Doctor Love: How can we help an addict?

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Dear Doctor Love,

I have a cousin who was raised with me as my brother. I love him like a brother. About four years ago he got hooked on crack and his life went straight downhill about two years ago. His mom and dad paid to send him to rehab and he was gone for 90 days. Before long he was right back into drugs. They sent him away again and this time he lasted a little bit longer but he eventually went back into it. His parents did not have any money left for rehab so they borrowed from my family and another brother who had some money. He was gone for six months and stayed pretty straight.

He came to see me last week and told me that he was starting to get back into crack again. He does not want to but he can’t seem to stop himself. He asked me for help because his parents can’t help him any more but I don’t know what to do. I can lend him the money to go one time but I am not rich.

I see that a lot of celebrities go to rehab and it doesn’t seem to work for them any more than it has worked for him. I love him and I will do it but I know it is a big risk. How can I make it where it is not so risky?

/s/ Primo Hermano


Dear Primo,


There are actually a number of celebrities that have been successfully rehabilitated and numerous private citizens as well. One of the secrets to the success of rehabilitation is the length of time for the rehabilitation process. A year-long program has a much better chance of success than a 90 day program. There are places in Mexico, Nicaragua, and Salvador that are both affordable and effective.

Another secret to the success of rehabilitation is that it is never complete. Rehab will continue as long as the addict lives because the urge to use drugs never goes away completely. The addict learns to use other things to substitute for drug use and arrange his life to avoid drugs.

The third and probably most important secret is that rehab is almost impossible without the close support of family and friends. Close support means having the addict account for his time and his friends and associates. At times, it is very uncomfortable to do this, but without it, the addict is likely to go back to his old ways.

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