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  • Just found out my sister is addicted to crack

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    Old 08-20-2001, 09:18 AM   #1
    worried_in_va
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    Post Just found out my sister is addicted to crack

    Hi, please help me, I'm not sure what to do. My sister just told me and my parents that she is a crack addict. Up until now she was an average 33 year old with a nice secretarial job, but recently lost the job and her life went downhill. It all makes sense now that we know she was using crack. Her intention is to live with my folks, attend outpatient meetings and get clean. Is this attainable? Advisable? She's very apologetic. I want her to know I love her, but I don't want her to think she can just apologize and everything is going to be alright. What should I do? I'm angry and hurt right now. Do I accept the apology or should I let her know I'm angry? I have no experience of dealing with addiction and as much as I want to pretend it's not happening, I can't. Some guidelines from people who have gone through this with family members would be helpful. Such as: What to say. What to NOT say. What actions can I take. What actions should I NOT take. Etc. I know there is a lot of stuff on the 'net about it, but advice from real people would be so much more helpful to me. Thanks so much.

     
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    Old 08-20-2001, 10:05 AM   #2
    kingofthahouse
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    Hey,
    Wow, i'm sorry to hear about your sister and what it's doing to your entire family! Even though your sister apologizes and even if it is sincere because most addicts are really sorry( sorry they got addicted, sorry they hurt the people who love them, sorry that thier life fell apart ect...) But from her ACTIONS do you see that she really wants help? Because until we really want help and are really sick of living this way, all apologizing does is ease our guilt. Not to sound like there's no hope or nothing you can do, but if she does'nt really want HELP and just wants forgivness and for people to kinda accept this(I know that sounds kinda stupid, but from an addicts mind you think if you tell your loved ones and they don't turn you away then they accept it)But if she's not willing to help herself right now and you and your family can see it..then please save yourself a ton of heartbreak, dissapointment, broken trust, and a relationship that might not ever be repaired. When addicts go to "sypathetic" families everyone gets hurt 99%of the time. Some people might read this and say man he's got a terrible attitude but i've lived it and seen it with brothers and a mother. Mine was/is pain medication after a terrible injury. I grew up hateing drinking and drugs after watching it kill 1 brother and almost 2 others and my mom(my brothers were on drugs and mother was a drunk) But i found i could'nt control myself with medication that i have to take for the rest of my life and honestly still don't always do a great job.
    Realizeing she has a problem and admitting it is a great first step but if that's as far as she's willing to walk right now then you and your family would be best to let some type of professional take care of it. But if she does want help right now and tries hard even if she falls a few times then love her and help her in any way. There's so much guilt with being an addict that you don't even think your family loves you any more...it just kills any common sense you have
    This may not have helped you any and if it does'nt i'm sorry for wasteing your time, sometimes it helps me to say/write some of these things but i honestly hope that God blesses your sister and you and your family and helps you thru this!

     
    Old 08-20-2001, 11:41 AM   #3
    worried_in_va
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    Hi Kingofthahouse,
    Thanks so much, that's exactly the kind of response I was looking for. It's enough just to know that somebody was listening. I'm feeling sooooo alone today. The way I found out was my sister emailed me here at my WORK. She lives in Baltimore and I'm in Virginia, and there's nothing I can do until I get off of work later, so it's been a hard day for me. Not that I want people to feel sorry for me or anything. But I haven't been at this job long so I didn't really have anybody to talk to here and it's just killing me. Again, thanks for your kind words.

     
    Old 08-20-2001, 06:53 PM   #4
    FREDO
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    Worried, I must agree with Andy. If your sister is not addressing this head-on, AND does not have a professional involved in her treatment in some manner, she is just setting herself, you, and your family, up for a terrible circle of guilt, lies, theft, etc.

    The number of folks that can beat crack addiction without a large support team, including professionals, is so infinitismal that she must be living in La La Land to think its that easy.

    I don't know her, but I knew addicts, past-tense. To save yourself and family a ton of grief and pain, please contact your local chapter of Narcotics Anonymous, and talk to those professionals for guidance. There is no financial cost, and they will give you the strait scoop; I may be to out of date with my experiences, but I doubt human nature has changed much........

    Wish you the best, this is a tough road to navigate........

    ------------------
    FREDO

     
    Old 08-21-2001, 04:30 AM   #5
    worried_in_va
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    I am going to contact NA because I know I'm going to need help dealing with all of this. I spoke to my sister and parents last night and had to listen to my father crying, begging me for money because he's about run out and still needs to pay off the 6 thousand worth of phony checks she wrote so she won't go to jail. I refused and told him it wasn't his responsibility and that he should let her go to jail. You would have thought I suggested he shoot the Pope. She's sitting there listening to him, willing to let him ruin his life for her. Then she tearfully was begging me to adopt her two cats, which I can't, and I told her it was up to her to figure something out with the cats. They (mom, dad, sister) always look to me to save everything, fix everything. I'm tired of saving the world. I'm tired of the whole thing. I'm just tired. I'm glad this board is here, you all give me hope. I'll keep you posted. Thanks again.

