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need advice on helping sister - April 9th 2010, 04:36 AM

Hey, so... My sister is 20 years old and has been using drugs. She did some pot in high school and drank alcohol but it was never a huge problem.

When my sister got her first car about four months ago she began staying out all night and going to parties. My dad became concerned and put a tracker on her phone. We live in upstate NY and she was all the way down in New york city. When she came home she was very shaky and a complete wreck. It turns out she had driven down with some friends to do an $800 drug deal. While she was there she did crack and heroine. She told us this only because she had a real fear for her health. She went through withdrawls.

After that she was put on a shorter leash by my parents but you cant control an adult. She comes home at 5 am or not at all and calls into work and then lies about it saying she had the day off. Personality wise, she's not herself anymore and i dont know why.

Tonight i came home to find out that my sister is down in long island (like 5 or 6 hours away) and i suspect shes doing drugs.

Im really scared because my sister is the type of girl that if left alone in a kindergarten classroom would eat the play dough. I want to talk to her about this because the drugs and partying and staying out all night are completely interferring in her life. I dont know how to talk to her because
A) shes never home
B) I dont know how to bring up the subject
C) and she lies so you never know whats actually going on
D) you can't prove shes doing it
E) she wouldnt listen to her baby sister because shes older so "she must know more"

Does anyone have any advice on what I should do?
And isnt taking uppers and downers together really bad for you?

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." ~Oscar Wilde
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Re: need advice on helping sister - April 9th 2010, 05:12 AM

Something like this needs a the help of professional counseling and an intervention.

To prove your love for her, and for your parents to do the same, you must learn why she is doing this. There is always some trauma whether it be rape, abuse, or a condition such a bipolar. The underlying cause needs to be diagnosed and once that is treated, her addiction or need for drugs should subside (illicit that is).

This is a long, hard road and requires ultimatums and no giving on anyone's part. For example, where is she getting the money for gas, car insurance, food, drugs, etc? Some one is supporting her and needs to buckle down. If they enable her, she will never learn.
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Re: need advice on helping sister - April 9th 2010, 07:25 AM

Best advice is get her into an intervention therapy program, either by having her arrested or by having her go willingly. Either way, that's what I'd do because ignoring the obviousness of getting her "clean", you need to somehow prevent her from using the car and whatever else, and hanging around with the drug dealers.

Originally Posted by falling_like_stars View Post
I dont know how to talk to her because
A) shes never home
When she does come home, you can all have a family meeting. Alternatively, an option which is less favourable is have her arrested but if you haven't done the first, then the family meeting. Although I haven't had to be part of a family meeting for this in a while, I had to be part of one more recently for something else but it was very damaging to the two people and to the entire family. If it gets to a point where it's shouting and screaming, then screw it, it's useless. My uncle, father and I had to keep restoring order for ours although eventually my uncle gave into the chaos and my father gave up. You need to have the people involved be calm, if they cry, that's fine but don't have it so it's a shouting war because that itself creates a whole other issue of "you shouted at me, I shout at you", and now you've got a detour you don't want. Not easy at all, ours got physically a few times but with time, the issue was resolved.

Originally Posted by falling_like_stars View Post
C) and she lies so you never know whats actually going on
This may not be a big problem if she's not a great liar. If she's not giving away any "tells", then have her give her story/lie and ask her questions about it, specifically, ask her questions again about the same things but worded differently. If she is lying, eventually her answers will vary and it's likely she's lying. Other means of getting her to "tell the truth" are ones you may not want to use, nothing physical but it's using the Reid Model.

Originally Posted by falling_like_stars View Post
D) you can't prove shes doing it
Have you checked her purse or jacket or whatever, because if she's doing some drugs, chances are she has some on her. But she also admitted to doing it so you already have proof because she has confessed to it on one occassion, so if you ask her and she lies, you can remind her of her confession.

Originally Posted by falling_like_stars View Post
E) she wouldnt listen to her baby sister because shes older so "she must know more"
Possibly but this is where the family meeting and intervention programs are useful. As a younger sister, you could show the emotional damage she's putting you through, which would reflect that of the family's. Even if you don't tell her explicitly to stop, you can show her the emotional damage and since you mentioned she confessed out of fear, she may break down emotionally. As unfortunate as this may be, either try to keep her in the house or use it as a time to put her in an intervention therapy asap.

Originally Posted by falling_like_stars View Post
And isnt taking uppers and downers together really bad for you?
They may not amplify the behavioral effects of one another but physiologically, no it's not healthy. Part of the danger with certain uppers is although they themselves may not cause the actual damage, such as ecstasy, they can inhibit you from inhibiting yourself.
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Re: need advice on helping sister - April 12th 2010, 05:26 PM

It sounds like you're in a really tough situation. You're sister was obviously very worried about her health when she told you what she had been taking, this could be a good sign as it shows that she was at least in part realising how dangerous that was for her. Maybe you could write her a letter telling her how you feel about her using? that way if you don't get the time to sit down with her and talk about it for a while, at least she will know that you are concerned.
I agree that it is very difficult to keep tabs on an adult, but while she is still living with you're parents they at least have some say in what she does. You and your parents need to sit down and talk to her about why she is doing drugs and if there are underlying issues, maybe your parents could help her to find a councellor to talk to? Remember that getting angry with her is probably not a good idea, just try to keep calm and let her know how worried you all are about her.
I hope this helps.
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