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June 2021

Drug problem

Dj Tanner, on April 9, 2021 at 8:58 AM Posted in Family and Relationships 0 19
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As some of you may remember from some of my previous posts, one of my FH’s brothers has a drug addiction. No one on either side of our family has ever had any sort of drug addiction whatsoever so it’s very hard for us to even know where to begin with helping him. We’ve spent those 2AM nights with him trying to get him admitted into a psychiatric facility in our state, but he is never willing to stay and in our state if the person is not willing then they cannot be forced to stay and it’s very difficult to get a court mandate to force him to stay.


He has a virtual court session today. FFIL has spent so much time effort and money trying to help his son. Although at times he is an enabler. I found an in patient facility in Florida because I feel like if he stays in our state he will just meet more people with drug addictions in the facility and it just won’t work out very well. It’s happened before where he’s met people in outpatient and instead of trying to get better he’s only used them as more ‘connects’. but the facility in Florida is super expensive and although my FH makes good money, It’s still way too much for us as we have the wedding, want to get a house after the wedding, and we want to have kids right after the wedding. I’m certainly not choosing my happiness over my FBILs survival but I feel like even if we did go on a payment plan and throw him in the facility, it would probably be a waste of money and I don’t believe he would actually stay in there.
My FH isn’t as willing to help his brother anymore but I’m worried about the end results of us just giving up.
Has anyone had to deal with a family members drug addiction? Did they ever recover? If so what did they do? What can we do?

19 Comments

Latest activity by Dj Tanner, on April 10, 2021 at 9:23 AM
  • Sarah
    Master September 2019
    Sarah ·
    • Flag
    My uncle had an alcohol addiction and went to rehab 2 times in the last 4 years after being hospitalized for internal bleeding related to his alcohol use. My grandmother spent a lot of money on his care. In the end, he went back to drinking and passed away recently due to kidney and liver failure.


    You can’t make people want to change. Paying for a more expensive rehab or sending him to a different state won’t change anything if he doesn’t actually see his issues/want help for those issues.
    • Reply
  • Elizabeth
    Super June 2021
    Elizabeth ·
    • Flag
    I've talked in previous posts about my cousin being an addict and I know other families with similar situations. I think the sad reality is that FBIL needs to WANT to get and stay sober or he never will. It doesn't matter how much you guys want it or that it's good for him. He does have a choice in all of this, as hampered by drugs as the choice may be, and he repeatedly has chosen to use rehab as an opportunity to score more drugs. From my limited perspective, it seems like he doesn't want to be sober and you can't make him want it.


    Save your money. If something happens to him, it isn't your fault. You need to take care of your own life and your new family. You need to accept that sometimes there is truly nothing you can do to save someone who doesn't want to be saved.
    • Reply
  • D
    June 2021
    Dj Tanner ·
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    I know. And we told ourselves time and time again if he doesn’t get help on his own it won’t work. But sometimes I hear there’s other success stories and “intervention “type things where the person was unwilling but once they get a little sober they get their head on straight. I know he has to come to the decision on his own it’s just such a tough pill for me to swallow. If anything ever happens to him I just don’t ever want to have that feeling of “we should’ve done more”. Even though I know it won’t be our fault But it’s just a very hard feeling to shake
    • Reply
  • H
    Master July 2019
    Hannah ·
    • Flag
    Unfortunately, as others have said, unless he is ready to even think about a change, nothing you do will help. Sobriety and recovery is difficult, and the person has to have a desire to go through that for it to stick, even for a little while. If he's still using rehab as a way to get more drug hookups, he'll just use the fancy Florida one for the same purpose.
    • Reply
  • Samantha
    VIP October 2022
    Samantha ·
    • Flag
    There is not much you can do. It’s heartbreaking, I know.
    My dearest friend in the world, who is a strong woman and endured a lot of challenges in her life relapsed after 20 years of sobriety. I had never known her when she was using. She was withdrawing from me and I thought it was me. I’m an introvert and don’t like to go “out” much and I thought she was just enjoying more adult fun with new friends. So I didn’t see it - until her daughter called to tell me she was in jail. She is facing serious time due to her actions.
    We were messaging and she told me that I can never understand addiction because I’m not an addict. I acknowledged that and asked her what she needed from me. She needs me to message and write her, and to be there for her kids. Her kids don’t want to talk to her and I understand that, she has wrecked havoc. They know they can’t do anything for her. They were trying to help and it has really cost them, and I think that happens a lot.
    • Reply
  • Courtney
    Expert September 2022
    Courtney ·
    • Flag

    I have an uncle that's been an on and off addict to heroin for years. He was introduced to it young and it's been part of his life consistently. He would go 5/6 years sober and then fall back into it.

