Is there help out there for a recovering post rehab drug addict that is still chronically stealing money from family?

by Kim
(Dearborn, MI )

We think my brother-in-law is staying clean from pills, but his mind and ways are so distorted. He is still taking checks from family members and writing them out (mostly from his dad).

My brother-in-law works with his dad and my husband and does not live with his dad. He just finished staying with us and took one of our checks too. He claims that it is from financial problems from before rehab, but we cannot ever believe a word he says. He is a chronic thief and liar.

He was diagnosed with bi-polar disease (not sure if it is a disease or what). Is there a rehab for theft? I think at least my father-in-law needs help in support in making decisions about what to do with his son. Is it better to prosecute? should he respond? He needs support.

This has been going on for quite awhile! The addict is 35 years old so we cannot control him obviously. What can his family and especially my father-in-law do?...for help and support in decision making and to get support for their own hurt caused by this deception.

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Addiction is a very complex disease.
by: Debbie Wicker

Dear Kim,

You're all involved in the very complex disease and problem of drug addiction.

A diagnosis of bi-polar can range from being a minor issue to a very serious mental illness. When drug addiction is added on top of it, it's often VERY difficult to understand what is causing the inappropriate behavior.

Did the addiction damage your brother-in-law's brain in ways that he will never recover from? Is your brother-in-law mentally ill and his real issue is his bi-polar disease? Is your brother-in-law a "dry drunk", meaning he is still acting like the addict he was but is just not using? Is your brother-in-law still using but you just don't know it? Has your brother-in-law switched to gambling or some other type of addiction that is causing him to need money?

These are ALL very real possibilities. Based on this I have a few recommendations for you and your family.

Your brother-in-law MUST get into long-term mental health counseling. He needs to find a male counselor that he trusts and work with his counselor every week until these symptoms begin to recede.

He also should go to AA or NA groups DAILY for 90 days so that he can begin to change his behavior and move past his addiction.

Finally, your entire family should attend Al-anon meetings weekly for at least the next six months. Particularly your father-in-law needs to learn the best ways to help his son, but how to ALWAYS avoid enabling his son's bad behavior. Al-anon groups are a great place to learn how to do this.

This is a difficult and complex problem but it can improve.

Good Luck,

Trust Takes Years
by: Greg

Trusting an addict should take as much time as it did distrusting them if not more, whether or not you show it or don't.

Trusting someone and then finding out there not trustworthy is in the same realm of denial that an addict goes through. Bi-polar meds and locking up all valuables is the best thing you can do, second is to report it and have the law step in, if that can't detour him nothing will.

Addiction has to got be one of the most selfish problems out there, and it doesn't get better without making him responsible for his acts. I'm addict and I know first hand, I've been clean for 2 years now and my family is still well aware of what to watch me for and what I'm capable of doing.

I may be clean but still may have some of the tendencies I learned while I was using.

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