman as "excellent". Choy contrasts the unhealthy dynamics of each role of the Karpman triangle with healthy dynamics. Fjelstad, in her book, Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist, offers a similar model.


Be caring, but don't overstep. We do not want to let our fears, obligation and guilt to control us or allow us to be manipulated into taking care of another person when it really isn't healthy to do so. Instead of being the rescuer and doing the thinking, taking the lead, doing more than our share, doing more than is asked of us - simply be a supportive, empathetic listener and provide reflection, coaching, and assistance if the person asks and is taking the lead themselves. It is important to recognize the other person as an equal (not one-down) and give the other person the respect of letting them take care of themselves, solve their own problems, and deal with their feelings as they choose. Remember, the rescuer has the most pivotal position on the drama triangle - you are in the strongest position, at least initially, to redirect the dynamic into healthy territory.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ARPad95 (Reply #58)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 03:03 PM

61. This is excellent!

I identify with this.
It isn’t tough love, but it’s not enabling that saved my sanity.
I have a sister with a dual addiction. Alcohol and Gambling. For years she has lied, and stole to feed her addiction. The problem for me (as her sister), is that her husband and grown children enable her. I finally decided that it’s not my problem!
I can now love her, and encourage her rehabilitation without hating her when she inevitably falls.
I have told her, under no circumstances, would I borrow her money, lie for her, or even believe her excuses.
My biggest fear is that eventually I will find myself in your situation. What will I do when her husband leaves her? Would I leave her high and dry? I honestly don’t know, but I fear that it will happen some day.
Hang in there, and know your not alone!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:52 AM

26. I second the warning...

best not to let them move in with you... I have experience. You can best help by working with organizations that can help them find housing... I agree, good stable housing helps and do what you can through another party... no easy solution and remember, as I always have to remind myself... I am not ultimately responsible for another and I need to make sure I am safe (physically, emotionally, financially, etc. ) before I can do anything to help another...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:30 AM

9. Our beloved addict transitioned to a group home that was staffed

And tested daily after a couple of months of intense rehab.

Daily Drug Anon, private counseling, earned privileges and back to rehab if test failed.

Ours has been clean for a year ✨✨🙏✨✨

Not inexpensive but worth every penny

Some rehabs are anti 12 Step. Avoid those.

My sincere sympathies. Addiction is a horrible life-long disease. The12 Steps is best bet imo

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to OhNo-Really (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:33 AM

15. Thank you

I am reading every word on this post- and appreciate everyone that is responding.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Reply #15)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 12:32 PM

54. You're welcome. I know well the stomach stress of loving an addict.

And love helps a lot. I call mine often & text daily. I introduced mine to Autobiography of a Yogi & it helped mine take a wider view of life. This wider view helped to understand taking responsibility. But I swear by the 12 step program in a half-way home setting.

Finding the right rehab is key. There’s a lot of rich ppl buying houses in my area & understaffing to make $$ so get recommendations carefully 💕

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:31 AM

10. Oh my, I'm so sorry.

From all I have ever heard Al-Anon or Nar-anon can be very helpful. Speaking as someone who has lived a long life, I would not bring them into your home, as hard as that might be. Assisting them to find resources, yes absolutely. Encouraging and supporting them, yes absolutely. Sadly, until they are off the drugs, they are capable of anything. Your first responsibility is to keep yourself and your family safe. I've said a prayer for your family. It can't hurt. ❤

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:31 AM

12. Oh my, I'm so sorry.

From all I have ever heard Al-Anon or Nar-anon can be very helpful. Speaking as someone who has lived a long life, I would not bring them into your home, as hard as that might be. Assisting them to find resources, yes absolutely. Encouraging and supporting them, yes absolutely. Sadly, until they are off the drugs, they are capable of anything. Your first responsibility is to keep yourself and your family safe. I've said a prayer for your family. It can't hurt. ❤

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:34 AM

16. Do NOT allow them to move in with you!

Addiction is a monster & people struggling frequently steal, cause legal problems, etc. For those closest to them.

