I’ve been living with addiction as long as I can remember not my own but my sister’s. She’s been battling addiction since she was 20 years old. She’s 53 now.
After decades of using heroin and going into every rehab my parents could afford, she finally found a solution in Suboxone, which is used to make withdrawal easier. But that has turned into just a substitute drug. We’ve been trying desperately to get her off it. She has lost her life and her will, and her relapses are worse every time.
Our parents tried everything they could think of, but my father passed away after a heart attack, and my mother is struggling to do something to help her daughter before her time comes. Could you please help us find a solution, some help, guidance — anything that could break my sister out of this terrible cycle?
Addicts who refuse treatment can’t be helped, and Suboxone is a powerful drug. It has saved many lives by helping people through withdrawal, but when it’s abused it can be as addictive as some street drugs and even harder to kick.
I’m sorry you’re going through this. In my experience, siblings are the forgotten victims. Seeing what their parents are going through with the addict, they try to make life easier on them by not seeing their attention or help and bottling up their own feelings. Over time, that can lead to a lot of resentment toward the addict.
If your mom lives in New York City and is suffering any sort of abuse, you may want to contact Senior Services in the city’s Department of Aging. There are similar programs elsewhere, too.
As for your sister, sometimes the best thing you can do feels like the worst thing you can do — like just cutting them off unless they get help. But in some cases, getting tough is what it takes to get the addict better — and their loved ones, too. I’ve seen it make the difference between life and death.
Whatever you do, you and your mother need professional help to figure out the best options in your particular case. If you’re not already in one, finding a good support group is important, too.
My most important message is for you: Take care of yourself — actively and purposefully. You may have suffered more than you know, and if you don’t pay attention to getting better, it will be hard to help your mother, not to mention your sister.
These are Palermo-Reddy’s opinions based on her experience with a range of patients, but are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Every case is unique and complex and requires individually designed action.
Alicia Palermo-Reddy is an opioid addiction counselor. She invites readers touched by the scourge to send their stories. She will select some to publish and offer her experience. Names will be withheld but must be verified. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Article source: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/woman-struggles-fight-sister-addiction-family-article-1.3382305