How can I help?

by Ashley

I have a very close family member who has been using drugs for at least a year. (shooting up). She is a very intelligent woman and a nurse actively working in the field. She “needs to escape” because she has no mother, father, brother, or sister. They have all passed except the brother who wants nothing to do with her.

She has recently found out that her 3rd husband has been cheating for a year. This woman is my mom, I’ve looked up to her my whole life, and am now a nurse. I’ve moved an hour away to make my own family and not be around a mother shooting up.

I spoke with her today at work, she doesn’t want to be here she said and I need her to be. She’s the only mother I have. Can you Please contact me with information.

Guide Your Mom

by: Ned Wicker

Dear Ashley,

Your mom is in serious trouble. Her addiction will eventually cause her to lose her job and she does need support. The fact that her third husband is cheating on her suggests to me that marriage isn’t her strong suit, but so often people will keep trying, thinking that the results next time will be better. It just sounds like her life is a mess.

You are right in moving away and keeping some distance between you. I am not suggesting you abandon you mom, but you need to have an objective viewpoint in order to be helpful. Obviously, your mom needs to be in some kind of treatment. The problem is being a drug addict and a nurse do not mix, but there are out-patient detox and treatment programs that may be able to help her. She’s not going to be able to hide it forever, so she might as well face the music and try to get clean.

If she were to raid the medication room at her place of work, she’d really be in hot water, so maybe facing the problem head-on right now will be in her best interest.

You can reach out to her and try to show her that her current path is going nowhere. She will probably deny her problem, or blame you, or get angry. You might want to call Al-anon and get some support from their members. They have been through this before.

As a nurse you understand all of the professional ramifications of your mother’s disease, but the issue at hand is her health and well being, so that has to be your main concern. You might want to make some phone calls and start getting organized with the hope that your mom will accept treatment. She has already lost so much in her life and you are probably all she has left, so try to hang in there without enabling her.

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