Tell counselor to find them a half-way house.

I cannot even begin to tell you the problems addicts living with relatives have caused for well-intentioned family members trying to help.

Do not rish your marriage, financial security &/or sanity.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SheltieLover (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:25 AM

35. I strongly second this. Much as you want to help them. this will just make your life unlivable.

Please, please, listen to SheltieLover!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Squinch (Reply #35)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:32 AM

40. The chaos & legal ramifications are endless!

I worked in a methadone clinic for several years.

This is NOTHING to play with.

Do not take on their problems!

I've known well-intentioned family members who have taken in addict relatives and:

Had their cars stolen, wrecked AND impounded as evidence at the hands of the addicts.

Had money stolen, family heirlooms stolen & sold or pawned, etc., etc., etc.

Addiction is crazy making & legal liability on super steroids!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:36 AM

18. Be careful and keep your distance

You cannot help them.
Themselves with the help of trained professionals maybe, is how it is done.
Do not move them into your house. A drowning person will drag you down without any regard for you.
Support is what you do.
This comes in the form of positive reinforcement of good choices.
Assist morale in times of hard choices.
Life has to dramatically shift for this person to develop strategies of sobriety.
As pointed out. She will probably have to leave her Husband. Two addicts together is mutual disaster waiting to happen.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:39 AM

19. all i can say is- i feel ya. dealing w my son.

addiction isnt his problem, but all he wants to do is smoke weed all day to ward off the trauma of a childhood sexual assault.
the ex had been paying his rent, but he wouldnt work. so he cut him off. he does a little door dash.
he got into some legal trouble that he cant face, so that's the best he can do job-wise atm.

i'm gonna slip the guy he is living w some money, and swear him to secrecy about it.

is there any way they would give you power of attorney? you could make sure their bills are payed, and make other decisions that they cant make for themselves.

i understand why my kid doesnt want to see a shrink, or take meds, sorta. but i told him that until he finds a peer support group, he gets nothing.

whatever you do, tho, dont let them land on your couch. i dont know about the law where you live, but if you do that in illinois, you will have to give them 30 day notice if you want to get them out.

best of luck.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mopinko (Reply #19)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:35 AM

42. NO POWER OF ATTORNEY!

This could, in some jurisdictions have unintended consequences such as debt liability!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SheltieLover (Reply #42)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:39 AM

44. ah. good point.

but it does seem like dealing w their money would be helpful, no?
guardianship?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mopinko (Reply #44)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:49 AM

47. Not unless they are intellectually incapacitated

Same issue, legal liability.

These folks need to learn boundaries in order to be successful in recovery.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SheltieLover (Reply #47)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:53 AM

49. well, they sound mentally incapacitated to me.

but i'm not a lawyer, so i guess i should shut my mouth.

my ex and i looked into this years ago, cuz we had a mentally ill kid on our hands who was about to age out, but fell in w an awful bf. moved in w him. a neo-nazi and an ass.
i'll never rly forgive the ex for not letting me hire a hitman. or at least letting me punch the ass in the face. but that's why he is my ex. he's a coward at heart. and i'm not.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mopinko (Reply #49)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 12:05 PM

51. I'm not a lawyer either, but have facilitated a lot of conference calls


& meetings with & on behalf of clients.

Being in the midst of a relapse is not cognitively incapicitated.

But they sure can stir up a lot of problems for others!

Boundaries are always lacking when drug dependence is an issue.

What's yours is mine too, if I cab get it easily, such as steal your car keys, checkbook, etc. While you are sleeping.

