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SLIMMERKIWI Posts: 26,159
6/4/13 12:40 A

It sounds like you are between a rock and a hard place, and I sympathize with and for you. Your brother is obviously destroying his nose - I gather the cartilage can be eaten way by sniffing the drug on a regular basis.

I think that your best bet would be if you know who his Dr is, to talk with him/her. They won't be able to give you information because of confidentiality laws, but there is no law that says they can't listen to someone's concern about their patient.

I feel for you, and send my very best wishes for a successful outcome, but remember, it will only be successful IF you brother chooses to do something about it. Whatever happens, it is not in anyway, shape or form, your fault, so I hope that you don't end up feeling guilty about 'would have, should have' things!

My heart goes to you re your mum, too! Sending you BIG hugs,
Kris xx

SFCAST Posts: 5
6/3/13 8:56 P


I unfortunately don't have any answer for you but I am going through an awkward situation at the minute.. I think my brother is addicted to cocaine.. He has been for a long time I think but I just haven't been strong enough to deal with it.. Part of me is afraid that he'll do something irrational as he has had depression in the past.. I am terrified that he will pull away.. I have wanted to believe that it's just hay fever but he makes so many noises and can be twitchy quite a lot.. He also has scarring just under one of his nostrils which is so bad hair doesn't grow there anymore.. He went to college and is doing well but I honestly in my heart of hearts think he is sick.. My Mam has recently been diagnosed with Dementia, my sister is away and my father isn't really all that stable himself and pretty useless.. I have said it to both my da and my sister but everyone is too afraid as to what he'll do should we approach the subject.. He is the pride and joy of my mother and things are just about holding themselves together at the minute I don't want to ruin it.. So what should I do?? Say nothing and let him continue to abuse substances or say something and hope for the best?? Any advise would be much appreciated..

THOMS1 Posts: 12,808
11/13/12 3:49 P

Slimmerkiwi has really given you some good advice. There is really nothing you can do for her except be there and listen. I wish you success with your goals and I hope your friend sees the light soon.

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (191,741)
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Posts: 26,585
11/13/12 1:20 P


You are in a very difficult situation. On the plus side, your friend V keeps talking to you. That's a good thing because it signals that she's at least receptive to some support. What would I do ?

As others have noted, it's tough to get someone who's addicted to acknowledge their addiction. She knows she has a problem, but she may be afraid of what to do or whether or not anyone will be there for her. She's lost her mother and father. Is she close to any other family members like her grandparents ? aunts/uncles ? You may want to get in touch with her family. Let them know what's going on so that they can give her some support. I hope her family hasn't abandoned her after her parents death.

One thing you might consider doing would be going to a local support group like AA. Tell her YOU want to go, but you don't want to go alone. Bring her along and perhaps some of the things she learns at AA will help her even though she's only there to (in theory) support you. Going to a group like AA is a step towards healing your addictions.

If she doesn't want to go, you can't force her. But you can help yourself. Go to the meetings along if you have to. It may be that once she sees you making a difference, she might want to change too.

Why people turn to drugs is very complex. She really does need professional help. Will she go to a doctor for a physical ? that's another place she can start to heal her body. her PCP could refer her to a good therapist if she's willing to accept help.

JBINAUSTIN SparkPoints: (54,001)
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Posts: 9,602
11/13/12 12:13 P

You're in a tough place right now. Have you tried Nar-Anon, a 12 Step program for people whose lives are affected by others who are addicted to drugs? Some in the programs are recovering addicts themselves, while others are not. Their web site is:

Don't confuse Nar-Anon with Narconon, a Scientology program.

SLIMMERKIWI Posts: 26,159
11/12/12 11:10 P

Hi Jesse, I am really glad that you have been able to voice your thoughts. I can understand to a degree where you are coming from, because I am married to an alcoholic, and a couple friends' children have died as the result of drugs. Depression and Drug/Alcohol abuse often go hand-in-hand. Your friend has had 2 tragic losses with the deaths of both parents, while she was quite young and needing them still. She DOES have a Psychiatrist so that is good. You mention that she is playing him like a fiddle. I strongly suspect that he understands what is happening a lot more than maybe you realize. That having been said, there is no reason why, as a concerned friend, you can't contact him and voice your concerns. Be aware tho' that altho' he is able to listen to you, he has a legal, ethical and moral responsibility to NOT share with you!

Unfortunately the only ones that we can be responsible for are ourselves. What your friend 'chooses' to do is exactly that - HER choice, even tho' we both know that it is wrong. I am sure that before you were ready to deal with your addictions issues you wouldn't have listened to anyone - well, at least you wouldn't have ACTED on their advice. The same will apply with your friend. They really HAVE to be ready to address their issues. I would imagine that she also has an 'Addiction Therapist' to help her with the emotional side of things. If not, that is something that you could suggest to her.

It sounds to me, too, like perhaps you are suffering from grief and probably guilt, still, over your friend's death. Have YOU got a Therapist you can turn to to help you with that, AND through the emotions of dealing with your friend in need now? I have had this support myself. I knew what/why hubby drinks, but I just needed that place to go to off-load if need be. Sometimes we didn't even talk about his drinking issues at all, but rather what was going on in both of our lives in general,(Therapist's and my own) even the positive things - and I often found those times just as therapeutic. The bottom line, tho', is that you can't control what she does or doesn't do, so you need to find a way to allow you to let go of the feeling of responsibility and even guilt because she was there for you. The Therapist is the answer.

