Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


(27,275 posts)
Tue Sep 16, 2014, 04:26 PM Sep 2014

My 80 yo mother is addicted to my drug-addicted nephew

Last edited Tue Sep 16, 2014, 06:16 PM - Edit history (3)

He is 28 years old and has been living with her for 10 years. He has done nothing but get into trouble for 10 years. We've talked to my Mom about it, but recently I decided to take action. I convinced her to get a restraining order because he was using and selling meth in her house, and bringing drug addicts and dealers into her house. Over the past ten years, he has racked up an impressive petty criminal record, including two domestic violence convictions, and two possession of meth charges, and just two weeks ago, he was finally charged with felony possession and a 657b enhancement...that's CA's 3 strikes law.

My mother has been violating the restraining order by allowing him to come to her house and talking to him on the phone. Funny...she tried to visit him in jail, but the jailer told her she could not: because SHE has a restraining order against him. My mother is of sound mind and body...except when it comes to him...and my drug addicted brother. My brother at least has his own apartment, but he relies on my mother financially, to some extent.

He is a danger to her. And she is a danger to herself when it comes to him. I want my mother to sell her house, but she is resistant only because she wants to keep a home for him....but she really doesn't want him, or his drug activity in her house. Her latest solution is to house him in the garage, even though the restraining order prohibits that.

I think it is time for conservatorship, based on the fact that the nephew has undue influence over her...like battered woman or Stockholm syndrome. He has stolen her car, three new televisions from her house, and god only knows how much cash. He has assaulted both his sisters, and two women he was dating. He is using and dealing meth. I keep asking her: what does he have to do before you see him for who he is? I am afraid she is going to be hurt if she continues to deal with him, and I know she will because she is obsessed with him. And it is so sad. His two younger sisters are both nurses, and doing very well, But until I filed the restraining order, they would not even come to her house.

I am so frustrated. The family all agree that what has been happening is not good, and that she is a danger to herself because of her enabling. Yet, they want her to maintain her independence. And so do I, but I know she cannot break this cycle of co-dependency with him without our help. She even suggested that we get conservatorship. So...I think I am going to make the decision without the rest of the family, and do what I can to to keep my mother safe, because I know she will continue to put herself in danger.

Just needed to vent, but any suggestions are welcome

15 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
My 80 yo mother is addicted to my drug-addicted nephew (Original Post) noiretextatique Sep 2014 OP
What a difficult situation. I don't have any good advice, but enough Sep 2014 #1
the sperm donor has never been in his life, and my sister died 8 years ago noiretextatique Sep 2014 #2
I suggest you get good legal advice from someone who practices in this area of the law LiberalEsto Sep 2014 #3
i agree noiretextatique Sep 2014 #4
Call the local bar association and get a referral for an elder law attorney. Hoppy Sep 2014 #5
thanks noiretextatique Sep 2014 #6
Do NOT call the local bar association. Divernan Apr 2015 #14
If you must get a conservatorship, and perhaps you must, No Vested Interest Sep 2014 #7
i do not want to take control of her life noiretextatique Sep 2014 #8
It sounds as though you are well-grounded in the legal process No Vested Interest Sep 2014 #9
thank you. he definitely has undue influence over her noiretextatique Sep 2014 #10
Sounds familiar. RebelOne Sep 2014 #11
very familiar noiretextatique Sep 2014 #12
how are things now? blackcrow Jan 2015 #13
Drug addicts SheriffBob Jun 2016 #15


(13,279 posts)
1. What a difficult situation. I don't have any good advice, but
Tue Sep 16, 2014, 04:33 PM
Sep 2014

I'm curious about the parents of this nephew. One or the other of them would be your mother's sibling. Are the young man's parents in the picture?