Imho, a half-way house is the better option. Staff are aware of the bs addicts pull & the facilities are not likely to be confisgated if a resident decudes to hide drugs on the premesis & gets busted.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SheltieLover (Reply #51)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 12:20 PM

52. yup.

before i had my son escorted out by the cops, he pawned all my jewelry, a stash of gold coins, and his sib's horns.
i asked him about the horns. told him- i dont care, i just cant find them, and i want to know if i should keep looking. swore he knew nothing, but trust me, they gone.

he also walked around my house carrying the 3# hammer that he used to break into my closet.

they could have kept him for 30 days, but he refused to take meds, so they cut him lose.
that and the fact that they took his sister's word that he wasnt going to hurt anyone, even tho SHE told me i had to get him out of here before he hurt me.
they didnt ask me.

it rly would have helped if they held him, but...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mopinko (Reply #52)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 04:43 PM

63. So sorry to hear this, Mo!

That had to really hurt.

Did he then go live elsewhere?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SheltieLover (Reply #42)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 03:14 PM

62. While I agree about not taking on the

responsibility, to my knowledge (also not an attorney but was my mother’s POA), one has an obligation to exercise fiduciary responsibility but assumes no debt liability unless there is financiql mismanagement.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:40 AM

20. I've been doing SMART Recovery meetings for a couple years.

It's a science-based recovery program and skips the religious aspects of AA, However, I'd recommend rehab first. And they're not going to get better unless they want to make a change.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to bif (Reply #20)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:50 AM

48. Good for you, Bif!



The AA type of program doesn't work for everyone.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:43 AM

23. It hurts to hear this but...

don’t let them move in. Period. I have never seen this go well for a family member or friends of a drug addict who hasn’t already turned the corner themselves to fight like a cornered badger to stop the addiction and get their life in order, and I don’t mean just checking into a rehab program. The behavior you are describing WILL happen in your home, and it will be twice as difficult to kick them out, assuming your home doesn’t burn down, making it a moot point.

See what happens after they’re out of treatment. I have had so many clients who’ve done treatment, who come out temporarily clean but every addictive, manipulative behavior continues, lying to everyone around them and especially to themselves. There’s always a reason their problems are someone else’s fault, and always a reason that the next drug binge was “just a 1-time thing” and “there was a good reason.” The folks who have succeeded generally have done so after multiple rounds of treatment, but they have genuinely become disgusted with how their lives have been going, and they stopped BSing about it. They’re some of the best folks around at that point, but it’s a long journey getting there, and there are lots of people who meant well and tried to help them but got burned scattered on the road behind them.

Al-Anon is a good resource IF they’re already committed to turning their lives around. The problem is, as long as drug abusers are not ready to change their lives, nothing you do will make a difference.

If you want to help, do so at a comfortable distance. Help get social service aid. Offer rides. Have them over for dinner and happy conversation. Help with moves, or getting some starter furniture in their new place - but it’s got to be THEIR place for which they take responsibility. Be their friend, not a surrogate parent. Don’t be a money well for them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:43 AM

24. Do they have resources to go to a sober living program? If they don't perhaps Salvation Army or some

other community resource may be able to help. I would suggest that they live in a sober living home. As much as relatives would like to help, sometimes its better for loved ones with substance abuse issues to live in more structured environments where they will be accountable. The Salvation Army program may be a short term solution though. Or it may differ in different states. The clients I've had that went through Salvation Army were there for about 3 months. I may have encountered some that were court ordered and did 6 months. . Point is, there needs to be a plan in place for them to not only maintain their sobriety but as you said get on their feet and get healthy.

Is there someone at their current treatment program that you can speak to? A social worker, case manager? They are usually familiar with local after care facilities or sober living houses in the area.

Personally, that is what I would do. If they are financially crunched, perhaps pay for the first few months of the sober living. Usually, you are not only required to maintain sobriety, random drug testing, but required to maintain employment, go to meetings, etc while living in a sober living program.

Find a reputable one, if you go this route. As with so many things, there are people and facilities doing this only for money. Unfortunately, I have heard horror stories from clients who went to unscrupulous sober living houses. But there are many with good experiences that are doing well, learning to live on their own while maintaining their sobriety.

