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A place for families, because you don't have to use drugs to be affected by them.

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Can the vicious circle ever end?

Posted by Tryingtohelp on 14 June 2013.

My partner of about 10 months lives with a family member who is a long time substance abuser.  Though harder drugs were the drugs of choice of this person's younger days, they have now moved to overdosing themselves on prescription sleeping tablets, taking a weeks worth in one go (or more if able to get their hands on them).  We have been through the cycle of enabling, ignoring, controlling, giving in, and very nearly going insane ourselves.  I live in the household as well, and after seeing their family member lose control of their bowels and bladder and having to help pick them up of the floor, several times, and clean up the 'accidents' after each time, I encouraged my partner to sit the family member down the next time they were sober and explain how their actions are affecting my partner and our household.  Compromises were reached and promises made, which have since been regularly broken.  I considered alerting the GP to the fact that this abuse is taking place in hopes of limiting access to the tablets, but this was met by threats of suicide, running away etc. by the user, and ultimately causes more stress between my partner and myself.  My own father was a cocaine addict, though I was a child at the time and felt completely powerless.  I fear my partner's family member is not so slowly killing themself, and in doing so, destroying my partner.  The family member has physical disabilities as well, so my partner has the role of the carer.  There are other siblings, but they all have distanced themselves barring one who creates more stress for the household than they relieve.  My worries are that my partner will never forgive themself if something happens to their family member - ie the day one too many tablets is taken and the result is a coma or death.  I also worry that the rest of the family will place blame on my partner because we are here.  Finally, I worry that my partner will be held legally responsible if something were to happen as the family member's carer, although only meant to be the carer of the physical needs and the family member gets their own medication each week etc.   I personally am at my wits end, but I can see that compromise is not getting anywhere.  I love my partner dearly and would not consider leaving them, but how do I help? Or can I?  I also suffer from depressoin and panic attacks myself, and I know this enviornment is not doing me any favours, but I would never be able to turn my back or wash my hands of it.  I love them both and want them to be happy and healthy.  Any similar stories or supportive / encouraging words would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks for reading. xx


Doing the best that I can
20 Jun 2013

I don't know what to say apart from I read it feel in hell myself but want you to know that someone is listening even if they don't know what to do, read my blog called happening now don't know if we can help each other at the moment but maybe we can get stronger from it

3 Jul 2013

I would bring it into the open with the other family members. It is not fair that the burden of this is being left with you. I would also phone the national drug helpline the 24 hour one and try to find a support group of drug users families. Also try your local Carers agency to speak to and find a local MIND group. Good luck.

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