An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

brother is a heroin addict, has been relapsing for the past 7 years

Discussion in 'Heroin' started by msquirrel, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. msquirrel

    msquirrel Member

    Hello, I'm 19 and my brother is a person who is addicted to heroin. He has been using opioids since he was 15 but has been using intravenous heroin since he was 17/18 and is almost 25. He has moved home and is trying to get sober, he is in a recovery program and on Suboxone. I just found out this past Winter and my parents have been keeping it from me for about 4 years. I am so lost in it all. I sometimes want to just cry and I worry about losing my brother and then when I think about him negatively I get so sad and feel terrible. I'm scared and it makes me feel so naive and immature and I don't know what to do about it all. I'm in college many hours from home and I have found I can barely even talk to him since finding out and I am scared to go home because it feels like facing a reality which is very scary for me now. I'm scared he'll die or never recover and I'll lose my brother.

    Just looking for advice, guidance, insight, honestly anything at this point.
  2. Dominica

    Dominica Recovery Advocate @ Moving Beyond Codependency Community Listener

    @msquirrel hello and welcome. thanks for reaching out. i understand it can be scary at the thought of losing a loved one....

    it's good that your brother is on suboxone and in a recovery program. there are plenty of people who have gotten off heroin with suboxone and have gone on to live a great life!

    addiction is a disease of the brain.... your brother doesn't want to be this way.... and he's trying..and that does count.

    while it might be scary, my opinion is to not ignore the reality... go spend time with him. love him. enjoy him. you don't have to talk about it if you don't want to, but make some memories.... if you want to learn how to best support him in his recovery, maybe go to nar-anon meetings. you'll get to meet others who have loved ones in recovery...and this can help you worry less....

    we are here too...anytime.

    take care of you...and try not to let your mind race off with the negative thought. if you catch yourself obsessing over it, redirect your thoughts. believe the best for your brother. envision him living a wonderful life free from drugs. and, if you're still struggling, maybe see a counselor at your college. often, they are free... :)

    glad you are here.
  3. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    Welcome to the forum, @msquirrel. I have to say, what you've posted sounds familiar to me because I have an older son (he's 29) who has struggled on and off with addiction (including heroin) for almost 15 years. I also have another son who is 6 years younger. I know it's been very difficult for my younger son. And I'm sure it's been just as difficult for you. All those things you're scared of--your brother not recovering, your brother dying, etc.--are things my younger son has feared about his brother.

    I think @Dominica has given you fabulous advice. Reading her post brought to mind the saying, "Love the addict...hate the disease." Believe me when I tell you that addiction is not a moral failing, and your brother is not a bad person. It's a disease, and your brother is a sick person. So try not to let it cloud your thinking when it comes to your brother.

    I would also suggest, like Dominica, that you look into getting some counseling to help you deal with the things you're feeling. If your college has a counseling center, see about getting in to talk to someone. If they don't, look into finding an off-campus therapist to talk to. I can almost guarantee you that talking to a professional about your feelings will help you feel better. You may also want to look into going to Nar-Anon or Al-Anon meetings. They are great groups that help people who have loved ones who are struggling.

    Lastly, you can always come here and talk to us. We will help and support you as best we can, and we will always listen if you have things you want to get off your chest.

    I'm happy you found us and posted here. And I want you to know that you sound like a wonderful brother.
  4. Joshstillclean

    Joshstillclean Stupidity Exists - Fact.

    Wow shocked when I saw your post. Did you tell him you felt this way?
    Mabey he felt that he was being ignored and didn't know how much you really cared. Might have been a few (or a lot) of times he cried because he thought he lost his best friend in the world.
    I could type a letter that my sister wrote to me several years ago. Concerning this same thing. But its easier to copy and paste. Its word for word what you just said minus the first 3 sentences.
  5. True concern

    True concern Moderator

    Damnit WTF i am getting new notifications from back in Apr literally coming through right now.WTF is going on?
  6. Dominica

    Dominica Recovery Advocate @ Moving Beyond Codependency Community Listener

  7. Jai50

    Jai50 Senior Contributor

    Best advice I have for you is just be there for him emotionallys and set boundaries. opiates are a hard do because it's body additive. The longer he's on them the harder it will be to quit..
    deanokat likes this.
  8. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    That is great advice, @Jai50!