Ottawa Citizen

Readers respond to uncle


More responses regarding the desperate uncle whose niece and boyfriend are drug addicts (January 13): Reader #1: “For years, I took any and all prescripti­on drugs I could get my hands on – mostly obtained not through legal means.

“My parents and family tried for years to get me to quit, but I always had a roof over my head and food in my stomach because they didn’t take the tough love approach.

“They finally understood it was the only way I’d get the help I needed. I hit rock bottom. I was arrested numerous times.

“My parents always visited me in jail, but they never paid for bail as they knew if I got out, I’d go right back to the drugs.

“Finally, in August of 2001, I was arrested for trying to rob a pharmacy. Part of my sentence was to go to rehab, so the five months in jail awaiting trial plus one month of rehab meant I’d now gone six months drug-free.

“I could see clearly again, and not through my usual druginduce­d haze.

“I’m one of the lucky ones, Ellie; I’ve now been drug-free since August 2001, have a wonderful wife and child, a great job. But most importantl­y, I have the love of my family.

“I’m sure using tough love was awful on my family, but in the end, they saved me.” Reader #2: “My daughter became addicted to cocaine when she moved to the “big city” and started a fabulous new job.

“She met her heroin-addict boyfriend in rehab, then became addicted to heroin when they moved in together.

“It was a long, horrible several years of overdoses, trips to emergency rooms, police, jail.

“They lived with me for awhile but I kicked them out when I discovered they were using in my house and the boyfriend was stealing my jewellery.

“She was kicked out of three different rehab facilities. Her boyfriend finally fled the country after robbing a bank.

“She finally joined a 12-step program and has been clean and sober for five years.

“The uncle’s relatives are enabling their daughter by letting her and her boyfriend live with them. They need to get clean on their own, separately. They’re “triggers” for each other.”

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