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My 19 Year Old Sister is Selling Her Body for Drugs or Money. What Do I Do?

by Aman da L.
(Thornton, CO)

My sister's father sent her to live with me 3 days ago. She is a very bad drug addict and we thought getting her away from the people she knew would help. I found a needle in her suitcase and took it as well as some drugs out of her suitcase.

The next day I had told her she needed to go into detox and/or rehab ASAP and she said NO NO NO I'm not going, an hour later she was crying she couldn't breath so I took her to the ER. We spent 9.5 hours in the ER and during that time she flipped out many times, ripped out her IV that three nurses took 20 mins to find a vain in her ankle, elbowed me in my pregnant belly and told the Dr she wanted to die.

They put her on a 72 hour mental health hold and sent her to detox. I came home and got onto her computer and found out that she had set up meeting to find a guy to sleep with to bring her Oxycodone. I am 7.5 months pregnant and I do not feel safe bringing her back into my house.

She will not go to rehab and even if she wanted to I do not have the money to pay for her to get help. I spoke with some people and I was told to send her to a shelter and when she sees what her life is she will get help.

If she doesn't see that selling her body for 120 dollars to get high and shoot drugs into her arm, will being homeless make things worse? I don't know why it is so hard to make this choice. Does anyone know what I should do?


Hi Aman

I don't think anything you do now can make things any worse than they are for your sister. She is so consumed by her addiction that she'll go to any length to feed her habit. And so there is really nothing you can do for her, other than do what was suggested and hope that somehow her living in a shelter shocks her into wanting to do something about her addiction.

She can't stay with you because that puts you and your baby at risk, so your well-being has to be the priority. I don't know what the law in the US is regarding having someone institutionalised into some kind of mental health/detox facility when they do pose such a great risk to themselves - which can be an option in extreme cases like with your sister because it forces her to get clean at the same time.

But of course if she doesn't want to turn her life around and actually overcome her addiction, she'll simply be back on the streets and using again once she's out. Plus carrying all that extra resentment for being forcibly put into a place like that. So it's up to you to decide whether that's an option you want to investigate.

Until your sister is actually ready to turn her life around, there really is very little you can do for her. Hers is an example of addiction at it's most extreme. You can only hope and pray that at some point a light goes off in her mind where she decides 'enough' - and is then ready to accept help and do what is necessary to beat her addiction.

Good Luck with your decision.

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