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Question
Posted by: Smiley | 2010-06-02

Family member an addict

I have a cousin who is a recovering heroin addict. He has been clean for about a year now. We had lost touch for most of our adult lives and only met up again in December last year.

At first we got along really well and it was great to spend time together. He is unemployed and so obviously anything we did together I would have to pay for, which I did.

I tried my best to include him in my life which is full of social activities. I was desperate to keep him busy and so keep him clean.

Well, long story short, the wheels have fallen off. I do not think he is using, but he has asked me to go to a dodgy neighbourhood to pick him up some weed. I flatly refused for numerous reasons, the first of which being that since he is umemployed who did he expect to pay for this? I have never used any illegal substances in my life. I was not about to go buy some for someone else, let alone my recovering addict cousin. I was very offended that he actually asked me to go pick the stuff up in the first place.

He ran out of cigarettes once and instead of asking me to buy him a pack he got me to to the shops under false pretences. He carried on and on about my butter being finished and how we really needed butter. He was visiting, he does not live with me. Anyway, eventually I just could not take the nagging over the stupid butter anymore and so off we went to the shops where he then said he has actually run out of cigarettes.

I had quit smoking about 3 days prior to that incident after having heard my mom had contracted lung cancer. So I told him that I was not even buying cigarettes for myself, there was no ways I was buying him any. He sulked terribly. At this point I started really losing it with him.

Throughout all the time we spent together he kept on blaming the entire universe for his addiction. He claimed his mother was the root cause of it all. He does not take ownership of it at all. He is a drama queen and highly manipulative. He is selfish and ungrateful, seldom can he even say thank you for anything you give him. I have heard him tell people how bad his life is and how horrible people are, almost in an attempt to get sympathy which he seems to thrive on.

I know he does not go to any meetings. He has been in and out of rehab for the best part of 15 years.

My question is this. Is there any point in trying to keep him from slipping back, or is it really a lost cause? What can be done for this man, or is it really up to him to do it for himself? Am I totally wasting my time here? I have since stopped all the paid for outings and events since he is just so damn ungrateful and demanding. He was making me broke. And then of course asking me to pick up dagga for him was the last straw. Is it best to actually just avoid him altogether? I miss the man I first met in December, but I think that man does not actually exist and that it was all part of a manipulation ploy to get me reeled in and sucked into his way of thinking.

Any advice would be welcome. Be harsh, I need to hear it as it is.

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Our expert says:
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Hello Smiley

It certainly sounds like you don't have much to smile about with this character hanging around you. But it doesn't have to stay that way. It's time for tough love.

This guy is already using, he has obviously relapsed. If he's asking for dagga it means that he's been smoking it, probably behind your back.

In addition, he's not attending any meetings, has no sponsor and generally behaves like a manipulative twit.

This chronic sense of entitlement that he has is also textbook addict behaviour. Don't buy him cigarettes or anything for that matter, it's enough now.

He'll probably turn on you (great!) and claim that the world's vile and everybody's against him. He's right, with that puerile King Baby attitude of his, the world will be against him.

Cut your losses with this guy and move on. You can't save him, he knows what to do. Suggest to him that he gets back into the programme. He'll won't listen and then that's it.

You can carry the message (go back to NA), but you can't carry the addict. Spend your money and your time on other people, don't back this manipulative loser.

Let's recap: he gets back into the programme, or out of your life. You are not on this earth to rescue people like him. (Rather work with babies or animals, they are at least appreciative.)

He is a hardcore heroine addict who is taking you for a ride. Perhaps you can read up on co-dependency on Google, even if it's just for the fun.

Best of luck and keep me posted.

herman@harmonyclinic.co.za


The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Addictions Expert Forum | 2010-06-02

Hello Smiley

It certainly sounds like you don't have much to smile about with this character hanging around you. But it doesn't have to stay that way. It's time for tough love.

This guy is already using, he has obviously relapsed. If he's asking for dagga it means that he's been smoking it, probably behind your back.

In addition, he's not attending any meetings, has no sponsor and generally behaves like a manipulative twit.

This chronic sense of entitlement that he has is also textbook addict behaviour. Don't buy him cigarettes or anything for that matter, it's enough now.

He'll probably turn on you (great!) and claim that the world's vile and everybody's against him. He's right, with that puerile King Baby attitude of his, the world will be against him.

Cut your losses with this guy and move on. You can't save him, he knows what to do. Suggest to him that he gets back into the programme. He'll won't listen and then that's it.

You can carry the message (go back to NA), but you can't carry the addict. Spend your money and your time on other people, don't back this manipulative loser.

Let's recap: he gets back into the programme, or out of your life. You are not on this earth to rescue people like him. (Rather work with babies or animals, they are at least appreciative.)

He is a hardcore heroine addict who is taking you for a ride. Perhaps you can read up on co-dependency on Google, even if it's just for the fun.

Best of luck and keep me posted.

herman@harmonyclinic.co.za


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