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Old 02-02-2008, 12:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Please help My sister has stolen $2,000 from my parents credit card what can we do?

Over the 4 years she has been a heroin addict, she has stolen tons of jewelry, money and credit cards from my parents. She has pawned their ipods, coach purse, computer, etc. Now she was in detox for 9 days and left. My parents haven't heard from her in a week. We were all wondering where she was getting the money to get high. Apparently she had written down my fathers credit card number and has been using that for the last week to have Western Union money transfers sent (from my dad) to her.

My parents have previously reported the cards stolen and the charges were reversed. In this case, its quite obvious that the recipient of the money was her, so there is no way to report it lost/stolen without implicating her. What can they do? My mother is in complete despair. They are almost bankrupt because of her. They can't pay this bill, they have to report it. They are ready to have her arrested.

Will the police arrest her? Will the card company press charges?

Unitl now, they didn't want her to have a permanent record in hopes she would still get her act together and get into college - so she would still have a chance at a good career.

I thought one option would be for my parents to go and find her and confront her and give her the option of going to detox and then to get the naltrexone implant OR she goes to jail. If she leaves detox or doesn't get the implant, they would call the police immediately. Yes, the would have to pay for the money she's taken, but if it gets her clean in the longer run it would be worth it?

My mother thinks she has no choice but to report her and attempt to have her arrested. HOwever, in the past when they attempted to press charges for a stolen check, the police weren't really acting on it at all since it was a family member and a small amount of money.

Any insight and advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-02-2008, 01:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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concernedsister,
I have been where your parents are. Shielding my addict sons from facing the music, (and maybe their bottom) and suffering the consequences of their actions.

Some days, I think I just prolonged their using, because I was practically buying the drugs for them, by giving them money, and helping them out during tough times, trying to keep them out of trouble.

Yes, your parents need to call and report the card, and money spent.

Hugs to you, and your parents, I know how hard this is.
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Old 02-02-2008, 01:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Since nothing else has worked, maybe some jail time is what she needs.
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Old 02-02-2008, 01:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It seems that your sister has gotten the message over the last few years that she can do terrible things to your parents and there are no lasting consequences. Maybe it's time that there was.
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Old 02-02-2008, 01:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think your parents should definitely file a police report and press charges. Maybe the courts will do something if they see a pattern of this kind of behavior. If nothing else, maybe it will help your sister see that her behavior is unacceptable and criminal. Addiction causes our addicts to lie and be deceptive. If their addiction becomes severe, criminal activity often follows. Maybe this will help her realize how really out of control she has become.
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Old 02-02-2008, 01:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The last time they tried to press charges, the police said there wasn't much they could do about it because she was their child, in their house and it wasn't much money - this was for a forged check. Will the police actually do anything this time? Will they arrest her? Will she be forced to stay in jail? Will jail offer rehab? She's 19 years old, has gotten progressively worse with her addiction over the last year, she's been using since she was 15.

I'd just like to know if anyone has any idea what will happen?
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Old 02-02-2008, 02:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Tell your parents to report it and then to let what happens happen. Think about it as consequences that she gets for her choices. Nothing more that you can do and trying to project into the future will not help you in the present. Try to relax, I know it is hard. So sending some extra prayers for you and your family. If she is in jail, she can't continue to kill herself. Hugs, Marle
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Old 02-02-2008, 02:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi,
I would also call the police and let whatever happens to her, just happen. Everytime she does something and there is no accountablility on her part, she is getting sicker and deeper into her addiction. There is NOTHING that you or your parents can do to get her to stop using. Until she decides she doesn't want to live this way, she will. She is an adult now, not a kid. You cannot control anything she does, and neither can your parents. Trying to arrange the outcome will make all of you crazy.

I was married to an addict for 25 years and I jumped through hoops trying to make him see that he had a problem. He never did, and I ended up as sick as he is. I lost my own sense of who I was, until I met some people that knew what I was going through, and I came here. I seperated from him almost a year ago, and am in the process of divorce. I am learning how to be me again.

What helped me the most in the beginning was the conviction that unless my stbxh started experiencing the consequences of his actions-instead of me 'helping' him-he would never stop. Jail may be the thing that gives your sister a chance to save herself, and she really is the only one who can.

Love is not enough. Threats of consequences are not enough.

The only way to help an addict, is to stop helping the addict. It just is.
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Old 02-02-2008, 03:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I would report it as well. No one can say exactly what will happen after that. But at least your parents wouldn't be enabling her. If she does get arrested and sent to jail, great, it would probably be good in the long run. If not, then she doesn't. But maybe it will get her that much closer to hitting bottom, if you want to look at it that way.

