Family is the Substance Abusers Support

Richie Richie Lopes

Lori's picture for book (2) Lori Cahill

FAMILY. Reading the article at about family being the MOST important factor with helping an alcoholic or drug addict brings tears to my eyes.

Looking back at losing my husband, Richie and my daughter, Lori, brings tears and pulls at my heart strings with guilt. I think we would all love to redo an event, a talk, or giving support to the ones we have lost. 

I bring this writing to those of you, fighting and struggling with addiction to drugs and alcohol in your family. PLEASE, listen. I’m not a professional but know from experience what may work as a savior. 

DON’T push them out of your lives and let them pull themselves out of the quicksand. It’s impossible. How many times I heard, “They have to do it themselves, they have to reach rockbottom.” NO! Their rockbottom may be their deaths. 

Substance abusers are sick. You wouldn’t throw patients with cancer, diabeties, dementia, or any uncurable disease out the door. 

Yes, sometimes, we do throw them out to face their habit praying to God they come to their senses, or maybe we do to keep ourselves sane from the stress of seeing no hope. I had a small breakdown from pushing my mind and body to the point it couldn’t handle anymore stress with no change. I tried two months counseling together and separate. Richie’s thought after the treatment was he had no problem with drinking. After all, his buddies were and their wives didn’t complain. 

I’ve had people ask me,”How do you know it’s a problem and not normal drinking?” I answer, “When the action causes problems in the family, relationships, work, with life in every aspect.

BUT, we should keep our loved ones in our lives. If possible, a phone call everyday saying, “I love you.” 

Not long after losing Lori, I watched a program on television called Intervention. I wanted to learn what I did wrong and what I could have done better. A woman, who looked to be in her early twenties, came close to dying in the hospital from her liver giving out. Her family was called to say goodbye.

To the doctor’s and counselor’s shock, she survived. A counselor asked her, “How? 

She replied, “My family. No matter where I was, what condition I was in, my family took turns; siblings, parents, relatives, and friends, called me each day or came by visiting to let me know they loved me. It was their love that pulled me through.”

How I wish I had done that loving jester. How many nights I wondered where Richie and Lori were, especially, Lori. Richie always found his way home nightly, but because I had made no demands on him, he went into blackouts, abusing me and causing my two daughters to witness things children shouldn’t see. 

Lori disappeared for months living in with other alcoholics and drug users and never got out of the atmosphire. When she did live with us, her aunt, her sister, she still found ways to enter back into that black hole.

So my strongest advice to all of you, please, do your best to keep in touch. If they are under eighteen, commit them to a center, fighting or kicking, but they will be alive. 

Alberta Sequeira
[email protected]
Purchase Books at welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on