When someone is an addict, their mind is on drinking or drugs and they will do whatever it takes to get their hands on it—even if it means stealing from someone they love. Their difference of right and wrong is not there anymore because they feel that they cannot function without abusive substances. When a relative steals money from you to finance their addiction, you need to confront them about it in a non-judgmental way so that they can come to you for help.
The first thing to do is give yourself some time to cool down as soon as you find out your relative is stealing money from you. Think about what you are going to say before you say it. You can write down your feelings in a letter so you can vent out all of your frustration, anger, and disappointment on paper. Tuck that letter away somewhere safe and go back to it when you forget how you felt after finding out someone you love stole from you. When you speak to your relative, let that person know how much their act has hurt you but remain calm. Also, tell them you are worried about the path they are on that they are that they felt the need to commit this desperate act. Yelling at that person will make them resent you and will feel no remorse when they steal from you again. Remember that addiction is brain disease and that they are not being themselves.
If you catch a relative stealing from you, come up with a payment plan so that you can get back every penny and replace stolen items. Other tough consequences include telling them they are not allowed in the house or cut ties with them if you have to. Make sure to keep an eye on your valuables when that relative is around as well as lock your bedroom door, get a safe, and do not leave valuables around. If they stole from you online, change your passwords and checking account number. If you have to get the police involved, do not feel guilty as your relative felt no guilt stealing from you. Do not let their addiction or for their withdrawal symptoms be an excuse to continue stealing from you. If you really want your help, you will send them to a treatment facility to get the help they really need.
Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.