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home : columns : dear harriette August 9, 2020

6/3/2020 7:57:00 AM
Sibling worries about sister's pill stash

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 To get immediate help, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357).

DEAR HARRIETTE: I don't even remember how long we have been stuck in the house now, but my body is none the better for it. I was already supposed to be losing weight on my doctor's orders, but I know that I have gained. Plus, I have hardly done any exercise. I'm just not motivated. But I can hear my doctor screaming at me now. How can I get my head right so that I can do something at home for my health? -- Get Fit

DEAR GET FIT: You've probably heard the adage from Sir Isaac Newton that he called the First Law of Motion, the law of inertia: A body at rest tends to remain at rest, and a body in motion tends to stay in motion. Do you see yourself in that?

Most of us have barely been in motion for weeks now. That's why it's hard to begin moving. Start by acknowledging that your lack of energy or desire to move is normal -- and unhealthy. Start a schedule for yourself that will jumpstart you out of this behavior. At the same appointed hour every day, get up and start moving. Start small. Stretch for five minutes. Do five minutes of jumping jacks. Put on a mask and take a walk for 10 minutes. If you build slowly, you will awaken your body to movement. Add time in gradually so that you don't shock your system. You have to convince yourself that you can do it. You can!

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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