An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

Does a family member steal from you to support their habit?

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by pineywood, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. pineywood

    pineywood Community Champion

    With the added expense of any addiction, and the likelihood of not being able to function in day to day activities increasing due to their habit, has a member of your family resorted to stealing from you or another family member, or turned to a life of crime outside the house?

    I have had a few things gone up missing in the past. Not money, as far as I am aware of, but little things that I know are popular to take into the pawn shop. I am not dealing with this situation right now, but I am wondering if others are dealing with or have dealt with a loved one milking you dry to support their habit and how you deal or dealt with it?
  2. AFKATafcar

    AFKATafcar Community Champion

    I've never had someone steal from me to pay for their addictions, but my girlfriend has had something like that happen. She's pretty sure that her cousin stole money from her, possibly to pay for drugs, but we've never been able to confirm that suspicion. It's something that a lot of people wind up doing because they can't go without the drugs, and they have to resort to drastic measures to finance their addiction.
  3. Rubyrose

    Rubyrose Member

    My mom, who was addicted to prescription medications stole from me directly and kind of indirectly.

    My mom stole 60 dollars from my wallet claiming she thought it was my dad's wallet and that she was getting money from him. She ended up paying me back, however I was upset that she stole it from me in the first place. Even if it was my dad's money that would not have been right either.

    Another way that my mom sort of stole from me was when I was in college she would demand half my financial aid check and I also worked for her as her homemaker and she demanded all of that check. She claimed that she takes it because I was living with her, but she mostly used a lot of that money to support her habit.
  4. hellonamesdana

    hellonamesdana Senior Contributor

    Yes, but in a very strange way.

    My father stole thousands of dollars from my brother and I, money that has been saved for us for years for college from family members, birthday money, stuff we earned as kids, to feed his gambling/spending addiction a few years ago. He swore he would replace it, but soon after that he filed for bankruptcy and we were homeless.
    And my mom stole money that was supposed to go towards things for my brother and I, like for our lunches or certain school trips and stuff like that, and instead spent it on alcohol.
  5. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I have a friend who used to borrow money from all of us just to get his fix and he never paid any of us back but I don't think any of us were really expecting to get paid at the time and the amount wasn't too much so I guess it was alright. I think the positive side of that particular phase of his life was that he at least was sane enough to still have the decency to just ask for the money instead of stealing it, though I imagine if he had let the addiction run on for longer it would have reached that point eventually.
  6. pineywood

    pineywood Community Champion

    Oh, I am so sorry to hear about all these stories, especially about parents stealing from their children. Thanks for being so open with your experiences. Drugs and alcohol lead so many people to do things that they would normally not do. I think at the time people when people are stealing from others, like friend and relatives, they may tend to rationalize they are not actually stealing but borrowing or taking what they think they deserve.
  7. kjonesm1

    kjonesm1 Community Champion

    My ex was unable to hold a job for years and stole from me to support his alcohol addiction. Money, gaming systems, movies, just about anything he could get his hands on would dissappear. It was hard because I worked two jobs to support him and our baby at the time and he saw how I struggled to make ends meet at that time.
  8. MrsJones

    MrsJones Community Listener Community Listener

    Occasionally my husband would ask what happened to this? or how come we owe so much on that? I dread the thoughts that those questions bring back to me. Even so I still as part of his recovery I have to let him know it happened 'back then.' He still has to deal with the affects caused while using. He doesn't say much about it after that. I do wonder what he is thinking, or how he is processing what he has been told.
  9. Zyni

    Zyni Community Champion

    I haven't experienced this with a family member, but I have had so called friends steal from me. Not just bumming money and not paying it back, but actually stealing money or tangible items.

    When someone steals from a single mother (at the time), they must be pretty far gone.