    My grandfather (his dad) constantly bailed him out and did what he could to help him get back on his feet. He stole from our family and hurt them emotionally.

    He's currently sober and has been for almost 5 years, but I just don't trust him and really want nothing to do with him. The most recent program he was part of was called an oxford house. It's similar to a half-way house in that they live with other recovering addicts, but they pay rent, pass drug tests, and each house has their set of rules and standards. It's a program that worked really well for him, but he had to do it on his own.

    Ultimately, your FBIL has to have a desire to get clean, and until he does there's no point in throwing your money at him. Forcing people to give up drugs before they're ready never works and they almost always relapse.

    • Reply
  • M
    VIP January 2019
    Maggie ·
    • Flag

    Like everyone says, you can't help people who don't want help. And you say you know this, but you don't really seem to know this (and like you admit, you have never dealt with anything like this before).

    There are resources out there for loved ones of addicts (Al-Anon is one) and I highly recommend you take advantage of those to help you understand how addiction works and to just get through this. I know it's rough; but acceptance can bring you peace.

    • Reply
  • Kimberly
    Super March 2021
    Kimberly ·
    • Flag
    Until he hits rock bottom he will not see the need to change. You can’t force him to see that. And the more you push to try to make him see, the more you show him it’s you with the problem and not him.
    You have to step back. Love him. Let him know you are there for him when he is ready for help. Then step back. It’s heartbreaking and stressful but it is the only way.
    And you have to accept the fact that he may never seek help. That’s not giving up on him, you will still be there to support him if he ever does seek help and you will always love him. But you have to take care of your own mental health and stability and constantly worrying about a loved one that is slowly killing themselves is not healthy.
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  • Cristy
    Master May 2021
    Cristy ·
    • Flag

    As much as you want to help this man, you cannot do it for him. It has to be his decision to give up drugs and get into recovery.

    My daughter was in active addiction for at least 5 years. Nothing I did could wake her up to the fact she needed help. I finally had to just let her go, and it broke my heart. Once I distanced myself from her, she flailed about in her addiction for another year, before she found out she was pregnant. She tried staying clean during her pregnancy, but had some setbacks. Then it happened. My granddaughter was born, and she tested positive for meth. CFS came to the hospital the next day and took her into their custody, and placed her with a foster family. That was the "rock bottom" my daughter needed to hit before she would do something to change her life. She had been so excited about this baby, and it devastated her to have her taken away. 2 weeks later, she was in residential rehab. She stayed in that program for 3 months, only allowed to see her daughter for an hour a week, supervised. But she didn't give up. She did the work, got herself clean and in a much better place in her head, and started to learn why she turned to drugs. After 8 months of really hard work, and continual progress, she got her baby back. She's been clean and sober for 4 years now, and she's a really good mommy to my granddaughter.

    The point of this story is to show that only the addict can change their circumstances. If they have any "help" at all, they will not change. The only real way you and your family can help this man is to STOP helping him. As hard as it is to do, you have to let him make his choices. It doesn't mean you have to stop talking to him, but you have to stop helping him. No money, no place to stay, no food, no clothing, no to whatever he asks for. Only when he wants to change his life will you see any improvement. I'm sorry you're gong through this. There is a lot of counseling out there for families of addicts. I found it to be life saving, as I had nobody to turn to in my grief and frustration about my daughter. Look into that, for your own sanity. Good luck to you.

    • Reply
  • C
    Devoted September 2022
    Carissa ·
    • Flag
    Just giving up is the best thing you can do. No one believes it unless they've been through it, but TRULY all you can do is allow them to hit their rock bottom. Then they have to make the choices to seek help and turn it around. THEN you can offer support. But until then, you can't make decisions for them and can't make them change. Everything will be a lie and a manipulation. Don't let them fool you- drugs are their one and only priority at this moment.


    PS- you SHOULD choose your happiness over FBIL. Do not feel bad about that when he is making his choices.
    • Reply
  • E
    Super July 2023
    Eniale ·
    • Flag

    I lost my half-brother in December to heroine. The saddest part is that he had been clean for over twelve years, but we lost my dad last March, and then two weeks later he lost his job due to COVID shutdowns (he was a chef) and he just never recovered. He fell back into depression, then turned back to heroine. He was actually supposed to go to rehab the day he died. He had signed up to go and never showed. I think he figured "one last hurrah" and it ended up being the last for the wrong reason.

    My SIL is also a drug addict (also heroine). She's struggled with it for ten years. At Christmas I know she was clean, because she just got out of prison for the last two years. I don't know if she's stayed clean, though.