     
    Old 08-21-2001, 07:58 AM   #6
    Lily Blue
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    Hi, I have 3 family members that are crack addicts. The worst is my brother. It's horrible stuff and he has been such a zombie for years now. He has tried rehab several times and failed. Like you I was expected to pay and help out and I did for a long time. Now I say what you are saying, "find the way yourself". I know this seems harsh, but I think they have to learn to fight their own battles. It's not that I'm not sympathetic, I am. My brother is 7' tall and has weighed 275 most of his life, you should see him now, I can't even talk about that. I hurt for a long time (still do)but I don't know what else to do. I hope your sister will have success in rehab, but I also think you are right that you nor your family has to bail her out of everything. Good Luck

     
    Old 08-21-2001, 08:59 AM   #7
    Christine
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    Hi -

    I am a former addict - cocaine was my drug of choice and at the end of my use, crack cocaine was it, as it was easy to find and very affordable. It is a horrible, extremely addictive, insidious drug that wrecks lives - the way I got my life back was with AA (or NA - same kind of program) and I did 90 meetings in 90 days to start out - sometimes a couple of meetings a day and get my head on straight, I believe you REALLY need the extra support if you are kicking this drug. I immediately severed any and all ties with my connections - even started driving home a different way to avoid "triggers" I changed my cell phone number, and changed the friends that I hung out with. I stuck close the the people from AA - they were the only ones who really believed in me anyhow at that point.

    I know where your sister is at - I binged and disappeared and spent and stole money and lied and was a total con - I would cry and say I was sorry and it would never happen again, and I would truly mean it every time, - it was just that I wasn't willing to do the work involved in getting straight. Finally, I had had enough and I put my money where my mouth is. My actions showed that I was serious - I went to at least one meeting every single day, I got a sponsor and called her almost every day - I got a second job and paid off my debts and I reagained the trust of my friends and family.

    What is your sister doing to get her life back in order? Does she appear serious about her recovery? I s she actively seeking help? She really should be involved in a support group like NA or AA ( I actually prefer AA as there are not as many "active" drug users as there are in my local NA groups and there are many many people who are addicts )- it is very important, I believe, to getting off and staying off cocaine.

    Just remember, you cannot do it for her. She has got to want help, and be willing to take it - she has got to do the work, go to meetings and help to fix the mess she has created.

    My family and friends were at their wits end, but they never gave up on me. They loved and supported me in the early days of my recovery and the greatest gift I could give them in return is my new improved self. It is so great to see them happy and not see the pain and disappointment in their faces. I would recommend that you and your parents join a local Alanon group - the folks there have lots of experience, strength and hope to share and they have been through it and probably have some great suggestions.
    good luck -

     
    Old 08-21-2001, 09:35 AM   #8
    worried_in_va
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    Well, here's her plan:
    --File for bankruptcy and lose her house and car.
    --She started a new job on Monday and will supposedly
    be handing her check over to my dad in the hopes of
    paying him back. He's already lent her countless
    hundreds or probably thousands of dollars.
    --There is a chance my mom will be getting a job at
    the same place so they can work and ride together.
    --She will live with my parents until further notice.
    --She will be attending NA meetings on a regular
    basis with a friend of hers who is a recovering
    addict.
    --This person has become kind of a sponsor to her and
    she calls her frequently.

    I guess it's a step in the right direction.

     
    Old 08-21-2001, 01:39 PM   #9
    annita
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    hi there! i am sorry to hear what your family is going through. i am a recovering addict and i know what it takes to actually clean up. tough love is about the only thing your family can do at the moment. i know that sounds hard and mabye it is but you all can still be there for her emotionally, etc. it is so hard to not be able to do something for someone you love. i even had a hard time dealing with a situaltion kinda like this after i cleaned up. the guy i had been seeing on and off for about 4 years kept trying to clean up after i did. i loved him very much and wanted him to get better in such a bad way. i fell into the trap of thinking i could make him get well. even though i knew that it is up to the user to actually clean themselves up (with help, of course) having been there myself. so here we went through a series of "getting together and breaking up" due to the fact that he wasn't cleaning up (in and out of jail...in and out 0f institutions, etc) till i finally couldnt deal with it anymore and keep my own sanity and sobriety. sorry to get side tracked! anyway, she is the only person who can truely decide to be clean and stay that way. NA is definately a good way to start. also, inpatient/outpatient treatment is a good thing to do as well. i wish you all the very best of luck and know that you guys are in my prayers! annita

     
    Old 08-21-2001, 04:16 PM   #10
    Geneva
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    I am married to a crack addict. He tried it on a whim at the age of 52. Was instantly hooked. I saw a man that was admired and loved by family and friends turn into someone I didn't know. I knew nothing about drugs, addiction, or recovery. This board helps...I have received wonderful responses here but another great source is" Al Anon" It's a place for the relatives of addicts to go. It saved my sanity. I mainly learned that I cannot control, cause or cure his addiction. It took a long time for me to believe that. I thought love and logic would cure him.

    He has relapsed three times in the past two years...He is clean now for 6 months. He went to Out Patient Rehab and NA everyday. I set up boundaries of what I will tolerate. I love him but I will not put up with this addiction. When he realized that 6 months ago and he was tired of being sick he got serious about treatment. HE had to mean it. Crack addicts are wonderful liars.....Help your sister by helping yourself and your parents set limits...get yourself to an Al Anon meeting and have your parents do the same. They are free and will help..

    May God Bless......

     
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