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How many chances do you give your drug addicted brother, before it is time to say you're done?

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by traitornevercomeback, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. My brother has been struggling with a drug addiction for the last five years. He always convinces everyone he wants to get help and go to rehab, but when it comes down to it, he never follows through, or ends up relapsing within months. When does it get to a point, that you tell him you're done and shut him out of your life?
    The last couple of months my brother has been on the methadone maintenance program. He has been doing really well and I thought this time was going to be different. He has been to rehab 3 times and each time he has relapsed within months of returning. Today we found out he has been doing cocaine while taking the methadone. He has been kicked out of my parent’s house and is who knows where now. I should mention my brother is 22 years old.
    My brother has done so many hurtful things to both my family and I the last five years, some of them unforgiveable. First, while he was working for a family members business he stole over 5,000 dollars slowly over a couple of months. The business almost went bankrupt, and he to this day has never paid them back. That’s not even the tip of the iceberg - he has stolen so much from me and my family, both money and personal items to sell. He always blames his drug habits on stressful events, such as our grandpa dying, or me being in a car accident. He never takes responsibility for his actions which is so frustrating. The worst part is the time I had to convince him to take the knife away from his throat. He has threatened to kill himself multiple times, and as his sister i am always the one to hear the threats. I worry every minute about getting his suicidal text messages, and although he has never fully gone through with it – it’s not something I can’t take seriously. I try hard to be strong for my mom and dad, but they do not know half the things i have been through. I was the one there to check on him when he would get home from partying to make sure he was still breathing, i was the one that had to calm him down when he was so high on acid he didn’t know what was happening. I feel like he only cares about himself, and even though he has done all these terrible things, i am still there for him. How do i let go and stop worrying about him? When do i say it’s enough and cut him out of my life? I always wondered how families could allow their family members to live on the streets and be drug addicts, but now i understand there is only so much one can do, before they become completely broken and unable to deal with it. Can someone please shine their thoughts on my situation? I'm so lost.
  2. EditorsRHumansToo!

    EditorsRHumansToo! Community Champion

    Welcome to you with love, @traitornevercomeback As a mother, I do feel so sad for your brother. I feel very sad that he doesn't care about his life. I'm very sad that his mind and soul only wants the substances that harm him. Be very brave and strong.

    While he still texts you, I believe that he is searching for love from family members. Reply to his messages with kind words. of hope. Inspire him to a better life than he has now. Pray for him and tell him that you are praying for him. Tell him words that will instill in him some hope and light in the midst of darkness. It may not be now that he may respond and make a turn-around, deciding for himself to healing. But he will see the light of truth one day. He will be free one day.

    Be constant and consistent in asking about how he is. Your love for your brother will keep you strong. I will be thinking of you and praying, as well.

    Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you again in this forum.
  3. shadowsupernature

    shadowsupernature Senior Contributor

    Contact Nar-anon ( ) the support group for family and loved ones of drug addicts. They will help you deal with the issues involved with your brother's dug addiction.
  4. blastguardgear

    blastguardgear Senior Contributor

    Honestly, you should have cut the cord with him after his second relapse, maybe even the first. An addicts life is one of destruction and chaos. If he really wanted to get his life together, to be a member of your family, he would have never started using in the first place. Every day for the rest of his life, he will struggle with his addictions, even if he's "kicked the habit." There is really no way for him to get better. You need to accept this and move on. Let him ruin his own life, not yours. You need to cut ties with him immediately to save yourself and your family from any further damage he may cause. Tell him that if he can stay sober for a minimum of 6 months and hold a steady job, you MIGHT consider opening communications with him again. You have to accept that he will still try to contact you, still try to use you. That's all he's doing. He is using you. Ignoring him completely is the only thing you can do that will have any hope of helping him and you. It will be hard. He is family and you're not suppose to abandon family. But when a family member becomes a cancer, a self destructive, caustic, psychologically consuming cancer, you have to make a choice. Try to save him and fail or cut him off and save the family. I wish you luck and I hope everything works out for the best.
  5. tarverten

    tarverten Senior Contributor

    OK, I've actually seen multiple people turn to crack, crack and/or heroin, some come through a turn clean, some not make it through and some still dependent on the drugs.

    My father was addicted to heroin and crack at the same time, no matter what my nan did she could not help him. It is unbelievable how much he's stole from my family, but my nan couldn't wipe her hands clean of him no matter what.

    My dad become addicted at the age of 20 and from the age of about 21 he wanted to become clean, attenting several rehabs and getting methadone to help him stay away from the heroin and just relapsing within months. Then finally at the age of 32 he become clean.

    I've talk to my father since he's been clean, and he said becoming clean is just the hardest thing one person can ever do, because you change to the point where life is not worth living and it is almost impossible to live without being high on either heroin and/or crack.

    The reason my dad quit is because I (his only child) told him, "You're no father. Look at the state of you" which he said, was true and just those words hit him like a ton of bricks. He said that was the reason he used all his willpower to quit.

    My point being, most people addicted to drugs need to see what they've done to themselves and somebody they really love hurt by it. Closing yourself off might make him realise what he's done, although, it might make him turn the otherway and continue taking to block the pain of what he's done to himself.
  6. thepieeatingjay

    thepieeatingjay Senior Contributor

    We wasted more than five years before we woke up and realized he was the only one who can help himself. We had young children to worry about so it was a no brainer.That was years ago and he still hasn't changed. It's time you start your life. Good luck.
  7. Totalarmordestine

    Totalarmordestine Senior Contributor

    I don't want to tell you to give up on him. He IS still family after all. But maybe it's time to make him FEEL like he's truly alone and give REAL tough love. The only way he can be helped is if he starts to look for it himself at this point.

    He has to be made to see what he's become.
  8. LinB

    LinB Senior Contributor

    Life is so complex and so many things inexplicable. We can never really know when enough is enough until it actually comes to that point. Everyone of us have a different level of tolerance and patience and there will come a time when situations will drive us to the very edge. As it pertains to your brother, continue to support him and to love him and to be there for him. However, do not let him drain you or cause you to become so tired that you can't even help yourself. There needs to be a balance and you will know in yourself when enough is enough.
  9. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    You never should stop trying to help. There is a time you might need to step back, give the addict and yourself time to think things over. This by no means should be taken as giving up. The more you attempt to help him and he sees it as nagging, he'll keep resisting. Letting go for a little while then coming back and applying a little pressure can work much better than wearing yourself out trying to change him when his actions prove that he isn't ready yet to fight his addiction.