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Addicted Family Member

Discussion in 'Share Your Story Here' started by CpXi7z1, Dec 1, 2014.

  1. CpXi7z1

    CpXi7z1 Member

    Years ago my brother had multiple addictions: cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. He worked his way up from pot to shooting heroin. His addiction made home life a living hell. Every phone call and every knock on the door made our hearts leap into our throats, and our first thought was, "He's dead." He demanded money from my parents every day, sometimes several times a day for his addictions. He'd been through so many rehabs he knew how to work the system, acting as if he wanted to clean up his life. Perhaps to some degree he wanted that, but returning home created the desire to mingle with his druggie and alcoholic buddies which led to relapse.

    Over a decade ago my brother shot his last batch of heroin before rehab. The final phase of the program involved putting him on a plane to another state so he would not return to the familiar drug locations and friends. Due to an unforeseen event, he moved home. To my family's knowledge pot is the only drug he uses, but he drinks a lot every day and smokes a pack a day. For a head injury he takes medication that does not mix with alcohol, and I believe it is this combination that makes him mutter gibberish before he falls asleep and grabs at things we cannot see. He has also had a seizure.

    Again we see his addiction, and he denies he has one.
  2. valiantx

    valiantx Community Champion

    I'm not going to beat around the bush with you, CpXi7z1, because from what I've read about your situation with your brother, you and your whole family supported his drug habits; it's that simple. My parents have ever only given me money to buy food, water, and gas for my car, but never a penny for any drugs - I have always earned my own money to buy ethanol beverages and weed I used in the past. Although I commend you have tried to help your brother, continually allowing him to return to your homes is a big no no to drug addicts, especially narcotics users because I've seen so many disregard all ethics if they're really addicted to such types of hard drugs.

    Personally, I don't tolerate people who continually do crazy stuff over a drug addiction, especially if he/she has dodged medical help numerous times. Until your brother can truly have the esteem to see his life and the humans around him are more important than his escapism on drugs, he will never admit to being an addict nor attempt to get better or stop at all.
  3. JessiFox

    JessiFox Active Contributor

    Well that's a rather blunt way to put it, but unfortunately I have to agree. I understand the instinct to help, believe me I do, but you to realize when helping is just enabling and supporting the bad habits and not the actual person. When he's doing those things and putting those things above his own well being and the people in his life, he's not really being the brother that you care about. And you're not really supporting that brother.
  4. muthoni

    muthoni Active Contributor

    The fact that your brother does not recognize that he has a problem is the greatest issue. It must be so painful for all of you to go through this. How did he get started on the drugs? Maybe it is necessary to dig and find out what pushes him to take drugs in the first place. You have also written about a head injury. I guess that tough love has to come in here to ensure that he does not come home until he is rehabilitated.
  5. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I agree that better to find out his reasons why he got addicted and still using those substances and trying to deny. Knowing the root cause could help in finding the ways on how to get rid of it or how to totally help him. It will be necessary for him to be honest and recognize his problems or addictions.
  6. notodrugs

    notodrugs Community Listener Community Listener

    I am sorry for your brother's relapse. I hope something more effective can be done to him. I share your family's agony over his repeated relationship with all the substances especially your mom's. I feel her feelings. I am a mom myself. Even though, I don't have addiction problems with my kids, I can empathize with her. If I would have, God forbid, I cannot imagine myself leaving my child alone. But if it has to be done, I would for her own sake as long as I know she's in good hands and it's a way to make her better. I hope your family's determined not to fall prey to his whims in having access to his true love. Obviously, like what the others wrote here, he seems to give more importance to those things rather than to you, his family who seems to be suffering more than he does, and even to himself as well.