Also see if there is a community mental health center in your area, if they don't have insurance. Substance Abuse falls under the umbrella of mental health. They should have aftercare even if they don't go to a sober living home.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:49 AM

25. Do not advise you to let them move in with you. They are in their 40's.

Since you have no experience with drug addicts, you will probably believe every word they say. That can lead you, also, to be an enabler. You may not even know when they are using. You still love them and can help in other ways, but love yourselves, too, and think hard about this. It is possible that rehab will help them, but make sure you see serious signs of it being so. This is a hard call for you. If you can handle disappointment and have stability and lots of stamina and understanding, you may be the best people to assist them in their recovery. Love, luck and prayers wished for you. They are very fortunate to have you in their lives.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 10:58 AM

27. I want to thank everyone that has answered this post

I am reading every word, and am taking notes.

Thank you all so much- I am starting to get a grasp as to where to turn, and seeing the mistakes the rest of the family has made in the past that did not work.

Oh, and since it's DU- Fuck Trump.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:03 AM

29. Alanon is a start

Alanon will help you understand addiction will give a network of people to talk to, But you cannot help them if they don't want to help themselves. It sounds like they are trying to be clean because there is some sort of reward. That probably won't work, they have to understand that the sobriety and its benefits is the only reward.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:19 AM

31. There are many short books you might read to help orient yourselves before you act.

Setting Boundaries with your Adult Children by Allison Bottke is a quick read, but you first need to educate yourself about your desire to help, or you could end up just ruining your own lives, and not really helping them.

Amazon has a lot of books that will help you see yourselves and them in the big picture.

Believe me, I've been through a lot of these experiences. They CAN get better and straighten their lives out, but addiction is not an easily curable condition....in fact, it's complicated in the extreme. Good intentions by uninformed family members often only makes it worse.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to BComplex (Reply #31)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:24 AM

34. Thank you for the book title- I am going to download it on my kindle

I am a librarian- it's so odd- I get asked for books all the time, but this time I need help-

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:19 AM

32. First, establish boundaries. Addiction affects the family, and addicts care first for their fix

Second, 12 step program are fine, but so is good counseling and medical intervention My son is a heroin addict, he sees a counselor at the VA (he’s a vet) uses subluxone injections, and while he’s not perfect, he keeps a roof over his head and makes his own money. Just got a dog, which is a major milestone.

I think a mix of whatever is available, community recovery, counseling, medication prescribed by a doctor experienced in addiction

I have been clean and sober for 30 years. Trust me when I say I took every advantage of family members when in my addiction. I use a 12 step program, but I recognize they are not for everyone. There are other community recovery type groups

For you, once boundaries are established ie, do you feel comfortable lending money? Having addicts around kids or teenagers? Family events? Putting them up in your house? Renting them a place or motel if they are homeless? How do the speak to you? Respectfully and decently or otherwise. Is violence an issue? Think about your own life, and what will be disrupted. What are you willing to accept, vs, what is reasonable and healthy to accept. By all means try al-anon, it’s group therapy in a way, and you’ll get good advice.

Most of all, stay safe, and live well. Addiction is a horrific condition, and you must be a great and loving person to understand this and want to help.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:23 AM

33. Al-anon is good. It helped my family members.

But I am sure, like many in this forum, I will counsel you to not have them live with you. Until you know they are committed to staying clean they are a risk to your health. Have they been through rehab before? Addicts will lie through their teeth and manipulate. It's the addiction talking. You can never change an addict. They have to make that journey on their own. You may want to provide them with financial assistance, and that is up to you. But I would not bet on fixing them. More often than not, the money will not give you the return on investment that you are hoping for. I am sorry that you have to deal with this during these times, but usually, at some point, you have to release yourself of responsibility and any guilt. It's like watching a slow moving accident or suicide and the only one who can stop it is the addict.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:28 AM

36. Just the fact that you are wondering if they should move in tells me you should DEFINITELY go to

Al-Anon or a similar program.

