View Full Version : Need advice about how to deal with addicted sister?
This is hard for me to write. I hope that people don't judge me.
My sister is 7 years younger than me. We have always been close. We shared a bedroom, even though we had our own rooms growing up. She was sad when I got married and moved out of home, so after the honeymoon period, she moved in with us. Partly to help with the kids so I could keep working, and partly so that I had some company while my DH was working long hours.
At first it was great. The first few years went by, and in that time she would spend weekends with our long lost cousin giving us time alone every few weeks (this cousins parents split very early in the piece so she wasn't really in our lives).
My sister wasn't much of a party girl. Didn't go out much. She preferred to stay home and cook these amazing meals, and have a few glasses of wine when the kids were in bed.
We noticed last year that she was spending every weekend with this cousin. We noticed that she became arrogant, and mean towards me. And that she stopped paying rent to us, and always had excuses for not having any money, despite working and not having any real expenses.
Then people started to remark about how much weight she'd lost. Our neighbour said she looked like she was on drugs. I called our other sister, and she confirmed that the cousin is a known Ice dealer (still not sure what Ice is), and that my lil sis is infact an addict.
My sis and her cousin are OBSESSED with each other. They went out last weekend and got matching tattoos with their names intertwined. They are going to stay in a hotel this weekend for my sister's bday, and the cousin has refused to let me, or the rest of the family celebrate our sister's bday.
I just don't understand her behaviour. And I don't understand drugs because I've never done them. Does anyone know anything about Ice? Every time I try to talk to my sis, she is horrible to me. And I don't understand this obsession with her cousin. It's weird. It's really freaking me out.
Big :hugs: to you and the fact that you are a great sister that is so concerned.
Ice is speed or crystal meth and a horrible horrible drug to be on. :crying:
Check out the 60 minutes story (http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/sixtyminutes/stories/2006_07_09/story_1700.asp) - they did a report on it recently and it's very informative.
I do hope you can help your sister. :fingerscrossed:
You poor thing, addiction is hard on the family - IMO it's sometimes harder on the family than on the actual addict, because I'm sure she thinks she doesn't have a problem.
Unfortunately, the only thing you can do is to make sure she knows 100% that you love her and that you will always be here for her if she needs you.
She cannot and will not get clean until she herself wants to get clean.
But if I was you, I'd try to find her somewhere else to live - perhaps with the cousin? Just suggest to her that your lives are becoming more and more different, and while you really want to keep in touch with her and catch up with her regularly, perhaps it's best she moves out now. She'll probably be angry, because at the moment she's living rent-free and able to spend all her money on drugs. But if you keep allowing that, you are enabling her. You can't stop her doing drugs, but you can stop making it easy for her to do so, IYKWIM.
:hugs: :hugs: this is a horrible horrible situation. I hope she see's sense soon.
Unfortunately, the only thing you can do is to make sure she knows 100% that you love her and that you will always be here for her if she needs you.
She cannot and will not get clean until she herself wants to get clean.
She is so right. All you can do is be there for here when everything falls to peices and she realises she has a problem, she has a long road ahead of her but by your concern she has the support she needs. And you have support from all these wonderful ladies here :hugs::hugs::fingerscrossed:
Sorry guys. I should have added that she is living with the cousin. We kicked her out when she stopped paying the bills, and as soon as the Ice addiction was confimed we asked her to stay away from the kids.
She doesn't think she has a problem at all. She thinks I'm a prude because I don't drink/do drugs/smoke.
I sent her this horrible sms this morning, and regretted it straight away.
But how do I make her see that she has a problem.
There is no real way that i can think of but have you thought of ringing Drug & Alcohol information service on 1800 177 833. They may be able to give you some ideas on what you can do to wake her up.
But I agree with not wanting her around the kids I wouldn't want my kids seeing there aunt like that either.
I know it's not what you want to hear, but truly, you cannot make her see that she has a problem. She has to hit "rock bottom" and get to the point where she doesn't want to do drugs anymore, and then if she can't give up by herself she will seek help. But even then, it could take a year or more before she is actually clean. Relapses are common.
All you can do is just let her live her own life, make sure she knows how much you love her, and just be there for her when she needs you - and eventually she will need you.
Re: the sms - if I was you, I'd send another message saying that you regret sending the original one, and the reason you did it was that you care about her so much, you love her so much, she's so important to you, that you are extremely worried about her. Don't tell her what to do, don't judge her behaviour, just tell her your feelings.
