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Topic : 04/14 An Addict in the Family

Number of Replies: 57
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Created on : Thursday, January 08, 2009, 05:04:27 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 01/12/09) While battling cancer, Paula says she missed the signs that her 21-year-old daughter, C.J., was disconnecting from the family and turning to drugs to heal her anguish. After Paula’s husband, Jim, had an affair, the signs of trouble with their daughter became clearer. Since then, the family has done everything, including rehab, counseling and tough love, but nothing has kept C.J. drug free. Now C.J. ingests combinations of 13 prescription and street drugs, and is on the edge of killing herself. Anthony, her brother, is fed up and says she is ruining their family. Can they survive the constant turmoil? And is C.J. ready to get clean? Next, one of the heroin twins returns to Dr Phil to celebrate one year of sobriety and share her difficult road to recovery. Plus, emergency room physician and host of The Doctors Dr. Travis Stork says that he rarely spends a night in the E.R. without seeing a victim of an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. Find out the most common mistakes people make and the questions you should ask yourself before you take a pill. Join the discussion.

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January 12, 2009, 6:11 pm CST

Check clinical trials

Quote From: joycej

I lost a son to suicide just before his 22nd birthday. He was addicted to meth and had gotten clean a couple times. But he always went back to it, and hated himself for it. He went on Zoloft for awhile and that helped. But when he returned to using for the third time he gave up and hung himself. He asked for help several times, and the places I checked into all required $25,000 and up.
His younger brother, who is now 25, is addicted to oxycontin as are most of his friends. There are several of us mothers looking for help for them.  There needs to be some affordable options out there. And oxycontin needs to be pulled from the market due to its terribly addictive potential.
I am sorry for your loss. The one thing that I can suggest is perhaps check out clinical trials within drug research. This is something that I did myself and had I been a bit more dedicated on quitting 10 years ago I may have been able to take advantage of this. Just do a search on google for "clinical trials" and start to narrow things down. When I entered the clinical trial it was with UCLA and their addiction specialists. Is your son that is addicted to Oxy wanting to get help? Because that is a big part of it. A person has to want to stop. If you have any questions just email me and we can discuss further. GOOD LUCK!!!
January 12, 2009, 6:25 pm CST

An addict in the family

I, too, have an addict in the family so why is my mood happy?  Because I know for a fact that no one in any family caused the addict to become addicted to whatever drug they are using, no on in the family can cure it.  What the family can do is go to an An-Anon meeting or a Narc-Anon meeting and learn what to do for YOURSELF.  You can force someone to go into rehab, but that doesn't mean they will quit.  Dr. Phil, you should know this.  That's the first thing the rehabs my son was in told us and by golly, once we, the family, got better, so did my son.  Guilt has no place in this addiction.  I don't care if CJ's dad had a month long, a year long, a ten year long affair, CJ's using this as an excuse.  I'm sorry for the entire family, but THEY can get better by going to these meetings.   And I don't know about where they live, but where I live, you can BEG the police to arrest your child, you can tell them where to find them, what they're doing, and guess what, the police will not arrest your child.  Also, you can try to get help for them through mental health, but when I called and told them that I wanted to put my son in for care, that he was trying to kill himself, they told me that if he didn't have a gun, then he wasn't trying to kill himself.  Now, maybe I just live where people aren't that smart, but I never did get help from any professionals.  I finally got my son to the Salvation Army Rehab, they kept him six months, and he is now sober.  I should mention that he did admit that he was trying to kill himself.  So I guess all I can offer these parents and son and CJ is my prayers.
January 12, 2009, 7:23 pm CST


my sissters useds drags she was mean to me at school i no wht this  mom and dad and brather is going thow
January 12, 2009, 8:38 pm CST

I'm scarred too!