They will help you with the VERY difficult task of knowing what boundaries are appropriate and what you can do to help your loved ones without ruining your own life.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:28 AM

37. You may want to mouse around in this area of the boards...

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=forum&id=1140

That's the Health area, and there is a forum in there regarding addiction and recovery.

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=forum&id=1144

Good luck.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:29 AM

38. 21 years on board of a halfway house

First off you can't care more than they do. That drives you nuts. If they don't admit they have a problem nothing will work. Sorry that is just fact. Over the years I saw many who were in your position put themselves in emotional peril. Only they can fix themselves. All the "help" in the world won't do a bit of good unless they are sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:34 AM

41. "Keeping your self healthy and safe allows you to do a better job helping others"

Like putting oxygen mask on before putting one on the child next to you on an airplane. Lock the idea in your mind, see the connection: by staying strong, you can help them in the long run. You are better able to help them by NOT having your own house ruined, NOT being in a position of anger because they let your cat out...

Defending your own space is job #1 from which you will be better positioned to make choices of how you CAN help.

Some choices may be large expenses in the short run (like rehab or intense therapy) and others may be long term help of a smaller nature (like gifting them one ongoing critical expense whether large or small, like health insurance or phone bill).
In my opinion, also showing love in a small way the long run (I used to have a recurring delivery of cat food for a friend’s cats so at least she didn’t have to worry about that, and it never made me feel bad because I was feeding the cats) is helpful to at least light a candle, make them feel cared for, and feel less like my effort to help have failed. The short term effort of a larger amount to help out a crisis is a choice each time — can i afford to lose this amount and is it worth a shot? Be rational and thoughtful about it, not just reactive to an apparent or stated crisis.

Also, I wonder if gifting them a healthy experience like sailing lessons that enable an open door to joys and thrills of a better nature might sometimes be appropriate. New communities of normal people, avoidance of boredom, a reminder that life is worthwhile without drugs?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:38 AM

43. Methadone treatment is a long-term one

Because those dependent on opioids must work very hard to restructure their lives to extricate the drug crowd.

At least 1.5 years is the average.

Have you thought about the possibility of a drug deal gone wrong & the dealers showing up, likely ARMED, AT YOUR HOME?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SheltieLover (Reply #43)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:44 AM

46. I've been on Suboxone and methadone

and in my opinion suboxone is much better. It doesn’t keep you high like methadone does but it takes away the craving. It was a godsend for me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:42 AM

45. I don't have much advice

but if they move in, set clear boundaries of what will get them kicked out, like theft, pawning items, etc. Make it a condition of residence that they enroll in hardcore counseling, maybe go to narcotics anonymous. If they're on opiates, see if they can find a doctor to prescribe suboxone. It's a partial opiate agonist that takes away the physical cravings. I've been on it a few years and haven't relapsed once. It's very effective.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 11:57 AM

50. Do not under any circumstances allow them to

stay even one night in your home. Nothing good will come of it. They are sick and you can not love them well. My niece is an addict and she knows I’ll write the check for rehab any time she’s ready to go but she not ready. There are others supporting her current life style and it’s “working” for her now. I talk to her all the time and I’d never emotionally cut her off. Just recently I paid her for working for me so she could get Christmas presents for some people. Yep... she sucked me right in. I hadn’t been told she had been filling her grandfathers’s Xanax scrip... for herself. She has advanced liver disease due to previous drug/alcohol use and everyone is so happy she’s not drinking they let her slide on everything else. She’s all of 31. Breaks my heart.

So, keep your hearts open but your home and wallet closed.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 12:27 PM

53. Addiction: They've become "your problem" already.

I do not mean to sound heartless or cruel. I admire you, trying to do the right thing for those close to you. And I do not mean to “speak down” to you, either—far from it.

There have been numerous excellent suggestions upthread regarding treatment programs, etc. Drugs or alcohol, it makes no difference— the problem is serious addiction.

