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Frequent Social Butterfly
Posts: 226
Registered: ‎05-04-2011

Re: Death of family member from drug addiction

Message 1 of 4 (626 Views)

cc1257 wrote:

I recently lost my 48-year-old brother to a drug  overdose which We suspect is from heroin and fentanyl. We are waiting on the toxicology report.  His wife died last December of the same thing. They left behind a 17-year-old daughter and a 19-year-old son. They had been using drugs for years and lied about it and my brother was ashamed and always presented himself as doing well and not taking the drugs--even when he appeared high and we asked him point-blank. Lots of denial and living in a fantasy world.  

 

I went to a supprt group called Grasp but it wasn't very helpful.  Has anyone else experienced this? And how did you cope with it? We have created go fund me accounts for the children and they are probably damaged for life. They are  so dysfunctional and lived with this for so long without us realizing it that helping them now is extremely difficult because they are in another world and don't know what it means to have a normal life. 

 

 Over the years we knew there were problems but the lying and hiding and refusal to get help just created a wall between us and them. 

 

My brother and my two sisters were raised in corporate America.  He chose the dark side is the best way I can think to describe it. 


Hey there, cc1257,

I'm glad you shared your story. And may i say that I support Soosie's suggestion 1000%. I have been a social worker for over 30 years, and my last 2 gigs before my current one were in geriatric care management and home hospice. But now I am an addictions counselor and what they call 'behavioral therapist' in a rural county in Oregon, which might just be renamed MethLand. Heroin has not made inroads here,  yet. But i'm in training to become a certified alchol and drug counselor (CADC), and i'm learning heaps and gobs about drug addiction.

 

More importantly for your situation, your grief and consternation, is my hope-inspiring witness of people who are getting sober, and young people who's parents were users getting their lives together, too. Young folks like your niece and nephew. About half my practice are people, of all ages, who's parents were addicts, and those people are depressed/ have PTSD from being beaten/ have panic disorders/ unstable relationships. What i am witnessing is healing and growth. Not for everyone. But for many. People getting sober: one of my clients has been on probation for 7 years and is finally, finally, sober. She's used every illegal substance, escaping grief and abuse. She's almost done with probation. She is 34. She has a bright future, and so do her 3 kids.

 

Your niece and nephew are so lucky to have YOU. You, and other members of the family. Apparently there is some money, including what you fundraise. Their future can be bright, with support, with therapy, with education. And who knows, one of them may become a counselor. Among my colleagues, we are all a deeply damaged bunch, and each of us came through our horrors to become counselors and help others. Including moi.

 

Have faith in them. Support them as you are, and keep it up. They need many loving adults to be their parents now. Some holes in their hearts will never be filled, but they can learn to live with the deprivation and otherwise thrive.

 

There is a literature around resilience: one guy wrote a book about what made the difference for some children of alcoholics who made it. He concluded, resilience. And one of the characteristics of kids who thrive is that they recruit new parents. Be one of those parents. 

 

Thank you for writing. Say more? All the best to you and to them,

 

Jane

Info Seeker
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎08-10-2014

Re: Death of family member from drug addiction

Message 2 of 4 (686 Views)

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. It really has affected our entire family. The more I look at it that way the broader I see the all the ramifications. Thank you for your suggestions. 

Respected Social Butterfly
Posts: 2,345
Registered: ‎06-06-2009

Re: Death of family member from drug addiction

Message 3 of 4 (698 Views)
I am so sorry this has happened in your family. If I may offer, please find a good counselor for these two young people and if possible, go as a family unit. There are some good ones. You may have to search. A good one will not tell you what happened or what is needed, but they will be good enough to help you see the details more clearly. It also can take away the guilt that unfortunately some suffer.

Something that helped me when my Dad died. He was an alcoholic and died at age 32. I wrote for years. Writing helped me to see what happened to him, how it changed our family and why family members had the "hang ups" they had. This includes my own. The counselor pulled a chair out and told me to pretend Dad was there and to talk to him. This gave me a chance to say good-bye.

Also, if your faith is strong, that will offer peace.

My best and my prayers for you. I hope that people learn that drugs are a family problem. It doesn't just affect the abuser. I hope you are able to take a negative and turn it into a positive.

Soosie
Info Seeker
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎08-10-2014

Death of family member from drug addiction

Message 4 of 4 (711 Views)

I recently lost my 48-year-old brother to a drug  overdose which We suspect is from heroin and fentanyl. We are waiting on the toxicology report.  His wife died last December of the same thing. They left behind a 17-year-old daughter and a 19-year-old son. They had been using drugs for years and lied about it and my brother was ashamed and always presented himself as doing well and not taking the drugs--even when he appeared high and we asked him point-blank. Lots of denial and living in a fantasy world.  

 

I went to a supprt group called Grasp but it wasn't very helpful.  Has anyone else experienced this? And how did you cope with it? We have created go fund me accounts for the children and they are probably damaged for life. They are  so dysfunctional and lived with this for so long without us realizing it that helping them now is extremely difficult because they are in another world and don't know what it means to have a normal life. 

 

 Over the years we knew there were problems but the lying and hiding and refusal to get help just created a wall between us and them. 

 

My brother and my two sisters were raised in corporate America.  He chose the dark side is the best way I can think to describe it. 

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