It's so hard because she really IS beautiful, and funny, and nice, and the best Aunty to my kids. But I have a 12 year old, and I cannot let her see tattoos, hear about nights out, and days without eating.
She's not very discreet, and I'm finding it hard to cope with seeing her deteriorate into this horrible person.
I kinda know how you feel - I used to have friends that used drugs and thought I was a major prude because I didn't smoke, drink or use like they did - I was the bore in the group.
How about sitting down with your sister (1 on 1), have a coffee in a netrual environment like a cafe etc and have a good heart to heart with her. You mentioned that you used to be very close - that relationship deep down will still be there and even though things have changed you can still reach out to her. If she gets defensive and angry don't get angry back - sometimes its the drugs that is doing the talking. I've had conversations with friends who can't even remember what we were saying because they were so out of it. But don't get upset back at her - it will only make her avoid you. Explain why you prefer her not to be around your child and other children - ask her to respect your wishes just as you are "respecting" her lifestyle even if you don't agree with it. Be available for her anytime because one day she will want a true friend and you don't want to have cut your ties.
Like everyone else has been saying only they themselves can get back on track - being forced or being told to get clean won't help - the drug is highly addictive and if they are having fun and enjoying life then of course they won't want to stop. They also can't see the damage to themselves or to their family and they don't want to think long term because everything is the present for them.
What I can advise you is to seek support for YOURSELF - so that you can help deal with the emotional side and become more informative yourself and to get support from others. That way you can in turn support your sister when she needs it.
There is a No Way support campaign run by Darren Marton who runs drug and alcohol workshops for people including parents and families. Their details are No Way Campaign, PO Box 929, Miranda NSW 1490. His e-mail is email@example.com - he has publicly listed this from the 60 minutes story on Ice. He's not the only one running workshops - you can ask councils, state government for other revenues of help and support and they can help you find other people who are going through the same thing you are.
This not only affects your sister and cousin but you and your family and although the road ahead is going to be tough you will find love and support out there.
Big :hugs: to you and all the best.
You are not horrible just a protective parent and what is wrong with that
ICE is a pure form of (Crystal Meth) methamphetamine, it is called Ice, because it is sold in rock form, and looks like 'ice'. It is most commonly smoked, and is extremely addictive. It has similar effects as cocaine, but the effects last longer. Worst case senarios can results in death, coma or a stroke.
All I can suggest is to give her unconditional love, and not to hold her choices against her, and to let her know that you are there for her..with still having in mind that your children are your first priority, and their safety is in jeporady with your sister being on drugs of any form as they alter a persons mental state.
I just warn you that users are prone to violent, erratic behaviour...
My very close friend went thru a phase of addiction that started with marijuana and ended with heroin. Needless to say she has never been the same person as she was before the drugs, she has terrible anxiety, she became anorexic, has hepatitis and when she finally went thru her methadone treatment, she put on almost 30kg and has not been able to shed it, which in turn has created severe depression. I know this is probably the last thing you want to hear, as you already feel bad. You need to know the truth that unfortunately your sister is the ONLY one who can stop the addiction and this is a massive ask for an addict. My friend literally took 10 years to get to the point she is at now, she is no longer on methadone, but the other problems she has now like the depression are going to probably be with her forever. Her turning point was basically waking up one day and having no friends, family or money at her disposal and she walked into a hospital and actually asked them to kill her, obviously she was taken in and counselling and detox began. She fell off the wagon about 5 times before she actually decided to stop for good. Hopefully your sister can stop before it gets to this point, but it doesn't matter what you say to her, she has to WANT to stop of her own free will. Obviously talk with her and tell her how you are feeling, but don't feel like you have failed if she doesn't listen because addicts are so hard to break. I wish you all the best of luck and I hope she does get help sooner rather than later. :hugs:
I was a drug addict for 4 years. No one could make me stop . I was adicted to speed (amoungs other things) and I injected it, it is one of the dirtiest drugs out there, and realy messes with your head. I was diagnosed with Drug Induced Psycosis and was in mental institutions, and have a criminal record becuase of something I did while under the influence. People experiment and then it gets out of control and before you know it, your an addict. With the help of my wonderful father, I detoxed without even realising I was detoxing (if that makes sense) I never thaught i would make it to where I am today, and without the support of my wonderful family I could not have done it.
