Do I pressure my little sister to seek help?

by Gillian

(Vancouver BC)

I just found out that my 26 year old sister is addicted to pain killers not only that but she told me the reason she got on them in the first place is because she was raped, got pregnant from the rape and had an abortion. All this in the last year. I knew of none of this and feel like complete shit for not being there for her.

Also to pay for her addiction she has been stealing money from our parents.
Nobody knows of this but me and one of her friends. I think she has to come clean with our parents AND seek medical help with her addiction and to heal from what has happened to her should talk to a psychologist.

My question is should I pressure her to do this? I am living on the other side of the country and can’t be around physically for help her and I am worried that she will go back on the pills or push everyone away from her.

I am so worried for her and don’t know what to do.

Please help.

Love and Encourage

by: Ned Wicker

Dear Gillian,

Trying to handle this situation long distance is going to be difficult. What I would encourage you to do is have a good chat with your parents and the other members of the family.

Your sister’s disease has obviously progressed to a dangerous point, so she needs to be led into treatment. Your parents have a right to know what is happening. This problem is not just going to go away, she will need professional help.

The addiction is one thing, but her rape and subsequent abortion is also a very serious matter. I cannot imagine her pain. She was violated in a terrible way and the pain of aborting a child, even one conceived in rape, is traumatic for a woman.

She needs a lot of understanding and TLC. The therapy she needs to begin healing from that trauma will help her in dealing with her addiction. So often the operative question is not why don’t you quit, but what hurts? The emotional pain is great, even more than any physical pain.

You can encourage your sister, but I doubt if she’ll be pushed. She may tell you to mind your own business, or get angry, or deny completely that she has any issues at all.

With the love and support of her family and friends she will see the truth of her situation and hopefully decide that treatment is her best option.

Addiction is more than just dependence. It becomes a disease of the soul that burns at the core of our humanity. Family members also need help, so turning to Al-anon is a good idea. Their members have walked in your shoes and will understand your fight.

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