An Unexpected New Year’s Resolution

If I would have just sat back and did nothing, I would have been guilty of criminally negligent homicide. Perhaps that’s not how a court of law would have seen it, but I certainly would have. When you look at someone who is in clear need of help, even though they may not realize it, it’s impossible to just turn them away, particularly when they’re your own flesh and blood. Although we had grown apart in recent years because of divergent paths, my sister and I were once inseparable. At some point, however lives go in different directions and you cease to be as close as you’d like to be with the people you love.

Of the two of us, she was always the one who was more prone to trouble. She had been arrested for shoplifting a couple of times when we were kids, but nothing much more than that. By the time she had turned 20, she had developed an alarming painkiller problem. She had been abusing Vicodin under our noses for about a year before anybody knew what was going on. Looking back on it, there were certainly behavioral indicators that should have tipped me off, but you never want to believe something like that could happen to your family.

When we found out she was using, there was a big blowout and we didn’t see her again for a few months. Around Christmas, she showed up at my apartment, completely out of it on Vicodin and she could barely stand. When I went to call 911 for an ambulance, she raced to take the phone out of my hand but tripped and banged her head on the table, leaving her unconscious. The entire time she was out, I just kept thinking the worst. I also promised myself that I would get her help if I ever had the chance to see her again.

She woke up a few hours later in the hospital and started screaming for us to let her go. Eventually she realized she wasn’t going anywhere and tired herself out. We wound up having an intervention right there in the hospital room. That night, on 3 hours’ sleep and after watching my only sister almost die, I gathered strength I never knew I had and argued with her until she agreed to get help. I just kept wearing her down and thinking that if I couldn’t save her, I wouldn’t want to go on living. She stayed at my house for the next few days until I got her into a program.

I never thought that my New Year’s resolution would be getting a loved into detox, but sometimes life puts mountains in your way that you have no choice but to climb. I can say, however, that I am exceedingly proud of her, as she is two years’ sober and on her way back to being the vibrant and capable girl I grew up with. Do whatever you have to do; just get your loved one help—you may not get a second chance. 

Contact the The National Center for Alcohol and Drug Detox anytime toll-free at (888) 243-3869 or through our online form, for our recommendations of the best medically licensed detox centers for you or your loved one!

Detox should never be attempted in your home or without medical supervision at a licensed detox treatment facility. For your safety we do not recommend any rapid or ultra rapid detox centers.