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    Chemical Dependency, Lying, Mooching, and in Denial
    An_252553 posted:
    For about a year my cousin has been living with my parents and I. She is on about four different meds as far as I know--Klonopin, Adderral, Valium, and Venlaflaxine. She also smokes weed. She is very illogical and incoherent most of the time--she always says she has an interview/is applying for a lot of jobs, etc but she never follows through. She is very bad with money and when she comes into any money through her relatives, she will spend it on rental cars (which she will try to keep), expensive hotels in San Francisco, mini bar expenses, shopping sprees, etc. The main issue is that she is in denial that she needs to take her health more seriously. She switches from pharmacy to pharmacy and has two month's worth of Klonopin right now when she should only have one month's worth. She does not want to see a psychiatrist or go to rehab. My family and I do not know what to do or where to start. Any help or advice would be very much appreciated.
    Betty Ford Center
    Johanna O'Flaherty, PhD responded:
    Since your parents have taken on the responsibility of providing a home for your cousin, they are also in a position to provide her with guidelines she needs to follow to stay in the house.

    Did your parents confront her about her overuse of medication and detrimental lifestyle habits? If they have set boundaries that are not being honored, they are within their rights to suggest she find another place to live. The bottom line is that your cousin is abusing prescription drugs and is in need of help; my suggestion is to contact an interventionist or an alcoholism counselor in your area for specific guidance.

    Also, your family may benefit by attending Al-anon or Nar-anon meetings for family members who have loved ones that are abusing drugs and/or alcohol.
    These support groups will put you in direct touch with people who have been in similar circumstances — people who can offer you guidance and support.

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