There is one major caution that addiction-treatment professionals will tell family members, as harsh as it is: You cannot help the addicts themselves. You cannot involve yourself in their problems arising from their addiction(s); if you do, you become enmeshed in their entire drama and it can take you down. Of course, point them towards help, but if they’re unwilling to seek treatment, you cannot push them. In fact, as they’re adults, you have to be willing to “let them go,” and they will either rise or fall based on their own efforts. You cannot do it for them, or even attempt to do so.

Again, I know this all may sound cold-hearted, but it’s a standard point in Al-Anon and other groups. You cannot intervene or take on their manifold problems stemming from addiction. All you can do is point the way and let them go.

All best to you—


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 12:35 PM

55. As has been said already, do NOT let them into your home. DO NOT!!!!

All the love and all the programs and all the methadone clinics and all rehab facilities will do NOTHING for them until they decide they want to do it.

Saying they want to do it is not enough. They need to do it for themselves. You can support them after they initiate things.

Consider: when the habit is too big or expensive, or the couch surfing gets too old or they become unwelcome (they will) they often get into a program just to cut down the size of the habit.

To help them when they are not ready is to simply enable them. I am a sap, a bleeding heart, a soft touch, and a twenty-plus year veteran of this horrible cycle. If you can do it wrong while trying to "help" I have done it all.

Nar-A-Non is your friend. Visit a meeting. Keep an open mind, and keep going back until the things you'll learn bore their way into your DNA. What you will get at Nar-A-Non is learned from the stories of others. There is no silver bullet. No easy fix. The program is there to help YOU, not the addicts. When you get the right perspective you will be able to help in ways you never thought possible.

As an aside, while methadone can work wonders it is still a highly addictive substance and, literally, a more difficult habit to break than is heroin or, of late, fentenyl.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 12:35 PM

56. Absolutley yes, Al Anon for you. Immediately!

THat will help you determine what kind of help is actually help and what is enabling. Been there. And there are excellent addiction counselors who can advise you. You need help sorting out your own feelings about it all in order to keep clear boundaries. Both AlAnon and good addictions counselors can help with that.

Agree with all who have said DO NOT LET THEM MOVE IN WITH YOU, even for one day. That makes you a fly in a spider web.

And good for you for reaching out here. People are giving you excellent advice from their own experience. That can save you a lot of grief.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 01:18 PM

57. For The Love Of God

do NOT let them move in or in any way stay with you. Not for one night, don't even suggest it. Also no lending of things you want to see again, and this includes the car. People with addictions can and do recover, but they have to decide for themselves to do it. Also, do not give them money or anything resembling money (gift certificate). If you feel you must help them financially, pay providers directly (no giving them the check to give to the provider). Give them the limits of how much you will help and stick to it. You are right, "We will help you if you do such and such" is not helpful and rarely works. Better to let them make their own recovery decisions, even if they seem misguided to you.

The best thing you can do is be supportive in ways they will accept. Nothing wrong with going with them to the county assistance office or social security if need be. Helping them fill out forms for help, looking to see what housing help is available in your area, doing online research if they don't have assess to Internet, mentioning to them that you saw a For Rent sign somewhere or a Help Wanted sign as long as you can do that without seeming like a nag. Stop it if they don't seem interested. This all sounds kind of measly, I know, but you cannot allow yourself to be sucked into this more than you want to be. You have to protect yourself first.

Opiate addiction really is a monkey on the back. They get really sick if they don't get it often enough, it doesn't last that long, and it is expensive for people with no income. I say this as a heads up for the stealing that others have mentioned. Addicts WILL steal, they have to.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 02:52 PM

59. Check into sober living.

I doubt they will be able to be together there but maybe. They help them find jobs so they can pay rent. I also recommend Al anon and try to find a new member meeting and if you don’t like it try a different location meetings vary with the group. Good luck it’s never easy so be kind to yourself!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 02:54 PM

60. DO NOT Move Them In! Things will come up missing, fighting, possible robberies, eviction issues.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Mon Jan 4, 2021, 05:21 PM

64. I want to thank everyone again that answered this post

My husband and I are going to sit down and talk tonight- based on the answers I got here.