My boyfriend and I have been on and off for a years now.  two years ago I found out that he had dropped out of school, and was sent to rehab. I could not believe it! He seemed like he was doing well in school and a job I never thought that would happen. After he completed a few weeks in rehab he began he journey on the road to sobriety. We started to talk again and I tried to encourage his progress. Early last year he started to smoke marijuana again. Not very often but I was worried. Marijuana turned into not being enough for him so he turned to laura tab's, and xanax. I then came to find out that his sister who just recently got kicked out of her mother"s house for doing drugs is addicted to phetinal patches. I decided to look into these patches and I just can not believe that she subjects herself to this every single day. She weigh probably no less than 90 lbs. and Is killing her body. My boyfriend would go over to her house almost everyday to hangout with her, and keep an eye on her. I the came to find out that he has also been doing phetinal patches. I don't know what to do to help him. I had to go to his mom who had no clue about any of this with her son. We had a mini intervention just him, myself his mom and some other people who love him so much. After that he said he had only done the patches 4 times at the most and he was done dojng them for good. We all decided to believe him and hope to see a change. Then around Christmas i noticed him lying to me. he would say he was on his way home when come to find out he's on his way to meet up with some friends to smoke weed or do pills. I told him I am done dealing with the lies, and hurt. I decided i wanted to break up with him until he got his life together. He took it hard after we broke up and i decided i really just need to be there for him no matter what. Then just last week he got arrested and has 5 accounts against him. He went and raided houses and cars to get money for drugs. When I asked him what happened that night he said I couldn't remember. he had done a few xanax bars and felt like that whole night was a dream. I am so scarred that I am going to get a call one of these days from his mother telling me her son or daughter is dead. He needs to get help, if he doesn't end up in jail. I will not sit here and watch him die! My heart goes out to Ck"s family and all the struggles they have dealt with. I can't image having to watch my child go down that path. I wish they could do something to stop these drugs from being passed along like there a piece of candy. Kids don't understand the risks they are taking every time they say "yes" to a drug offer that could change there lives forever.
January 12, 2009, 9:39 pm CST

The death of a child...

I always thought it would be my sister we would find dead of a drug overdose. My parents have enabled her addictions for years and, at 52, she's lived far longer than I expected and has never gone to jail. But it was my brother's firstborn child....his beloved son, who was found dead in his car. A great kid and former star athlete, even his 20 year old heart was no match for the deadly combination of whatever drugs he could find that day. The worst part is that my precious brother will never be the same. He and his wife struggle daily with guilt and sorrow and second guessing, but the truth is, they probably couldn't have saved him if they HAD known the depth of the problem. The damage these toxic combinations do is often irreversible.


This was a hard show for me to watch. I really felt for CJ's parents, but I identified SO much with her brother. It just makes me so angry to watch my sister control my parents with her bad choices and worse behavior. And I'm angry at them for not putting a stop to it. I've resigned myself to living apart from my family. I just can't bear to be around them for more than a few minutes at a time.


For anyone who has a child whose behavior has inexplicably changed for the worse, don't try to fix the problem yourself. Get professional help for yourself...and insist on it for your child, too. Drugs are a FAMILY problem...and they can cause the death of more than just the user. In so many ways, the entire family dies. I cannot describe how awful it feels to watch my brother and his family suffer so horribly.


Thanks for doing shows like these, Dr. Phil. My brother is determined to do what he can to help other parents become more aware of the signs that he missed. If just one child is saved...if just one set of parents is spared this unbearable grief...maybe...God, I brother can get some peace.

January 13, 2009, 6:07 am CST

whats the big deal


January 13, 2009, 3:58 pm CST

my murdered daughter

I've watched the show about an addict in the family and just hope, really hope that C.J. will be okay. However, what happened to my daughter (shot in her head and set on fire) makes me think twice. C.J. may be a great kid (so was my child) with good grades (same as my child) but hanging out with the wrong people (same as my child) is a very dangerous thing to do. Drug users only think about how to get their next fix and the rest doesn't really matter. They don't really have friends - well, they 'think' that they have friends - of course that's not true - I found out the hard way. Just a couple of her 'friends' came by after they found out what happened on the news. Another very important thing to know is that any drug-related death isn't on the 'top' of the list to solve for the dets. - it's more like the 'it's the lifestyle, stupid' thing allover.....