    All the best to you and your family.
  7. kita

    kita Member

    I know exactly what you are going through. A family member of mine is addicted to alcohol and also refuses to admitting she's addicted. We have done everything imaginable to stop her addiction, but nothing has work to thus far. My heart and prayers are with you and your family. I hope your brother sees the error in his ways and stop causing so much pain to your family.
  8. ClassyTulip

    ClassyTulip Member

    It's sad that you and your family is going through this ordeal. Addiction of any sort can be an ugly monstrous truth. We sometimes see our family members as we've experienced them before addiction and that, I think, is what hurts the most. Sometimes, we can't understand how this type of behavior can happen within the safety of our own family. When we realize that addiction is like an ever consuming fire burning those who reach out to help, It's like experiencing a literal heart ache. Your brother has substituted drugs with other drugs. It seems that he may have to come to the conclusion that being sick and tired is actually being sick and tired.
  9. ClassyTulip

    ClassyTulip Member

    I understand what you're talking about Kita. I dated a guy, years ago, who had an Alcohol addiction. He would go to the gas station to purchase gas for his vehicle and a twelve pack of beer. He would drink ten cans of beer before he would even come over to visit. I could smell the yeasty stench of beer on his breath at times, especially when he would lie to me that he had stopped drinking. His most favorable drink though was Vodka. I would pour the Vodka down the drain in an attempt to help him quit, then he'd just drive to the store to get more. I finally realized that it wasn't my decision for him to stop drinking. He'd needed to decide whether or not it was time to stop drinking. As long as a person can deny that they have a problem, the problem still will manifest itself.
  10. ClassyTulip

    ClassyTulip Member

    On the contrary, Zaerine, I'll have to disagree with you on the concept that knowing the root problem to the addiction may help the addicted. Addiction is a complicated sickness. There may be a many deep rooted issues that the brother is just not ready to confront. In fact, confronting the root of the addiction may actually hurt him more. He has to have a more professionally guided intervention plan set in place so that the truth won't be too overwhelming.
  11. ClassyTulip

    ClassyTulip Member

    As harsh as this seems, you're correct. the family seems as though they're aiding the brother to keep up his habitual drug using antics. The brother might see the help from the family as a way to continue his drug use in safety. The family seems as though they are content with him demoting to marijuana use from the other stronger drugs he has used in the past. Sometimes a little tough love can go a long way with helping our family members. The family might want to think about other useful ways to not have to cope with the brother's pitiful drug abuse.
  12. ClassyTulip

    ClassyTulip Member

    It's very hard to be empathetic with the mom knowing that you've never experienced this with your own children. Experience brings empathy but being listeners /readers to the drug abusing brings sympathy. You can't identify yourself as being a parent to a drug abused child. You haven't earned that title. These mothers stay up praying that their child isn't dead after not hearing from them in weeks. These mothers have to deal with the fact that they're not dealing with the little child that they've raised but in fact a living, walking, and talking addict. You must first walk a mile in the mother's shoes. I think the more appropriate word is sympathetic.
  13. emily0531

    emily0531 Member

    Living with a family member who has multiple addictions is extremely frustrating and stressful. As someone who is not addicted to anything, it is difficult to know how to help. We go back and forth between being loving and supportive at times and being cold and detached when that doesn't work. The person with the addiction(s) has to be the one to make the choice to quit. The rest of us have to make the decision whether or not to have them in our lives.
  14. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    Sounds like he is self medicating for his head injury. I would try a solution from that approach if it were my family member, I think. It might be that he is only trying to self medicate so if there were some other more appropriate medication then he might be able to come off it. Rehabs might not pay attention to this specifically because chances are they have a general or standard method for everyone whereas it sounds like your brother's situation is a bit more unique.
  15. stariie

    stariie Community Champion

    It's too bad that your family, you, and your brother are going through this. Drug addiction in a family can be a really bad thing for everyone. You didn't mention that he is on heroin again. It is a good thing that he has given that up.

    Some people who have been on "hard" drugs like heroin, and cocaine and meth, see a little bit of weed here, and drinking and mixing pills as "child's play". They don't regard that as addiction because, to them, they know what "real" addiction is like. Many people feel that once they have kicked the hard stuff, they are no longer addicted.