How To Help?
Posted: July 19, 2013, 5:01 PM

Hello all -- I stumbled upon this forum looking for treatment centers for my cousin. I hope this is the right message board, this is my first time on so if not feel free to move this over or let me know if I have to move it, etc.

My cousin is in his late 20's and the family recently learned he's been struggling with a heroin addiction since he was in his teens. We were aware of other substance abuse issues since he was a teenager, but in the last year or so it appears this is truly becoming a life-or-death situation. He has a young child, and just lost his job. He went through an outpatient program but it wasn't effective. We're trying to find other options for him right now - he doesn't have health insurance so we're pulling funds together, looking into different facilities etc. He's willing to going into long-term treatment, but as you can imagine that's not the easiest thing to do so he's hot and cold about it. So my questions are:

1 - Has anyone had any good or bad experiences with any particular treatment facilities that they could share? Anything about the facilities, the doctors, the treatment plans, etc? Any things to keep in mind when evaluating whether a facility might be the right fit for someone?

2 - I really don't know what it's like to be an addict, and I think that's true for the majority of our family -- we're all concerned for him but I think we're also all afraid to talk to him about this issue because we don't know how he'll react, we don't want to hurt him but I'm sensing that he's sort of going into hiding and that can't be good. Any suggestions on how best to reach him, communicate with him effectively, let him know we're concerned for him -- without scaring him / hurting him / etc?

Sorry if this sounds silly, we're just all really clueless on this and we just want to do the best thing for him. Thanks for your time, I appreciate any comments.
Posted: July 19, 2013, 5:14 PM

Posts: 8653
Joined: April 24, 2007

Welcome. I would advise that you read here - A LOT. Read the posts by addicts on the heroin forum and by family members and loved ones on the Family board. There is a ton of information here from the addicts' perspective and you all need to stop worrying so much both about hurting and helping.

He went through an outpatient program but it wasn't effective. We're trying to find other options for him right now - he doesn't have health insurance so we're pulling funds together...

It wasn't the treatment, it was him. If he wants it, it will be effective. Throwing money at the problem is not the answer...there are plenty of free resources for detox, and the Salvation Army (among others) has a free program for addicts who are willing to commit to staying clean. He says he's 'willing', but if he were ready, he'd be looking for treatment on his own. In fact, you all should stop doing for him anything he can and should do for himself. This should not be easy and taken care of by is important that he seek and participate in treatment on his own - he owns the addiction and he needs to own the recovery...right now you all are more invested in it than he is.

A long-standing addiction like his means he has been extremely resourceful in finding and using his drugs...if he had the money for that he can find the money for self-pay's a lot cheaper than whatever he's been spending on H.

Please understand I say this not out of meanness, but out of concern and experience with family members of addicts. I've been where you are and come out the other side.

Peace ~ MomNMore

You will not change what you are willing to tolerate.

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Posted: July 22, 2013, 5:11 PM

Posts: 1706
Joined: August 22, 2005

I have learnt as many have that this is about him and what he wants.

Blowing hot and cold means he isn't ready, it isn't his time yet, to get clean his head has to be right, he has to really want it.
Having said that I haven't met an addict ever who hasn't said that they wanted to get clean, they mostly all say that but that doesn't mean that they really want it.

When he is ready he will communicate with his family or the people he needs to communicate with and find himself a facility. All you can really do is love him for who he is right now and be there when he chooses to do these things himself.


Stay Strong

Posted: July 23, 2013, 7:39 AM

Posts: 5747
Joined: November 6, 2005

concernedcousin, Your cousin is Blessed to have good family. Believe it or not as addicts we actually do know that you all care.

At this point in time for him it is scary as all heck. That's obvious. Like Jazwan said we have to be ready. It's on us. The hiding out? JMO, but it's so we can do our drugs without anyone messing up our high or our already messed up heads.

As far as rehab? I can only share my experience. I hadn't been in many that's for sure. I was in one excellent one. I lapsed and then relapsed. It wasn't until I was left only to go to a rotten, lousey detox which gave ONLY detox is when I finally got clean. So, again it's when he is ready.

Please know we are thinking of you, and your family.
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