The show was good, but I wanted to see more of the 'preventive' stuff -  the 'okay, you're on drugs, you ruined your family, now we're going to help you' stuff should have been replaced with 'how to say no to drugs' . We all know that kids are introduced to drugs at a very young age and some decide that it's not for them while other kids (my daughter) NEED to go on and try everything. We should figure out the why of that - maybe then we can help those kids.

I for one am busy with fighting drugs and would be happy to even save one child.

Visit and find out about parents who lost a child due to drugs.

I really hope that C.J. can turn her life around - I just felt so sad to see the parents and brother on the show and keep my fingers crossed for them.


Ria - mom of Anke.



January 14, 2009, 5:49 am CST

Loss of my daughter

I’m so thankful that Dr. Phil has finally addressed this subject in a real way. C.J.’s story is my daughter’s story nearly item for item. She was a bubbly, happy girl before using prescription drugs. Like C.J. and many others she took any/all prescription drug she was offered, never having to pay for them just like C.J. The list of drugs shown I was all too familiar. Sometimes fighting this disease is sometimes faced with defeat, my daughter Tawny passed away on 4/27/08 from a deadly combination of Ultram (Tramadol) and heroin. C.J. is blessed to have the chance from the Dr. Phil show to go to the best facility for her care. Tawny begged me many times to write so she could go to La Hacienda, I only wish I had. What's wrong that we can’t model all recovery programs to really help the addict? She attended so many rehabs with no luck and was given substandard care. You can read her memorial story at   

This epidemic of prescription drug abuse eventually leads to the deadly drug use of heroin; the sooner our society can de-stigmatize its use,the sooner we can save everyone’s children from dying this way.    

I wish C.J. and her family the best in this journey. The family needs to get help from Alanon or a support group. Sobriety can be awonderful journey to a happy ending.    

January 18, 2009, 2:15 pm CST

01/12 An Addict in the Family

I am the mother of three sons, two of them addicts. My oldest son started using  in high school. My youngest in junior high. My oldest is 36 years old and my youngest 24. It has been a nightmare. My oldest son has been clean for three years and my youngest recently relapsed. He lost everything he had in 2 weeks. I have to tell you that the thing I learned during all these years is that nothing you do short of locking them in your house with 24 hour supervision (drugs are available in jail) for the rest of their lives will stop them from using drugs. I have tried EVERYTHING. Unless an addict is ready and willing to get clean, there isn't a damn thing anyone can do. It does not matter how much you love them, how much money you have, how many people you know. None of that means anything. To say that the parents need to do whatever they have to in order to get their child away from drugs is unfair and unreasonable. It won't work. I cannot stress this enough. I know because I have spent years trying all of it. My son got clean because he was ready. I was not even in his life at the time. He was living in a tent in the woods. He needed to hit that bottom himself. There is absolutely no way to predict whether an addict will live, go to jail, die. But what I do know is that no matter what happens, it isn't my fault because I did everything I could. Other parents reading this message need to know It is not your fault that your child is on drugs. And it is not your fault if they go to jail or die. It is also not your doing if they get clean. It is their life and they are the only ones responsible for what happens.
January 20, 2009, 1:55 pm CST

Shame on you, Dr. Phil!

Dr. Phil, you missed the obvious with this family.  Both the father and brother of the drug addict are both chemically dependent.  Yes, they are both smokers, a deadly addiction.  They are both part of a drug culture that uses chemicals to reduce stress in their lives.  The daughter was singled out for her addiction, but the guys got away with their drug problemwithout your notice.  Dr. Phil, you should have had them go through withdrawal from nicotine at the same time that she was going through treatment.  They would appreciate much better what she would be going through.  It's also quite likely that they would have as hard a time quitting their addiction as she will.
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