I guess I would say, how would you react if it wasn't your sister/daughter? You'd report the money as stolen, right? I know she is someone you love, but that is no reason to allow her to steal money.

Vanessa
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Old 02-02-2008, 04:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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(((((((concernedsister)))))))


This is incredibly hard for your parents. I know, because it happened to me
and my husband. My son was 23 when, while living with his gf, broke into our
house while we were away on vacation. He called me the morning after he'd been in the house and I just knew. I knew he'd been in the house by the way he spoke. He also knew that this was my rock bottom.
I told him that I was going to have to call the police. He said, "I know, mom.
I'm so sorry. I was sick. I'm sick."
He took blank checks, video games and player, lots of dvd's, and God knows
what else. It averaged out about $1,200.00
The police picked him up outside of a grocery store. He told the people inside that there were two men waiting for him outside and that he couldn't go out without having to rob the store first. He wanted to be arrested, I think.
They called the police. The cops found out that there was an apb (all points bulletin) on him and he was arrested. He spent 6 months in a county prison and kicked the dope.
Thing is, I went to visit him 3 times a week, put money on his "account",
and allowed him to come home when he was released. He seemed fine at
first. Started a job and was reading the bible. Then he started to drink.
We moved back home to another state, praying that if he wasn't around people, places, and things, then he wouldn't have the urge to use.
The drinking continued, until I made him leave my home.
Long story shorter, he is seeing a doctor for bi-polar disorder.
He was recently put on lithium and up until 3 days ago, smoked pot regularly.
He's in withdraw from the pot now. Just wants to "feel" normal.
I feel for him. I know that he's self-medicated all these years and if he is bi-polar, it answers so many questions I've had.
I pray your parents decide to have your sister arrested. Having my son arrested save his life, I think. I know it saved my, as well.
Keep coming back. Sending hugs, support, and prayers, out to you, your sister, and your parents.

Linda
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Old 02-02-2008, 05:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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They have two options, report it or don't. All those "what if's" won't do a thing to help.

My thoughts are that unless this girl is charged and learns that there are consequences to her actions, she will continue to do what she is doing.

Nothing changes if nothing changes. If you want things to change, report it.

Hugs
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Old 02-02-2008, 08:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Reading all of your responses has helped me to see that you are all absolutely right. My sister has always lived her life without consequences. She has done SO much wrong, and nothing ever happens to her. I do think she needs this. Although I will admit that it will be harder than hard to deal with her in jail because once she's stripped of the drugs she's such a wonderful girl, she's sweet, innocent, smart, funny, and when she's clean my heart will break talking to her and thinking about the sweet little girl I only see when she's clean sitting in a jail cell. She's not all that street savvy, she's a little suburban girl who's been spoiled all of her life and always gotten her way. I know that's what she needs but that will be very hard to deal with.

My parents did tell the credit card company it was her. I don't know if they'll call the police or not. I imagine they will.
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Old 02-02-2008, 08:22 PM   #13 (permalink)
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My AD did this January 9 w/ my debit card she stole. Hard as it was, I filed charges--4 counts of something. Without a police report, my bank wouldn't pay back my money. That was 10-20% of my reasoning....the other has been WELL stated above, if nothing changes, nothing changes. I won't be a part of my daughter killing herself, and I won't help her!!

Was it easy, nope. But in my heart I know I did what was right.

Prayers for your parents, you have no idea what hell they are living.
susan:praying
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Old 02-02-2008, 08:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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My AD did this January 9 w/ my debit card she stole. Hard as it was, I filed charges--4 counts of something. Without a police report, my bank wouldn't pay back my money. That was 10-20% of my reasoning....the other has been WELL stated above, if nothing changes, nothing changes. I won't be a part of my daughter killing herself, and I won't help her!!

Was it easy, nope. But in my heart I know I did what was right.

Prayers for your parents, you have no idea what hell they are living.
susan:praying
Did she get arrested? Did they go out looking for her? Is she in jail or rehab? Looks like you found the strength, my mom is finding it too.
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Old 02-02-2008, 08:50 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Not yet, but there are warrants out. This is the first time I haven't looked for her, the car, NOTHING! I am out of it. Choices=consequences. it is time Kasey (my AD) learns some. Plus, we all have free will. They may be addicts, but they choose to use drugs. I pray they both find their bottom soon, but if they don't, I don't like living the addict lifestyle! I'm gettin "clean" myself!

Tell you mom you can't love them enough to make them stop. I sometimes think the more we love them, the worse we make it!!

susan
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Old 02-02-2008, 10:08 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Although I will admit that it will be harder than hard to deal with her in jail because once she's stripped of the drugs she's such a wonderful girl, she's sweet, innocent, smart, funny, and when she's clean my heart will break talking to her and thinking about the sweet little girl I only see when she's clean sitting in a jail cell.
It's hard, but you've got to practice tough love on her.

One thing I've learned about addiction, especially opiates is that they change their brain. It numbs them. They no longer feel guilt, shame, or heartache. When you or I do something wrong, we feel those things and they drive us to do better. They learn that if they feel guilt or shame, a dose of heroin will fix that.

If she's been doing drugs for four years, she still has the emotional maturity of a 15 year old since kids stop maturing when they start doing drugs.

For an addict, it's all about what they can get away with, and nothing more.

You gave reasons why you don't want to go to al anon. How about a private therapist? It's clear this is eating you up inside. Maybe a professional might be better. A few nights ago at the family meeting at my step-daughter's rehab, I watched as the therapist played the role of "the addiction" and a father spoke to the addiction. He was in tears before very long. It was very emotional and touching.
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Old 02-02-2008, 11:04 PM   #17 (permalink)
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It's hard, but you've got to practice tough love on her.

One thing I've learned about addiction, especially opiates is that they change their brain. It numbs them. They no longer feel guilt, shame, or heartache. When you or I do something wrong, we feel those things and they drive us to do better. They learn that if they feel guilt or shame, a dose of heroin will fix that.

If she's been doing drugs for four years, she still has the emotional maturity of a 15 year old since kids stop maturing when they start doing drugs.

For an addict, it's all about what they can get away with, and nothing more.

You gave reasons why you don't want to go to al anon. How about a private therapist? It's clear this is eating you up inside. Maybe a professional might be better. A few nights ago at the family meeting at my step-daughter's rehab, I watched as the therapist played the role of "the addiction" and a father spoke to the addiction. He was in tears before very long. It was very emotional and touching.
Honestly, I don't live in the same household with them. I have 2 children a husband and a very busy family life. Of course I love my sister and think about her all of the time. I think about it more because I am very close to my mom and this is really devastating her and affecting every minute of her life. For me, her behavior is not changing my lifestyle, I'm not living with her, enabling, etc. There's a pretty big age difference here. I"m 36, my sister is 19. I don't feel I personally have any issues. I try to get answers to support my mom and know how to handle things on the rare occasion my sister calls. Otherwise, I love her to pieces, but I have my own life to live and my children to spend time with. I wouldn't want to go to meetings and spend that time away from my family nor do I feel I have any issues that I need to deal with. My sister makes her own choices. She is living her life the way she chooses. It's very sad, but I know that no one has control over her actions but her. She's very smart, she knows where to go for help when she wants it.

On another note, I didn't know that drugs stop the brain from aging, that was an interesting point! Thanks.

Last edited by concernedsister; 02-02-2008 at 11:08 PM. Reason: adding info.
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Old 02-03-2008, 06:09 AM   #18 (permalink)
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SR has been PRICELESS in my recovery; it was here that I found the support I needed.I never did face to face meetings, either.

I did have several very supportive friends, a couple of whom had addicts in their own lives and were able to give me reality checks when I started wavering from my path. I saw a counselor for a while and met with my pastor several times. I read A LOT, too.

I think you do whatever is right for you; maybe encouraging your mom to get some support other than you would be a good idea? Not that you shouldn't help her, but it is very easy to get consumed by addiction. It was my husband, not my child, that is the addict. My heart just breaks for all the parents here.

((((HUGS))))
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Old 02-03-2008, 06:35 AM   #19 (permalink)
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((((Hugs))))

As an RA (recovering addict), I hope they report her to the police. If my family had not allowed me to face my consequences (which did include jail time), I would still be getting high, instead of celebrating 11 months clean in 6 days. My dad called the police when I relapsed and was about to call my probation officer when I realized I wanted to get clean and stay that way. I would have gone to prison. He said it was the hardest thing he'd ever done, but he wasn't going to stand around and let me "kill myself".

Hugs and prayers to you and your family!

Amy
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Old 02-03-2008, 01:45 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Everyone here has put it more eloquently than I can. It's a hard thing to do but the addict must know consequences. We love our kids but the more we hate the addict, the better our kids will be.

Prayers.
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