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Addiction & Family Intervention

Health Addiction Family intervention 2004

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Poll: Should families be able to force loved ones into treatment/seize assets of addicts? (11 member(s) have cast votes)

Should families be able to force loved ones into treatment/seize assets of addicts?

  1. Yes (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. Yes if a court declares them an addict (2 votes [18.18%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.18%

  3. Yes - if other efforts have failed (2 votes [18.18%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.18%

  4. No - a person has the right to decide on their own. (5 votes [45.45%])

    Percentage of vote: 45.45%

  5. No - They should only be able to force loved ones into treatment (but not seize their assets) (2 votes [18.18%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.18%

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#1 QueenTiye

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 03:50 PM

Another hot button issue for me, largely because I've dealt with this first hand.  The current situation is that a family does not have the right to FORCE a person who is drug or alcohol addicted into treatment, and cannot seize the property of their loved ones (thereby preventing them from squandering family resources, and funding thereby their own destruction).

According to the courts - even though the individual is drug and/or alcohol addicted, they still have the right to decide what to do about it, and until they run afoul of the law, no one can actually force them to do anything.  This puts families in the awful position of (sometimes) hoping that their loved ones get arrested...

I don't even know how to be objective on this one - to me this is a travesty of justice and I sometimes wonder in whose interest it is to force a family to sit idly by while a loved one sinks into further and further trouble, and sinks the family in the process, unless they are lucky enough to be able to isolate the sick relative and the affects of his or her sickness.  But I'm willing to hear other sides of this coin...

HM07

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#2 Rov Judicata

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 05:13 PM

Hrm.

Well, given the amount of petty family squabbles, a statute or rule along the lines of what you propose would be problematic. Before I comment, I'd like to know exactly what you have in mind. How should the police (or powers that be) verify the family's claims of addiction, for instance?
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

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#3 QueenTiye

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 05:19 PM

Well - according to the poll there are three choices.  One could be that there were other documented attempts at getting sober.  One is that the family could sue.  And then there's a generic "Yes" for any of the above, or something else, and you fill in the blanks.  I'm actually more interested in the principle of the matter.

HM07

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#4 the 'Hawk

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 09:27 PM

Suffice to say of my opinion on this matter that I no longer trust biological bonds to be sufficient for permission of the abrogation of the rights of an individual, even if they are addicts.

The suggestion that just because you're someone's brother or mother or daughter means that you should have rights not only to force them into action, but to force their property as well.... I'm not comfortable with the potential for gross abuse that could come out of that. Makes about as much sense as the divine right of kings.

You want to force someone to clean up? Fine. Call the cops on them and let them go through the system with a record after a trial. And bring bail money Otherwise, there's no mechanism for forcing them to do anything against their will. I personally feel that such is how it should be.

And I know, I'm a monster for holding that opinion, but there it is.

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#5 QueenTiye

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 10:14 PM

Yes.  That's fine, for illegal drugs.  However, alcohol is legal, and there is no law against being an alcoholic.

HM07

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#6 QueenTiye

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 10:28 PM

Additionally... with the growing recognition that addiction is in fact a disease, and that a legally obtained addiction can lead someone into illegal behaviors (and addictions), it is criminal that in order to force a person to get help we also have to criminalize them.  In some communities, kids with drug and alcohol addiction are told that they are "good kids" and sent automatically to drug treatment centers.  In some other communities, kids with the very same problems are charged with illegal possession and sent up the river.  In the United States, the law is written so that rich kids with certain drug predilictions get different criminal penalties than poor kids with different drug predilictions.  They are frequently assumed to be criminal based on socio-economic status, when in fact, they are dealing with the same disease as any other addict in any other community.  Families in some poor communities avoid turning to the criminal justice system for help for this reason.  

The family should have the right to say - this is our loved one, he or she is in trouble, and needs help in spite of not being able to see that themselves right now.  

I threw in the seize assets bit because I know far too many families who watched addicted relatives blow paycheck after paycheck on drugs and alcohol, lose their homes, etc.  And - the homes are lost not because no one can pay, but because no one else is authorized to do so (and so the money has to go through the addict... :()  Moreover, no one wants to pay the bills for a family member to continue to behave irresponsibly, but many family members would step in if they could be assured that the relative were also getting some help.  

If you ask any family therapist, they will say that the addict's first line of help is usually the family, empowered to administer tough love, and not enable the sick relative to continue to be sick.  But families are hamstrung - completely relying on an unreliable family member to fix something they are incapable of fixing until they get clean and sober.

HM07

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#7 the 'Hawk

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Posted 15 May 2004 - 11:41 PM

Handmaiden07, on May 15 2004, 11:12 PM, said:

alcohol is legal, and there is no law against being an alcoholic.
Was that meant for me? If so, I'm struggling to see how it fits.

After all, I'm saying that if the person is high, that's not enough. If the person is high and doing something stupid enough to cause a disturbance worthy of trial and consequences.... that's a reason to call the cops.

Replace 'high' with 'drunk' and voila. See, I don't have a problem with simple use. It's the stupidness that comes with addiction --the compulsion, the need for money to get a hit, the endangerment of lives-- that really troubles me. With some substances it's a short trip from simple use to addiction. Crack, for example. But so long as there's a burden of proof on the prosecution to make their case, you've got to demonstrate real and imminent consequences behind their actions. Otherwise the State can't press for them to be legally confined to a clean-up centre. At least, not nearly as effectively as they could if they, say, smashed a car through a brick wall. That sort of thing.

Tombstone mentality? Yeah, but I'm just telling what I think the system looks like. Sad, but so it is.

:cool:
“Now is the hour, Riders of Rohan, oaths you have taken! Now, fulfil them all! To lord and land!”  
~ Eomer, LotR:RotK

#8 QueenTiye

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Posted 16 May 2004 - 02:31 PM

the'Hawk, on May 16 2004, 12:39 AM, said:

Was that meant for me? If so, I'm struggling to see how it fits.

After all, I'm saying that if the person is high, that's not enough. If the person is high and doing something stupid enough to cause a disturbance worthy of trial and consequences.... that's a reason to call the cops.
I hear you.  And certainly that's a way to go.  Obviously, however, it is in the public interest, and the interest of the family to NOT let it get that far.  There are plenty of other ways to be totally self-destructive before one becomes criminal (beyond the substance of choice, if those are illegal).

A person blowing their entire paycheck on their substance of choice (for instance) quickly runs up debt that can be managed, paid off by others, and otherwise shuffled about indefinitely.  A family member with joint ownership of assets, counting on the income of the addicted person,  becomes the default burdenbearer.  And - they then have to exercise "tough love" of getting rid of the addicted person when if fact, they are not inclined to view that as loving at all.  But what options do they have?  And, how many people get sucked into enabling an addict before they realize that they are 15th in a long line (for instance) of people who loaned the addict money that isn't coming back?  

You call it a tombstone mentality.  I agree.  No family member wants to see their loved ones continue to spiral to a point of no return, but this is what you and others propose as reasonable.  Were the person suffering from another disease, like schizophrenia, the family might have more options.  Were the person mentally retarded, the family could intervene to help.  But because the problem is one that is viewed as a moral failing, the family must simply write-off the "loser" and be done with it.  

Nice. :angry:

HM07

Edited by Handmaiden07, 16 May 2004 - 03:10 PM.

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