Dear Barb – Family Must Seek Professional Help for Addict

Dear Barb:

My older sister got married three years ago. They were very happy until Keith injured his back at work. He went through months of physiotherapy and nothing seemed to help the excruciating pain he was experiencing. Ultimately his doctor prescribed pain killers. He was put on a variety of different medications until his doctor settled on oxycodone. It has been six months since Keith began taking oxycodone and he is a like a completely different person.

He lays around the house all day and does nothing. He is miserable and verbally abusive to my sister. Keith doesn’t help with the housework or cooking, even though my sister works full-time. I have heard about other people who get on this drug and become addicted and I believe Keith is addicted. I feel sorry for my sister’she loves her husband and doesn’t know how to help him. Is there anything we can do as a family to help them? I am afraid my sister will get fed up and leave her marriage. Hope you can help us.

Wendy

Hi, Wendy. What a difficult situation. I have heard similar stories from friends and family members who have experienced loved ones who are in the same condition as your sister and brother-in-law. From your question I can certainly see what a caring and loving family you have.

Oxycodone is a highly addictive narcotic that is ruining families and relationships. I personally cannot understand why doctors are prescribing this drug unless it is absolutely necessary; even then its use should be closely monitored.

Have you tried to talk to your brother-in-law about this problem? Is he able to recognize that he may be addicted? If he does admit to this, then he has taken the first step to recovery. If not, it will be very difficult to get him to agree to any kind of treatment.

There are several treatment programs specifically designed to help individuals get off oxycodone. Some are more successful than others. Your family doctor would be the person to help in directing you to the best treatment option for your brother-in-law.

As well, there is an abundance of information available online that shows where the nearest treatment centres are located. I am sure if you contact them they will have strategies that you can utilize to assist you and your family to get your brother-in-law into treatment.

In the meantime, continue to support your sister and encourage her to get herself some professional help to deal with this heart-wrenching situation.

Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful, but this is a situation that needs professional guidance. Thanks, Wendy.

Email your questions to voice@voicemagazine.org. Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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