Out of the blue my family learned that my younger sister, who was 18 at the time, had been arrested for shoplifting. We were all so shocked but not as much as we were when we were told that she had been arrested many times for shoplifting to feed her habit. She had an addiction to heroin and had kept it secret until it started to get out of control.
Over the next year my family was torn apart, mum and dad would be arguing, the police and dealers would be looking for my sister, she would steal from us all whether it was our money, jewellery or even clothes to sell it was just so horrible and at one point I think my parents were even close to separating and my little brother started to get into trouble at school and My parents had to attend a meeting with his teacher. The teacher was very understanding when mum explained what was happening at home and she said that she had heard of a parent group that may be able to help. She phoned them the next day and gave mum the number.
PINS were great they sent someone round to the house straight away. Mum was so relieved not only did they give mum and dad all the support they needed but also provided all the information on how to help my sister to get help. I would often sit and talk to the support worker as I too felt I needed to understand why my sister had done this to us all and to get a lot of anger out of my system. We are now starting to pick up the pieces and be the family we should be. We know it will take time and that we all have to pull together but we are much stronger now.