(27,275 posts)
2. the sperm donor has never been in his life, and my sister died 8 years ago
Tue Sep 16, 2014, 04:39 PM
Sep 2014

very suddenly and tragically from inflammatory breast cancer. while she was in the hospital, she kicked him out of her house, and told my mother not to let him in her house. of course she did, and the rest is history. he plays on her emotions because of my sister's death, but his youngest sister was in high school when she died, and his other sister was a freshman in college. the girls have honored their mother by doing well, while he has made excuses for being an asshole. i offered to get him into to rehab, using his money from his mother's trust, but he refused. now my mother is obsessed with getting him into rehab, so he has housing, but at this point...i don't care what he does. i just want my mother to be away from him, even if it is against her will.



(22,845 posts)
3. I suggest you get good legal advice from someone who practices in this area of the law
Tue Sep 16, 2014, 05:16 PM
Sep 2014

Your mother is at risk of losing her home and/or her life.

She could lose her home if it gets confiscated by law enforcement because he deals there.

He could burn the place down. Meth can be a severe fire hazard, from what I've read.

If one of his drug deals goes bad, someone could come and shoot whoever is in the house, including your mother.

I think this is an emergency situation and needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.


(27,275 posts)
4. i agree
Tue Sep 16, 2014, 05:42 PM
Sep 2014

thank you. a friend of a friend is a conservatorship administrator. i will talk with her later today. unfortunately, if i go this route, i will have to go it alone. the rest of the family is more about punishing her than protecting her. my sister actually said she is OK with my mother dying at his hands vs. acting to protect her. i do not understand that.



(3,595 posts)
5. Call the local bar association and get a referral for an elder law attorney.
Tue Sep 16, 2014, 07:01 PM
Sep 2014

Consultation is free or about $25.00


(27,275 posts)
6. thanks
Tue Sep 16, 2014, 07:19 PM
Sep 2014

i kno what needs to be done. i am trying to get by the family on -board...that is the current problem. however, i am willing ot proceed without them. Mom is a master manipulator and liar....she learned from him. She has convinvinced my nieces that i am forcing her from her house, but she fails to mention that she says the house is too much for her and there is the matter of the drug addict that she cannot let got of, even with the restraining order.


(15,480 posts)
14. Do NOT call the local bar association.
Mon Apr 6, 2015, 07:33 PM
Apr 2015

I'm a retired lawyer - in my very large urban county, the bar association does indeed run a referral service. Let me tell you which lawyers sign up for it - lawyers who are underemployed and desperate for fees. There are no board certification procedures for lawyers to claim specialties - so individual lawyers claim expertise in multiple fields, i.e,. contracts, trusts and estates, family law, criminal law, workmen's compensation, tax law - all from one solo practitioner. When you call the bar association, you just get the next name on their list. And the initial fee may be only $25, but after that these lawyers will draw out, stall and delay -needlessly complicating everything because they bill by the hour.

Would you have your appendix removed by a doctor who advertised he/she was a brain surgeon, urologist, oncologist, dermatologist, internist, obstetrician, gastroenterologist AND tropical disease specialist?

I suggest that you research elder law specialists by googling that topic and then choose one who includes in their ads that he/she serves as an officer in the state association of elder law specialists and/or who teaches that topic in the continuing legal education program run by the lawyers' licensing program in your state.

Good luck to you - it's hard being the only family member who has one's parent's best interests at heart. I was the responsible person for my dear Mom until she died at age 94. I was glad to do it because she was a great Mother, but I still harbor some anger at my spoiled rotten kid brother who always talked a good game about how much he loved my Mom, but somehow his golf game always took precedence - even when I was out of the country and she fell and broke her hip. When it comes to family - it's all about Being There (like that character, Chance the Gardener, played by Peter Sellers).

No Vested Interest

(5,168 posts)
7. If you must get a conservatorship, and perhaps you must,
Tue Sep 16, 2014, 07:58 PM
Sep 2014

attempt to have it as a temporary thing, rather than permanent.

During that time, get her into a housing situation - either a good independent living facility or a condo or apartment large enough to have security, etc. Hopefully. enough time will elapse where he will be forced to be on his own or at least break the tie she has with him - perhaps a year will be enough to do this.