Be there for your sis, you cant make her stop no matter what you do. Just make sure she knows she can come to you for advice, and as angry and disapointed as you are, try not to let on that you feel this way. Of all things, dont give her money and dont let her stay with you, no matter what she says.
Good luck to you, and good on you for sticking around for her, a lot of people just give up.
My ex (ds father) was/is a drug addict. He tried to give up when he found out I was pregnant, but it didn't work. He is now in jail for charges relating to drugs (stealing, posession etc). Because they are drug related he is going through drug court shortly and will be put into a rehab.
He told me so many times that he had given up, (everytime I tried to leave) but really, he just got better at lying. Unfortunately, as others have said, there isn't anything that you can do but be there when things go bad.
I also agree with Muffie, don't give her money, i gave my ex so much money to "pay bills" that were in my name, and I'm still paying them off today, so I have paid them twice. :shame:
I hope it all works out for you and your sister
It's so hard because she really IS beautiful, and funny, and nice, and the best Aunty to my kids. But I have a 12 year old, and I cannot let her see tattoos.
I'm sorry, I know you are having a hard time, but really your sisters TATTOO's are not the problem, and they are the least of your worries when it comes to your 12 year old..
People with tattoos are not bad people, and they do not all do drugs, or create a bad influence.
I understand about the hard parties, and not eating, but are the tattoos such a big concern????
Sorry, but I couldnt help but feeling that you were relating the tattoo's to her problem (addiction).....
I just wanted to give you a BIG :hugs:
Your not alone in this! We went through the exact same thing with my little sister a few years ago. It is heartbreaking.My sister was using just about every drug out there and started stealing. She was being violent with family and sleeping around a lot ( I mean a different guy every night!).
It is very hard to watch somebody you love do this to themselves. I used to tell my sister that I didnt agree with her lifestyle and her choices and that when she wanted my help I would be here and that I would always love her. That is all you can offer them when drugs are involved.
I really hope your sister decides to make some drastic changes soon.
Take care :hugs:
I'm a little uncomfortable about the tattoo comment, too.
This is as both myself and my partner are moderately to heavily tattooed (and have other kinds of modifications, too). We're not bad people. It's a very close minded assumption to make that tattoos will negatively affect your child. That's far more likely to cause irrevocable problems with the 12 year old (and lead said child to think that getting a tattoo when 16 is a good way to rebel against your authority).
Anyway. That's just my humble opinion on it.
To the topic that's the real problem-
As for drug addiction, she doesn't want help. If she did, she would've come 'out' to someone and asked for it. Forcing her into rehab won't help either. It'll just make her angry and more likely to P*SS her life away in an attempt to rebel further.
Methamphetamines (street named Ice/Go/Goey/Gas/Speed) tend to make people very aggressive and irrational. Keep that well in mind in your dealings with her in future kay? It's a very addictive drug that becomes more important than anything else to just about anyone who takes it.
I should have mentioned, the tattoo has her cousin's name, and her's intertwined. I should have clarified that I have a problem with the fact that she has her dealer's name on her NECK and that really upsets me.
I have no problem with tattoos. Nor do I have a problem with people who have tattoos. But, she got the tattoo on her neck when she was off her face on Ice, and she proudly walked into my house and told my kids the whole story. My 12 year old is at an age where I am explaining to her the dangers of drugs. She looks up to her Aunty, as most 12 year olds look up to women in their 20's.
I just don't want my kids thinking that tattoos on your neck (that you got when you were on Ice) are cool.
Yeah i had a mate that was doing methamphetamine and he ended up getting a jo0b at a brothel to support his habit. I agree that theres nothing you can do until she wants to do something about it herself
I rally have offended some people, when I totally didn't mean to.
I'm in quite a state today after seeing my sis this morning (she needed money). I just didn't give you all the full story about the tat.
All of my siblings have a tattoo or two. I have no probs at all with this. I actually went with my other sis when she got hers (she was 16 and needed the consent of an adult).
What I meant about the tat, was that it HURTS me greatly, that she has chosen to put her cousins name on her neck. It's not a jealousy thing. It's just that she has the name of the person who has ruined her life, on her body forever.