    One person, I helped get a job with a relative of mine. That person ripped off the customers and almost caused my relative to lose their business over it. I had no idea the person had a drug problem at the time, or I wouldn't have done this. I felt terrible, even though he didn't seem to feel bad at all for what he had done.
  10. Johnsnow123

    Johnsnow123 Active Contributor

    When I was young, I was depressed because of my mom's addiction, I thought the only way to cure my depression was to smoke and drink like she did. I did steal her drinks and drugs from her and I remember the guilt I felt, but I couldn't stop doing it. I regret everything, but at the same time I felt like I was helping my mom in a way but hurting myself by stealing her drugs and drinks.
  11. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    I have known of cases where a family member using has been charged with stealing from other family members to support their habit. I have heard it so often, I have wondered how many have resorted to trickery and conniving even if not stealing directly. At least one of the persons involved actually took the matter to court. It seems to be real problem with addicts stealing from people around them.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2015
  12. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    We have relatives who stole money and things in the house to spend it on their addiction such as alcohol and illegal drugs. There were times that they were not allowed to enter the house or being guarded well to make sure they cannot steal anything.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2015
  13. Zyni

    Zyni Community Champion

    Sadly, that's what most people do.. at least at first. You usually know that they stole it. You can't really prove it, but deep down, you know. If it continues, you have to confront them, or you end up indirectly enabling them. It sucks, but that's the way it is. I had a hard time believing that certain people would steal from me too, but deep down, I really knew they had. I had to eventually stop letting them come over. When you're afraid to use your own bathroom when a "friend" is over, because you fear something will go missing while you're in there, it's time to put a stop to it.
  14. devinametallic

    devinametallic Active Contributor

    No, but I have a coworker who's father is really into cocaine and heroin and keeps stealing all of her money just to go spend it on drugs and gamble just to hold her back from moving out of the house. She would just call me and tell me all the details every night and it bothers me honestly. But she's 26, she's got to find a solution because who wants to spend their whole life fixing another's?
  15. lgdg090596

    lgdg090596 Senior Contributor

    Fortunately, none within my family are addicts — well, I am, or used to be. However, I did not steal to support my habit.
  16. hc201bp2b

    hc201bp2b Member

    I have never had a family member or friend steal from me to support their addiction. I have seen people around me who have had family members steal from them. These actions ended up tearing their family apart. I am not sure they ever resolved the issue. After the family member who stole went to rehab, he relapsed and ended up stealing again and that time was sent to prison because the family was tired of dealing with him.

    The family moved away from our hometown after his sentencing and I haven't heard from them since…
  17. I have been devastated by my boyfriend stealing from me and eventually committing crimes to Support his habit. Even though there were clues that he was doing this, for a long time I did not want to believe. I began holding my purse near me when I slept, checking my account to make sure all funds were there and dreading when the next time would be before I was put into yet another uncomfortable position to aid his behavior. As unsettling and cruel as it seems, I loved this man and prayed that it would end. I dealt with it because I loved this man and knew who he was before his ultimate downfall in the the drug world. It was fast and furious! I am still with this person today but extremely contious in the fact that he will always be an addict. He goes to church, is involved in the community. He fights every day to stay clean, every day. I pray every day that one day I don't have to watch my back every day, and I know that it hurts his self esteem but I'm afraid and even though I support his recovery its almost impossible to forget the constant past. I am learning every day as he is. Its your decision to stand by your loved one if they want help. Your not wrong either way. God Bless
  18. mickella18

    mickella18 Active Contributor

    My grandfather raids everybody's stuff for a couple dollars to sustain his smoking. I usually do not mind but lately, it has gotten out of hand. He is out of control and he doesn't know it.
  19. pineywood

    pineywood Community Champion

    Do you mean that he does not recall taking a couple of dollars or he does not realize that by taking a couple of dollars here and there is getting out of control and bothering you?

    Of course, I understand that anyone taking money from someone else without permission damages a relationship, especially when it is for an addiction. Have you thought about talking to your grandfather?
  20. sonia11

    sonia11 Senior Contributor

    I've had someone steal from me to support a cocaine habit. At first, it was just any cash that was left lying out. It would be taken because he "needed" it - I learned quickly to keep everything on my debit card. Then, as soon as he knew I'd been paid, he'd be hassling me to give him my card - again, he "needed" 20 bucks or whatever. He'd always promise to only take out 20 dollars from the ATM, but it would end up being like 40. I finally took to keeping my money locked in the console of my car - it was literally safer out there on the street than in my own home. One day I sat down and realized how far things had really gotten out of hand - I'd somehow managed to rationalize away the fact that I was getting a good $100 dollars a month taken from me, on top of this person making no contribution to rent or bills, and in fact often taking the money I'd earmarked for a bill or for groceries. Fortunately I'm now free of that situation.