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What can adult former addict do?

by Gail
(Fort Pierce, Fl)

My 24 year old niece is getting out of prison in a year. She confided in me that her mom, my sister, got her hooked on drugs at age 11.

My former brother-in-law was an alcoholic at the time. He then told me my sister was hooked on pain meds but no one believed him bc he frequently lied.

Fast forward, her drug addiction is worse. Her daughter is afraid her mom might overdose while she (my niece), is still in prison. Also my niece is afraid to go home when she gets out of prison bc there will be drugs there at home.

My niece told me all this in confidence. Her trust level is very low and is now learning to trust. She does trust me. Therefore, I can not violate that trust. Shall I ask my niece if we could do an intervention in hopes my sister could get off drugs before my niece gets out in a year and a half??

Naturally, my sister does not think she has a problem. She first used drugs in high school and probably never stopped except for being pregnant one time.

Comments for What can adult former addict do?

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Use the next year and one half to prepare for her release.
by: Debbie Wicker

Dear Gail,

What a sad tale your family has to tell. But because addiction often runs in families your story is repeated more often then anyone can imagine.

My first and most important recommendation for you is to help yourself to learn about addiction. Start attending Al-anon meetings three times a week and go to different meetings until you find a meetings you are comfortable with.

Al-anon offers six newcomer meetings which can acclimate you to Al-anon and help you decide the best way to help your family to end their addictions.

The most important part of going to meetings is to work the 12 step program for yourself. This will give you huge insight into the issues your sister, brother-in-law and niece are struggling with. Also, find a good sponsor who can help you to walk through this very complex situation in a way that is the most beneficial for everyone involved.

As you begin going to meetings and learning about addiction share with your family everything you doing and learning. Try to get them into a 12 step program. Your niece can be working on the program while she is in jail and it will significantly increase her chances of avoiding relapse if she fully commits to the program and spends the next year and one half STRENGTHENING herself and redefining who she is and what she wants for herself.

Also, encourage your sister to begin attending meetings with you so she can learn about her own addiction as well as how to best help her daughter. She can attend meetings even if she is still using and hopefully over time she will stop using as she works the steps.

If you begin really working the program and understanding it, than there is more than a 50% chance that your sister and niece will also work the program and you all will get help from your past hurts.

Addiction recovery without the 12 step program is possible but highly unlikely. Those are the sad facts. The steps work if you work them!

Good Luck,

Debbie


12 step program
by: Anonymous

Thank you Debbie, I will try some Al-Anon meetings. I need to get my family together to talk to my sister. She lives in a different town from us, but I will pray I can get her to AA. Thanks again for your suggestions.

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