She could have had her whole body covered in tats, pierced from head to toe, and whatever other "modifications" done, and I wouldn't have cared. But why on earth can't she see that this girl has taken her life and flushed it, for the sake of having a drug buddy. :banghead:
*pets* I understood that you probably didn't mean any serious offence and that it is a truly traumatic event for you.
I just get ranty about it at times. ;)
(Used to work in body piercing and found alot of the misconceptions to be very grating.. day.. after.. day..)
Unfortunately, there isn't too much you can do to help her right now, apart from being there for her when the bottom is finally hit. :\
Big :hugs: to you, sorry to hear you have had such a horrible day.
The only advice I can offer you is pretty extreme and should only be used if things really do hit rock bottom and your sister is so bad that she is in a state of drug induced psychosis.
You can call the local hospital mental health dept and advise them that your sis is in a drug induced psychosis - she can then be taken usually against her will (by the police) to the mental health emergency dept and be assessed.
Your sis does not need to know that you were the one to put her there - they will not tell her who it was unless you want her to know.
This is a very extreme course of action, but with these cases it usually does work, the user gets so terrified by the fact that they are in the mental health ward and is therefore very reluctant to go down that path again - also, it will allow her to detox whilst under medical supervision.
Unfortunatley, this course of action means that you have to wait until she gets THAT bad that the hospital will take her ..... :(
At this point she is still functioning.eg she is still working Full Time, able to keep attending family events etc. She has Asperger's Syndrome, which means that she was pretty socially incapable before the drugs came into it.
Hopefully I'll wake up tomorrow and it will all seem a bit more manageable. She really isn't a big part of my life, which is sad. But she knows where I am when she needs something. My naivety about drugs etc has been of benefit to her. She just kept telling me she had lost weight because of dieting, and that she looked sick because she had a cold....
So ready to explode.
:hugs: to u!
It sounds like ur going thru a very tough time. ICE is a very harsh drug and can not only cause problems know but have long term side effects. A lot of drug addicts won't seek help till they hit rock bottom and literally can't go on....and even then some will find a way. Just keep a watch on her. If she knows u r there for her, she is more likely to come to u once she reaches a really low point.
I hope things get better soon!
you shouldn't have to apologise about the tattoo remark - you're in a very terrible situation at the moment and an 'off the cuff' remark about tattoos is so insignificant compared to what you're going through with your sister...it just doesn't warrant even mentioning.
Overall, my tolerance of drug users is pretty much zero - that being said, I've never had anyone in my family addicted to drugs.
I do however feel enormous empathy for the families of addicts - big huge :hugs: to you.
:thumbsup: Great post Mamaduke
As always you hit the nail on the head - well for me anyway
angeldoula - All I can offer is a big fat one of these as well :hugs: .
Your sister is in trouble if she is one the ice thats for sure. Its an amazingly dirty, addictive drug, Trust me I have done it.
Your sister sounds a bit like I did when I first started drugs. i held down a job and mainly did drugs on the weekends but eventually things got out of control.
You have to understand one thing - you can't tell someone on drugs that they are bad for them. Lord I look back on my days of that and still think how good the drugs were - how great they made me feel. That feeling is so hard to descibe.
The bad thing about Ice is that the comedown in horrific. I remember the first time I did it laying on the floor the next day with cramps everywhere and the only way to fix it was to have some more = and so begins the cycle of abuse.
The reality is though - there is nothing you can do to stop it. You can't force her to stop. I think you need to get her to admit what she is doing - thats the first step. DOn't push her to stop at all = not yet.
Be very careful though in how you talk about the cousin. Your sister adores her so by running her down in any way will just push your sister away.
my best mate went thru an addictive stage of shooting up speed. she too lost a lot of weight as it takes away your appetitie. my friend was "lucky" in that the dealer had a crush on her and supplied it for free so she would go thru over 1000 bucks worth a week. all on top of being a single mum to a 2 yr old and new born :no:
i was disgusted and told her she was an unfit mother but unfortunately they cant see it , only the up sides to the drug.
what it took for my friend was for the dealer to go to jail. no dealer...no drug. she found another dealer of course but having to pay for it was hard to keep up with. eventually we all gave her the ultimatum us or drugs. im now glad to say she is drug free but she is the first to admit if it was in front of her it would be hard to refuse.
so i guess my advise is to get rid of the cousin (obviously wont be easy) without her to back her up saying wat she's doing is right, and everyone else shaming her hopefully she will come around
:hugs: to you
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