Won't accept help and hate to throw him back on the street

My nephew (with 3 years of college under his belt) has smoked weed for 8+ years every day. I thought it was just now and then, so when his folks tossed him out because he refused to stop or get help, he was living in his car in 20 degree weather. I thought his folks were exaggerating. They said he was a drunk as well (he doesn't drink).


Long story short, I took him in. He has gorgeous home to live in, got full time job using brother's urine to pass, and got accepted into 2 colleges, even got a recommendation to join an electrician's union. Then it hit: background check revealed 2 misdemeanors. Pot busts, so he didn't get the job and I learned of him smoking every day.

I have noticed many changes in him, mainly his 'drive' and depression. He refuses to even go to a 12 step meeting or get any kind of help. He lied about submitting transcripts so college is held up. He can't get into electrical training due to drug tests. His lawyer convinced me to 'lay off' saying, "He'll get help when he wants," and to bail him out once again and get the charge off his record (I bailed him out of a DUI 3 years ago when he was busted for pot another time but somehow it doesn't show up on his record.)

He doesn't take care of business unless I remind him and remind him and now he smokes in my house to avoid getting caught. After his refusal to even attend a 12 step with me and lying about sending in transcripts for fall college, I am not so inclined to finish paying his lawyer or help any further. He is not helping himself, yet I cannot bring myself to tell him he has to leave as I know he will live in his car and get busted again. He uses no other drugs.

Nothing I say or do, or even 'laying off' has helped. I feel I am not helping him by either just letting him live here or by pushing daily for school. It all seems like a waste if he won't quit. Please help with any advice. If living in your car, with no job in 20 degree weather for 2 weeks isn't hitting bottom, then what is?





Hi
I wish I had a clear cut answer for you, but the truth is I don't. I am not a professional by any means, and all I can tell you is what I have experienced. No one could have told me to stop or to get my life together - I had to get to a point where I wanted this all for myself. Yes, people pushed me in this direction - I didn't exactly go to rehab willingly - but once I was there, I knew I wanted to change for my family and the people i love, but more importantly for myself.
If i didn't have people pushing me in this direction, I might not be sober right now. If I had family members who would put up with my drug use and allow me to ruin my life, I would probably still be using. If I had a nice house to live in, someone paying my bills and taking care of me, why would I ever want to stop using? And for a very long time, I had all of these things...and I didn't stop. I didn't stop until my life was SO unmanageable and miserable that I felt like I had no other choice. It wasn't until the people around me really stood their ground and refused to put up with my behavior that I started to change.

Yes, you can argue that he is 'just smoking pot,' but clearly you have seen the damage he is doing to his life. No matter what the substance is - pot, heroin, alcohol - it doesn't really matter.. ultimately, all of these substances do the same thing to people. They all end up ruining lives if a person is addicted to them. Again, I can't tell you what will or won't work, or what to do - I can just tell you that if your nephew doesn't have to suffer any negative consequences of his using, I can't see why he would ever want to stop. If someone is giving him somewhere to live and paying his bills and etc, I can't imagine that anything is going to change. If he won't accept any of your help, you may want to consider not trying to help anymore...and yes, this may or may not include kicking him out of your house. My advice for anyone who has substance abuse issues is to get into an inpatient rehab facility, if possible. I do realize that this doesn't always work, whether it's finances or an unwillingness on the addict's part - but if it is possible I do recommend it. And yes, people do go to rehab for 'just' pot. In my mind, a drug is a drug is a drug - they are all the same.

As far as his bottom - everyone's bottom is different..all a person's bottom really is, is whatever situation they are in when they stop using.. One of the sayings I really like is that your bottom is when you put the shovel down and stop digging.. People don't necessarily need to go through an unbearable amount of pain to get clean and sober, but unfortunately sometimes this is how it ends up. The absolutely truth is you can't help your nephew if he doesn't want help. I know that's frustrating and not exactly what you want to hear, but it's the truth. He needs to feel the consequences of what he's doing - he needs to find a place to live that he pays for himself, and he needs to be held accountable for his actions.. Again I am not a professional, but I do not recommend continuing to pay his bills and giving him a free place to live where he can smoke pot.

In the meantime - take care of yourself. Try some NarAnon/AlAnon meetings (meetings for family members of an addict/alcoholic). You may not be able to help him or 'fix' him, but you can and should take care of yourself.. I hope what I had to say helps, even if just a little..

feel free to write in again if you are having a hard time!
Rae

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