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    Jennifer Hancock

    My sister is a cocaine addict who, through support from family has starting seeking help. The help seems to be a painstsakingly slow process and my sister is at breaking point, she even said she wants to be sectioned. Another issue is she lives with a minor dealer and because of her drug debt (over £1500) she is scared to leave him. She is not working at the moment and has no way of paying her debts until she has a job (she’s a nurse). Her car is off the road as she cannot afford it so can only look for local work which is very limited. I am struggling to see a way to help and am frightened for her safety because of her debts. Any advice or even comments from people in similar situations would be appreciated.

    Martha Rae

    Hi Jennifer. I am the Senior Virtual Family Support practitioner here at Scottish Families. I’m sorry to hear about the difficult situation your sister is in. It is really positive that your sister is seeking help now, with the right support she will be in a really good position to tackle her drug use and her situation. Depending what area you live in in Scotland there may be alternative local support available for your sister. You can check our service directory ( to see if there is anything else in your area that may work better for her. It may also help you to see what Family Support is available to help you to support your sister with this. Her safety is the most important thing and if you ever have immediate concerns about this it is always better to contact the emergency services. However, if she is able to start paying some of the debt back- even if it is a small amount in regular instalments this can help her to feel more in control and will help to prove that she is willing to pay this money back. It is always difficult when you cannot see an easy solution for a family member but your own wellbeing is important too. So long as your sister is speaking with you about these problems the best thing you can do is be there emotionally for her through this time.

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