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My grandma's addicted to prescription drugs


My family is in a bad situation right now. My grandma is addicted to prescription medication. She goes to different doctors to get at least five bottles of the same stuff, which is illegal. She’s also getting a divorce from my grandpa. 

My grandma spends a lot of time taking care of my great-grandma who has Alzheimer’s. My mom has told my grandma that she needs to take responsibility and get help, but she won’t listen! The court served my grandma with papers saying she has to have a guardian because she can’t make decisions for herself anymore.

Now my grandma thinks she got served those papers because of my mom (which isn’t true). They’re going to take my great-grandma away from my grandma and she will have to go into a nursing home, which I really don’t want! How can I convince my grandma to get help?


Hey hon, all grandmas are different. Yeah, some are your typical grammie: they knit sweaters, bake cookies and play bingo. But there are other grandmoms who have jobs, still love to travel...or have serious problems. The bottom line is that no one is perfect—no matter how old they may be. Grandmothers are real people, just like you and me. And real people make real mistakes.

Why did she turn to drugs?!

It sounds as though your grannie may have turned to prescription drugs as a way to deal with the stress of taking care of your great-grandmother. Alzheimer’s is an ugly disease that’s especially tough on a caretaker. But that’s not an excuse for your grandmother. Chances are, she’s ashamed of her addiction, but doesn’t know how to ask for help.

Comfortable with a confrontation

Instead of judging your grandma, try talking to her. You could say, “Grandma, I’m really concerned about your health. I love you and want you to get the help you need.” Can't say it in person? Show her you care with a heartfelt card. Elderly people are at a higher risk of developing prescription drug abuse than younger people. It’s important for your grandmother to know she’s not alone.

Treatment is available to help grannie get back on her feet. But she’s going to need a lot of love and support from you and your family. The first step is to have your grandmother make an appointment with her doctor. It’s a long road to recovery, but with you by her side, your grandma can make it. Best of luck, girl!

GOT YOUR OWN TOUGH STUFF SITCH? CLICK HERE to submit your own problem to be answered on Girl Talk!

BY L’OREAL ON 11/17/2009 7:00:00 AM


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