Wedding Woes

My cousin is an enabled pill-popper

Dear Prudie,
My 27-year-old cousin "Joe" struggled with back pain after playing football in college, and in the last several years he has developed an addiction to prescription painkillers. When he attended family functions, we noticed he had lost a significant amount of weight, had sunken-in eyes, was very depressed, and had lost his job. On the Fourth of July this year, Joe came to a family barbecue completely high. He stumbled around, slurred his words, wished me a happy engagement (I am not engaged), and when he ate lunch, had food all over his face. I was very upset to see him like this. Joe's parents, my aunt and uncle, are wonderful people, but he lives in their home in this condition. He did go to rehab once, but checked himself out after a day and they brought him home. After the party, I spoke to my parents about how we can help. My dad has spoken to his brother about this, but doesn't want to get involved again because it breaks his heart too much to see Joe's parents enable Joe. Is there anything we could do to convince Joe's parents to act? I don't want our family to lose our cousin.


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