You talk with your Fiance about what is happening, but I suspect that he isn't one who truly understands. A lot of people get frustrated or lack patience because they don't know what to say/do, and this can lead to arguments because of it. Don't let it spoil your relationship. It may be that by talking with a Therapist you can back off talking to him about it other than perhaps a casual mention. Then he will be far less likely to get fed up.

Know, too, that we are here for you!

BIG hugs,
Kris xx

JHISEROTE SparkPoints: (8,887)
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11/12/12 10:38 P

This is a sensitive subject because no matter what you do or what advice we give you, you can't save her. From the sounds of it, you have your fair share of problems and addictions that you have to deal with everyday. It is very hard to watch someone you love destroy themselves. You already know from experience that no matter what you say or do, she is going to continue her destructive path until SHE hits bottom and wants to change her life. The advice I would give you is to continue to love her and support her but do not get so wrapped up in her life, problems and addictions, to where it is effecting your own life. From my own experience, I can tell you that focusing on someone else's problems is a a good indication that you are trying to direct your attention away from your own life. Your own addictions are far from over, you have to fight everyday for sobriety and it can't be easy. That's what you need to focus on because you are no good to anyone if you can't be good to yourself. I've had a history of having family with addictions, including alcohol and meth. There is nothing you can do for them, nothing you can are only in control of your own life. Let her know that you are there for her when she decides that she wants to change but don't let her drag you down with her. Keep being strong!

11/12/12 10:31 P

You answered your own question in your post. All you can do is try to stay connected with her, so that you can be there if and when she is ready to take the steps to regain her sobriety. Maybe you can ask her to put you as an emergency contact on her cell phone . . . for your own peace of mind.

You know you don't have the power to change another person's behavior. The only thing in your control is how you react to it.

I feel for you. I really do. It is so hard accepting our powerlessness in the face of a loved one's destructive and dangerous behavior. In the meantime, take GREAT care of yourself. Someday you might be her inspiration to change.

I hope you receive plenty of support here, wise words and understanding, because what you are experiencing is just so emotionally painful! Wishing you a brave heart

HEZZYLUNA Posts: 129
11/12/12 6:31 P

I'm really struggling with a friend of mine.

My friend, let's call her V, has been my best friend since freshman year of high school. And we're not like regular girl friends, we've always been complete opposites, we've always had different circles of friends, different interests, different everything, yet we've always been "that person" for eachother, to whom we can say anything to. Well, we have always had one thing in common; writing. We're both writers. But anyways..

V is gay, not that it matters really but I thought I should say it so there's a clear picture of her. She's actually pretty awesome, she's got these long dread locks and has great style, and she is and has always been very liberal, very free spirited. And I used to be like that, I was the one who was seeing boys and doing drugs and having the best freaking time, and she was my confidant, she was the bookworm who only smoked pot with me. Then, as we grew older we switched places sort of, I quit partying so much and settled down with a steady boyfriend, she started going wild. Her dad died when she was 16, of cancer, and 4 years ago her mother died. So she's been pretty on her own for a while (she's 24 now, so am I). But she's always been very... self aware. She's incredibly smart, graduated college and could be on her way to grad school and everything. And she's always been "out there," but this past year, she's taken a different turn.

See, I'm an alcoholic. I started drinking alcoholically when I was 17, when my friend who basically my brother died of a heroin overdose, and I went to rehab a couple times but I really got sober in 2010. And she more or less stuck by me that whole time.. I mean, there's a lot I don't remember, on account of me being wasted for 4 years straight, but I know she never let me flail in the wind when I was in trouble.

She wrestled with a xanax addiction briefly in high school. I brushed it off because at the time I was doing xanax a lot too and I wasn't addicted so I figured she just liked it a lot too and was just being V, just too self aware and analytical. Either way she kicked it, didn't touch the stuff for a good while. But now, she's got a prescription for xanax because she plays her psychiatrist like a fiddle in order to get that prescription. And so now she's always messed up on something, ecstacy, xanax, alcohol, over the counter stuff, you name it. And I don't know what to do. As an addict myself, I know that unfortunately you can't just talk to an addict and convince them that they need help. Even if they know it's true, if they're not there, it won't happen, it'll just push her away. And I can't push her away because I have to be there for her, but I'm finding it SO HARD to be there for her because she's out of control. And I'm so scared... a few weeks ago, she didn't answer any of my texts, I messaged her on facebook and she didn't answer that, and for like 5 days she didn't even post anything on facebook, which isn't like her, and honest to God, I was so scared that something happened. Because no one would know to call me if it did, she has all different friends now, no one would know to call me. These "friends" of her must be blind. Or just not know her very well.

I guess... I've just gotten so much support from you SparkerPeople, and I try to talk to my fiance, but he gets fed up too because I don't do anything about it. And he doesn't know what to do. And I'm so scared because I don't want her to end up like Matt, my friend who died when I was 17. Since I've been there I know now, that he was so messed up for so long. I begged him to stop, then after a while I refused to talk to him when he was high, but I could have done more- I should have done more. I just didn't understand what was happening to him. He was the older one, he was 23 when he died I was only 17 and I thought I was doing the right thing by just not pushing him away.

I feel like if I say anything, she's just going to say I'm being too conservative, and she'll pull away. And I can't lose her- not just because she's my best friend, but because I can't stand to wonder if she's ok. At least right now, she talks to me and lets me know exactly what shes doing, what she's on. I know this isn't the usual thing people post on here.. but like I said, you guys have been supportive in the past, I thought just maybe....What should I do?

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