    Unfortunately, the only way someone can be "forced" to get clean is for them to end up in prison like my SIL. Your FBIL has to want to get clean. And even if he does, you should know that he will struggle with it the rest of his life and may suffer lapses.

    I can tell you that my husband has kept his sister at an arm's length. He loves her, and he wants her to be well, but he also has to protect himself and us. It's an unfortunate reality.

    I wouldn't say you are giving up. Your FH has to protect the life you two are building together, including from his brother. I won't sugarcoat - the end results may be exactly what you fear, but unfortunately only his brother really has any control over them. You don't, and your FH doesn't.

    I'm sorry you are dealing with this. I know it's hard.

    • Reply
  • Jessica
    Dedicated October 2021
    Jessica ·
    • Flag
    PLEASE don’t send family members to treatment in Florida. I am a criminal defense attorney in palm beach county, FL. Delray Beach is the “rehab capital of America”/most treatment centers of any city in America. Virtually all patients end up dead or in jail after leaving treatment and not knowing anyone on the streets. A lot of treatment center operators are currently being prosecuted themselves for patient brokering. Please do not send a family member to Florida because it doesn’t work. As my mother says, Florida is a sunny place for shady people.
    • Reply
  • D
    June 2021
    Dj Tanner ·
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    Wow! We looked in Florida because his mother and other family members live there and the inpatient facilities are gorgeous. Much much different than anything that is offered here in my very small state. I had no idea it was considered the rehab capital. This is the first I’ve ever heard of that here from you and a few others on this post. I feel like at this point we are just going to have to give up on him. From all of the advice I’ve been given, I was throwing him into a rehab is probably not going to work and deep down I kind of already knew that, but sometimes you hear about these great success stories of people that have been thrown in rehab against their will and come out and get clean. Maybe it’s just false hope and wishful thinking. Sadly I think his rock-bottom will be death, but at this point, there’s really nothing else I can do. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s the reality that we have to deal with. We don’t even want him at our wedding at this point but who knows he prob won’t even make it.
    • Reply
  • Heather
    Expert August 2020
    Heather ·
    • Flag
    First of all, I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with this. I come from a long line of addiction to drugs on my mother’s side, including my mother herself. I think you’re understanding when you say that if you put him in a facility that he doesn’t want to be in, it will be a waste of money because he will just leave.
    My grandmother fought for my aunt for years, to the point where she even had custody of my cousin. She paid for countless rehabs, and my aunt just didn’t care. She had no interest in getting better. She gave my grandma the same old song and dance for years, and because there was a child involved, my grandmother had to pick the child over her own child. So unfortunately my aunt passed away because she couldn’t beat her addiction. A similar situation played out later on with my uncle, where he ended up passing too. My grams did everything she possibly could to help her kids and she still holds tremendous guilt because she feels like she didn’t do enough. When my uncle was going through the addiction after previously getting sober, I distanced myself because he didn’t want to help himself, and I couldn’t watch him kill himself like I watched my aunt do it. So I completely feel for your FH.
    At the end of the day, your FBIL needs to decide for himself that he wants to get sober, or he will never succeed no matter how many times you push him to it. So if your FH needs to take a step back, I would support him in the decision, but I would also caution him not to completely cut him out, just for the guilt he may feel afterward, even though he would have nothing to feel guilty about. Again, I wish you both the best, and I am so sorry you are all in this situation ❤️
    • Reply
  • Rebecca
    Master August 2019
    Rebecca ·
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    I can only echo this.

    I would recommend you two AND your FILs going to counseling. *Particularly* your FIL, who really does seem borderline enabling.

    Drug addiction is a disease, it often coexists with other traumas, but you can't fix any of that. I know it seems cruel.

    He has to hit his own point of "drugs aren't fixing why I'm hurting" point.

    • Reply
  • Brittany
    Dedicated June 2021
    Brittany ·
    • Flag

    You need to go to Al-Anon meetings. It will help you come to terms with the fact that you can't make him get well, and that you are not responsible for his recovery or sobriety. Seriously, go to Al-Anon.

    • Reply
  • D
    June 2021
    Dj Tanner ·
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    Yeah, I’ve definitely accepted the fact there’s nothing I can do. I really don’t have any desire to be around anymore people like that.
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  • Brittany
    Dedicated June 2021
    Brittany ·
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    I understand that you feel that way, but the fact that you're considering paying for his treatment and actively looking for places for him to go to rehab shows that you are still trying to find ways to "fix" him/the situation.

    • Reply
  • D
    June 2021
    Dj Tanner ·
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    Yeah… No, it’s way too much money and I’ve definitely come to the conclusion that he’s on his own. My FH and I have to live our lives.
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