Re: Is it possible to be psycologically addicted to mood altering substances in gener
Addiction is an affliction of the mind body and spirit. What you are describing seems to be addiction to someone who was completely functional throughout most of her active addiction. I partied, used all sorts of pills and other mind altering substances to be able to go all night, then I'd use other ones to get me through the next day. I always appeared happy and my life seemed completely in order to many others. You said she hasn't seemed to go through withdrawls, but I can tell you that from what you are describing, it seems as though she would never need to go through withdrawl because she has the resources to keep herself well stocked. When she runs out of one thing, she takes another, right? I am identifying with that too. I had things to wake me up, things to help me sleep, things to get me buzzed. UGH. I used to joke it was better living through chemistry. Just telling you how much I identify with what you are describing makes my heart ache for her.
With that being said, I can only tell you what would not have worked for me at that time in my life. I would have denied a problem to almost anyone who suggested it. You said that she is your sister in law, and your brother in law doesn't seem to say anything. Does he drink too much or take a lot of pills? If so, then this is what is normal to both of them. Neither one has any reason to think there is an issue. If he does not, then he likely knows there are issues, but may not want to talk about it with his sister in law. I am assuming you are married to the brother of one of these people. Have you talked to him about it? Maybe it would be more appropriate for him to have the discussion with his sibling. It's really hard to say without knowing the family situation better.
One thing I can tell you with relative certainty. . . If you approach her, and she doesn't know or think she has a problem, she will justify her drug usage as okay because the meds are prescribed or legal. Additionally, you will become the enemy, she will separate herself from you, and tell you less about her life. This will not be intentional, but if she is an addict, her disease will hate you for being right, and will convince her that you are judging her every time she drinks or takes medicine.
Please don't discount that they have children. Having that much medication or alcohol in your system when being a responsible mother, i.e. taking the kids to soccer practice, is a recipe for disaster. I think you ought to do something, but the approach to take depends on the family dynamics. Either way, I am of the opinion that the initial conversation on this issue should come from her husband or blood relative.
I hope this gives you some ideas about where she is probably coming from.