DU- thank you. I know most of you don't think you know me, but I am going to write to EarlG TODAY and ask for my old name back.

I was one of the ones "lost in all the previous mess." Good friends (still!) with Nothingshocksmeanymore, ZombyWoof-- Salin. Oh, the list is LONG!!

Thank you guys so much. This was much needed perspective on a horrid situation.

Goddamned drugs.

And Fuck Trump.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Tue Jan 5, 2021, 12:39 AM

65. You've gotten some good advice here and I also recommend Alanon

I've been in AA for over 12 years, but also attended Alanon meetings because my AA sponsor started there to support a drug addicted best friend and I not only got a lot out of the meetings, but met some great experienced people there, male and female, old and very young, Alanon can be beneficial for anyone.

I don't know how they're handling meetings during this pandemic, but there are virtual meetings and phone meetings for most of the recovery organizations, so here's the website where you can learn what's happening in your area. As I said, I recommend it highly, it was one of the earliest recovery organizations and has helped so many for generations:

https://al-anon.org/

And here's the website for NA, Narcotics Anonymous, for your family members. That group also has meetings worldwide and I've met those in AA who are cross addicted and attend both AA and NA. But, as I've learned, you have to want it.

https://na.org/

And there is a DU Group which might be more appropriate for your questions, though I've been amazed since joining DU how many have embraced recovery or have had family members in need of help - as we've seen on this thread. It's a worldwide issue. Best of luck with this and please let us know how you're doing.

Addiction & Recovery (Group)
https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=forum&id=1144

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Tue Jan 5, 2021, 12:46 AM

66. They lost me after the mysteriously burned down trailer

Some people are magnets for drama, chaos and bad luck ("accidents" ).

If they move in with you, they will bring the chaos with them.

Maybe see how you can help them from a distance?

Once they move in, it will be extremely stressful, not to mention very awkward once it's time to get them out.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to essme (Original post)

Tue Jan 5, 2021, 04:23 AM

68. I wouldn't let them move in.

They could destroy your marriage. Your home will become all about them and their addiction.

I speak from experience. If you want to support them with your salary forever while they party at your expense, just let them move in. Soon you'll have unsavory visitors, and maybe cops in your doorway. When you can't find one of your possessions, you'll know what happened, yet no amount of pleading with them will get them to stop.

If you let them move in, it's both of them and their addiction as a separate guest. You will not be strong enough to beat it back by yourself, and they will not be helping you in your fight for their sobriety. Why should they when they have a free ride? They are experts at manipulation and you will be their pawn. You just can't do it.

Your tender heart is what they depend on to support their habits. It is possible to love them but refuse to let them take you under with them. You are not required to give up your own life just because they messed up theirs. There's not a soul on the planet that would blame you for picking your own hearth and home over them.

You are not infallible. If you do not establish boundaries with them and their addiction, they will destroy any semblance of peace you ever had. Already you are experiencing distress. It will get so much worse.

There is also the fact that they will store drugs in your home and attract cops to your door. Also, you may not be able to evict them (when you finally have your fill of it all) just by telling them to leave. Here in California, after they stay for three days, they become tenants and you have to go to court to evict them. Let them move their clothing in, and you are screwed.

It's hard. Every relative that tried to live with an addict knows how impossible it is, and you will be no different. Spend your money helping them get housing in some other way, but don't let them move in. You will be sorry if you do, and you'll wonder why they don't love you back enough to quit their habit. They won't care about your sacrifice, and this is not a contract you have between you and G-d. You do not have to do this to prove you love them.

I've seen skin-popping heroin addicts with huge chunks of their arms gone walk out of care, and had their relatives beg me to keep them just a little longer, when you just can't do that to help them out. You know who can do that? Cops, the courts, and jail.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread