Sister with Drug Addiction and Depression

Old 05-17-2010, 09:09 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Houston, TX
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Sister with Drug Addiction and Depression

I have a sister who is 2 years older than me (late 50's), who is addicted to ridiline. She is also taking anti depressants (at least 2-3 different brands), as well as vicodin. Please forgive me if I do not spell the names of these drugs correctly. To make a long story short, she has suffered from depression since childhood and began her addiction with alcohol abuse.

Years later, the alcohol addiction changed to a drug addiction consisting of various drugs from speed, downers, cocaine and eventually ridiline. She was sober for about 4 years until my mother passed away in 2004. My father passed away in July 2008. Basically, she is my only living family member and I really don't want to lose her.

She asked me to help her detox which I agreed to do. When I went to see her however, she decided that she would just start cutting back on the ridiline before going into a complete detox. Obviously she is not doing this and is two steps away from being broke. I am not able to provide her with money and I won't for drugs. She owns her house and car and doesn't have a lot of bills but she manages to spend just about every dime she has. She is also on disability. About a year ago she went to rehab in Florida but it didn't take.

I'm just looking for any advice possible.

Thank you.
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:10 AM
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Welcome to SR, mister.

Detox is best done under medical supervision. It is very dangerous to try alone, and can be fatal. I don't say this to scare you, but to try to keep your sister safe.

Sadly, it is impossible to help an addict, only they can do that. We can encourage them and cheer them on when they make good choices, but in the end it's up to them. If love could save an addict, not one of us would be here.

The Salvation Army has a free rehab program that many have found very good. If she is willing, this program may also help her on her journey to sobriety.

Make yourself comfortable, take a read around, and you will see that you are not alone here.

I will keep your sister and you in my prayers.

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Old 05-17-2010, 10:13 AM
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(((Mistermister))) - welcome to SR! I'm sorry for what has brought you here, but you're in good hands! There are so many people here, who are going through, or have been through, similar situations.

I'm an RA (recovering addict) as well as a codie (codependent) who has loved ones who are addicts.

I can tell you a few things from the get-go. YOU can't "help" her with getting off drugs. This is something she has to do for herself. She may "talk the talk" but with A's (addicts), ACTION is what you need to look at. I SAID I wanted to get off dope a lot of times, and I'm sure I MEANT it, but I didn't take action until I'd faced enough consequences that I was truly sick and tired of it.

I'm glad you're not giving her money...don't. A's will often sell anything they can get their hands on to support their habit..regardless of what their DOC (drug of choice) is. They will "rent" out their cars, homes, etc. There is plenty of help available, and the greatest help to an addict is another recovering addict..12-step meetings, SMART recovery, counseling, etc.

The best thing my loved ones ever did was to tell me "we love you, but you need to get your life together" and step back. They allowed me to fall on my face and find my way back up again.

Hugs and prayers!

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mistermister (05-18-2010)
Old 05-17-2010, 04:18 PM
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Ditto what the previous people said. As for Ritalin, you *cannot* stop this cold turkey. Period. I am not saying that you should help her detox as I agree with the statements above; but merely pointing out that it would be extremely dangerous with that particular medication.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:54 AM
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mistermister, welcome to sober recovery.

i'm glad ann suggested getting assistance from a doctor - that's what i was gonna say. i think you're in over your head.

it's hard to break the need to be their savior, their understanding gentle friend. but you are simply not qualified. also, you are emotionally involved. i hope you can step back and that she will seek out REAL detox and recovery.

i agree that the sal. army's program is good for many folks, espcially (imo) those who have been at for many years. it's long-term and that's important too.
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Old 05-20-2010, 12:12 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
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Thank you for your kind words. It's been 3 days since I've spoken with my sister and it really irritates me the way she tends to drop out of sight. I hope when I do speak with her she doesn't act hateful to me for telling her that her finances are in shambles and she needs to get some help.
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