The reason I say temporary is that recently a friend of mine, a retired attorney, has been declared incompetent at the behest of her sister and the sister's children. The situation is so tragic in that they have deprived this woman of her sense of self-worth, as well as freedom to lead her life as best as she is able. (She just turned 80, and is, in fact, losing some of her mental acuity, but the cure - declared incompetency - is cruel.

Your attention to this matter is to be applauded.


(27,275 posts)
8. i do not want to take control of her life
Tue Sep 16, 2014, 08:30 PM
Sep 2014

except for her obsession with the asshole. i would not take control of her life or her finances, except as related to him and my brother. i know she cannot stop herself, even if her life and property are at stake. the RO protects her only to the extent that she allows, which is why i am even considering conservatorship. thanks for your input.

No Vested Interest

(5,168 posts)
9. It sounds as though you are well-grounded in the legal process
Wed Sep 17, 2014, 01:06 AM
Sep 2014

Last edited Wed Sep 17, 2014, 01:18 PM - Edit history (1)

that you will be initiating.

Try to keep letting her know that you are doing this out of love for her.

I am not too many years behind your mother, and I will tell you that even a most competent older adult does lose some emotional strength and will take the easy way out with some family members.
As you say, this grandson must have her bamboozled in some fashion.

Good luck in your efforts.


(27,275 posts)
10. thank you. he definitely has undue influence over her
Wed Sep 17, 2014, 10:16 AM
Sep 2014

she keeps saying she wants him to get a job, and i keep telling her that he cannot pass a drug test, which will be required for the menial jobs he can get. she wants to convince him to go to rehab, but he does not want to go. he may not be a lost cause, but her enabling is not helping him...she is actually allowing him to continue using drugs and be a criminal. the rest of the family is perfectly fine with her dying at his hands, but i don't want that to happen. i am trying to protect her from him, and from herself...by any means necessary. my mother is trying to compensate for her failure as a mother with us (she was mentally ill during our formative years) and as i keep telling her, it is too late to create a better past. i just want her to enjoy the rest of her life without dealing with drug addict/criminal drama...or losing her house...or being killed by him or his addict friends. it is love that motivates me, and common fng sense.


(30,947 posts)
11. Sounds familiar.
Wed Sep 17, 2014, 03:06 PM
Sep 2014

My mother had similar problems with my brother. Drug problems, drug dealing and stealing from her. Every time he got into trouble with the law, she always bailed him out. He has been in jail most of his life off and on. After she passed away at age 78, the estate lawyer said that my mother would have been a very wealthy woman if it had not been for all the money she spend to keep him out of trouble. Now he is 53 years old and wearing an ankle monitor because of his last scrape with the law and my mother is no longer here to bail him out.


(27,275 posts)
12. very familiar
Wed Sep 17, 2014, 05:40 PM
Sep 2014

she did the same thing with my brother, who is still an addict, but mostly self-sufficient. i don't understand what SHE gets out of it. she has the option to spend time with me, my sister, or my nieces, but she keeps choosing his chaos and idiocy. i guess it gives her life meaning, but it is so very sad. i just want her to enjoy the rest of her life without his bs. i am so sorry about your mother.



(156 posts)
13. how are things now?
Sat Jan 3, 2015, 04:28 PM
Jan 2015

If they are the same, you might see if there is some organization like AlAnon for relatives of people in drug situations. Sometimes, as bad as it feels, you have to step back. Your Mom seems to be contributing to this by lying to family members about you, so she is not a totally innocent victim. As tragic as it is, you cannot necessarily fix this.

Kick in to the DU tip jar?

This week we're running a special pop-up mini fund drive. From Monday through Friday we're going ad-free for all registered members, and we're asking you to kick in to the DU tip jar to support the site and keep us financially healthy.

As a bonus, making a contribution will allow you to leave kudos for another DU member, and at the end of the week we'll recognize the DUers who you think make this community great.

Tell me more...

Latest Discussions»Support Forums»Seniors»My 80 yo mother is addict...