DEAR HARRIETTE: Since we have been living in quarantine, my older sister and brother have come back to live with us. I went into my sister's room the other day and noticed that she had a stash of weed and pills in her room. I don't want to be a tattletale, but it kind of freaked me out. She has been acting weird, but I just thought she was mad because she had to stay with us instead of at college. Weed is one thing, but she had Oxy too. I think I should tell my mother, but I don't want to cause a huge family fight. What should I do? -- Troubled Sister
DEAR TROUBLED SISTER: Trust your gut. Your sister may need an intervention in order to address what's happening in her life right now. Had it just been weed in her possession, I agree that you wouldn't need to sound an alarm. Not that your mother would be happy about her smoking that, but the chances of her harming herself are far different with weed than with opioids. We are currently suffering through an opioid crisis in our country that is affecting millions of people of all ages and too often taking their lives.
Your mother should know that her daughter is taking Oxycodone as well as anything else she may have. Show your mother where you found it. She may want to confiscate it so that she can talk to your sister with the drugs in hand. The showdown will likely be ugly, but know that you may be saving your sister's life. Your mother should do some research of her own on how to get help for your sister if she needs it. This will be a rocky period for your family, but don't give up on your sister.
To learn more about opioid addiction, go to www.addictioncenter.com. To get immediate help, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357).