Does anyone know about tandem addictions?

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  1. Does anyone know anything about tandem addictions? In particular, pain killers/spending/gambling all from the same person. I am desperate to learn anything and everything in order to help a member of my family with these problems. They are going to start an out-patient rehab program for the pain killers and the spending was mentioned upon admission, however I believe that the problem is also with gambling and believe that the problem is way worse than I was led to believe. I will be attending the "family support group" tomorrow evening and would like any advice that anyone here might have.
  2. I don't have any advice, but I wanted to say I think it's great that you and the family are helping out. Good luck!
  3. Thanks so much.
  4. i don't have any advice, but i will be thinking of you and your family. :heart:
  5. #5 Jan 11, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2009
    It's not unusual for addicts to have more than one addiction. I think rehab facilities usually try to determine the main addiction. If you want to find reading material, Hazelden has a website with books on most addictions. They run maybe the best facility in the US.

    Painkillers can act like alcohol in lowering inhibitions, making other harmful behavior more likely to occur. Gambling is a tough one. I'm sure the family program will suggest that you look for support groups for yourself such as Al-Anon (even though it's pills rather than alcohol, the disease process is the same) and Gam-Anon. They both have websites, too, that may be helpful to you.

    When you attend this group meeting at the facility, you may think your family member's problems are different from the others, but the addiction thinking and behavior is pretty similar. Look for the similarities rather than differences. Lying, minimizing, justifying so the behavior can continue is so common. You'll probably discover that all the addictions involved more than anyone realized. Be open-minded about what they will tell you. Things can get much better.

    Is this person going in for treatment under duress or are they ready to change?

    Best wishes.
  6. He came to me and said that he wants to go to treatment. Unfortunately, we have been down this road before and he was "clean" for about a year. Evidently, he fell off the wagon a year or so again and it has gotten progressively worse from that point. My concern is that I have become very suspicious of his intentions now. About a month ago, an incident occurred which he had no choice but to admit that he was back on drugs. At that point, I told him that either he go into treatment or he is "on his own". He works with me at the family business and I set up drug testing and told him if he comes up "dirty" on any of the tests, he will not be working here. He agreed and before he even took the first test, came to me and told me that he believed he needed help. I suggested "in patient" rehab and he was insistent that he keep working and that he could conquer this via out-patient rehab. Personally, I don't believe that he can and reluctantly agreed with the caveat that if he tests positive or misses any of the meetings, he will go directly to the in-patient program. (He signed a paper which authorizes me to received test results and progress reports.) He agreed and the rehab facility wrote up a contract (which he signed) to that effect.

    I believe that he is constantly desperate for $$, whether it is for pills, spending and possibly gambling. He is so deceptive and seems to have no conscience when it comes to figuring out ways to get money from the family. I am at my witts end.

    I wasn't going to mention which family member it is, but think that it is relevant. This is my youngest son and it is tearing my heart apart. I have turned to my church for support (his father and I divorced when he was only 2 years old and isn't a factor here). I feel so lost and want to do the right thing. I don't know who this young man is anymore and I feel as though I am mourning the loss of the son that I knew before these damn drugs, addictions.

    Thank you for the info and as soon as I send this msg, I will definitely look up the websites you gave me. Thank you so much.
  7. ^^^Oh dear miu2, I'm going to PM you. We have more in common that you know. IMO you are handling this extremely well, expecting him to bear the consequences of his behavior. Excellent! The intake interview may show that he needs inpatient rather than OP. You're doing great! And I empathize with you on the mourning. It's a genuine loss for you.

    I'm praying for you and your son. PM'ing now.
  8. I hope the meeting went well and things are moving toward progress/change. Best wishes and sending hugs your way miu2 :hugs:
  9. HAs it been determined that he does not have a mental illness such as some type of bipolar/anxiety/depression?

    I didn't gamble or do drugs, but I was a shopaholic and heavy drinker - it turns out I was self-medicating a mental illness. I see a psychiatrist and am on some meds and am improving. But not 100% there yet.
  10. I hope that I can be of some help. I have an addictive personality. Until an addict realizes and truely believes they cannot control it they will never overcome it. I still think I can control it. But now I actually am. (God how deluded am I!)

    I hope the PM's you get from Boxermom help you.

    I never had anyone try to stop me. I had people just leave my life. But no-one ever tried to stop me. I don't know how I would have responded if someone did try to stop me. He will appreciate one day that you tried to stop him. :heart:
  11. Thank you all so very much for your responses!!

    LemonDrop unfortunately, addictive personalities run in both his father and I. Both of my sons have it. Not trying to intervene has never been an option for me. Unfortunately, after learning some stuff from last nights meeting, I now believe that I may have been going about "helping" him all wrong.

    Chessmont - Through the program, he will have sessions with a therapist in order to determine whether or not he is suffering from any mental disease.

    CTgrl414 Thank you so much for your support. I must say that the meeting went well and it actually opened my eyes to what I need to do for myself, which in turn, will help my son with his recovery. I found myself at the brink of tears several times throughout the meeting and it made me realize that I have a lot of stuffed emotions as well. I am very optimistic and pray every day that we can get through this.