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How to motivate an addict?

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by Noreht, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. Noreht

    Noreht Active Contributor

    As I have said before my brother in law has been addicted to CAT and weed. After going to rehab last year the CAT addiction has subsided but he still smokes weed almost daily. He has been staying at home with his parents playing playstation every day since coming out of rehab. His father and I have arranged numerous interviews and jobs for him, but he thinks he deserves a job that pays more than $1500 a month instead of the $ 800 jobs we are getting him.

    He is 22 now and his life is passing him by. How do I motivated him to start wordking again
  2. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Noreht... His parents are definitely enabling him. Letting him live in their house, smoke weed every day, and just sit around and play video games all day is the biggest reason your brother-in-law won't change his behavior. Why would he? He has his cake and is eating it, too! His parents have to establish some boundaries and enforce them, because if nothing changes then nothing changes. Taking a job--no matter what it pays--should be the first requirement your brother-in-law's parents impose on him. They should also tell him he can't smoke weed if he's going to live in their house. Etc.

    Sometimes parents think they're helping their child when all they're really doing is hurting them by enabling them. If you feel comfortable having a conversation with your in-laws, I would do it. Changing their behavior is the only thing that's going to help your brother-in-law change his.
  3. LoveEcho

    LoveEcho Community Champion

    I found my best motivation was the though of what my life could be like with out drugs. Without worrying about money for drugs or where to get drugs. Sometimes, I'd cry because I got so excited about what my life could be.
  4. darkrebelchild

    darkrebelchild Community Champion

    I think the first thing to do is get rid of his weed supply somehow. The next step is to take him out of his comfort zone and get some rigorous job for him; something that takes his mind off substances and probably a job that gets him tested every now and then.

    Remember, no matter how much you all try, if he is unwilling to stay clean there is nothing you all can do for him.
  5. CryingCanary

    CryingCanary Active Contributor

    Taking his weed would only cause tension between you and the addict. Personally I wouldn't do this. He would (probably) get angry and things would only get worse.
    Jani_pikki likes this.
  6. Noreht

    Noreht Active Contributor

    @deanokat The biggest issue is that his mother is still protecting him. They are coming to see our baby for the first time at the end of the month and she doesn't want him to stay at home alone so he is coming with. I don't want an addict around me, my fiance and more importantly my baby. How do I know he wont get high and unintentionally hurt her by dropping her etc.

    When they address the smoking he just claims he is depressed and if he can't smoke he is going to commit suicide so my mother in law allows him to smoke as she sees it as the lesser of two evils.
  7. mrsconv

    mrsconv Member

    I am dealing with a similar scenario with my heroin-addicted cousin. She is barely 18 years old and although she is now clean and sober, the residual effects of her drug use are still pretty evident. Since she spent her teen years using as opposed to getting an education, her skill set is minimal but she still feels as if she is entitled to a high paying, low effort job and I can't seem to get her to see the light.
    To be honest, I think depression plays a big part here, especially in my own personal situation, and likely in yours too since weed is a depressant. I can imagine that daily use would be quite a downer. I am hoping to see some good, motivational tips on this thread because I can definitely relate to the frustration of seeing the entitlement although the work is lacking.
  8. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    That's textbook enabling. Especially the not wanting him to stay at home alone. He's 22, not 12. All they're doing is trying to control him, which is hurting not only him, but them and others (like you), too. I think you should do your mother-in-law a favor and give her a copy of Melody Beattie's book Codependent No More. Maybe if she reads it she'll recognize that she has a big problem and try to remedy it.

    Also, you have every right to not want your brother-in-law around your baby, or even in your house. It's your house. Maybe just tell him he's not welcome in his current state.

    By the way, the threatening suicide thing is something my wife and I dealt with with our son. It's the ultimate manipulative move by an addict. Their "ace in the hole," if you will.
  9. Noreht

    Noreht Active Contributor

    I so wish this could work. She will never agree to even read the book. It is not a case of denial as she does know he is an addict. She also knows he smokes. She even knows where he gets his supply. I will give it to her and hopefully it makes a difference, but I really don't have much hope.

    Do you guys think sending him to one of those working farms would work? They basically cut you of from the outside world for 3 months and make you do manual labour on the farm. I see this as a last resort, but a more and more likeable one as the time is passing.
  10. Jani_pikki

    Jani_pikki Member

    @deanokat, this is my brother and I know my mother won't even touch that book.

    This is such a hard time for us. My fiancé, @Noreht, and I whom are both recovered addicts trying our best everyday to motivate and support him, as we know how important and hard this is for him.

    We don't stay in the same province (state) as my brother. We knew he's not getting the best support there and also living around lots of triggers. We've made the suggestion that he should come and stay with us for.a while to try and get a job here and that we will help him until he can get his own place. To make a long story short, he came, I fell pregnant and it was to much stress on me because he was sitting here at our house playing playstation all day not wanting to apply for jobs and help around the house, he was lazy and things just didn't worked out at that time. So we've send him back to my parents home.
    We still tried our best to support him as we know how hard this road is. Sometimes I feel guilty, whining I can do more be there more support more,but I have an 10 week and he lives very far away. Just hard, this is my baby brother and he only trusts me and my fiance.
    Noreht likes this.
  11. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    I suppose this could work. But do you think you'll be able to get him to agree to it? I mean, he's 22 years old so you can just tell him, "You're going here." There has to be willingness on his part. That would seem to be the big problem with the idea. Based on what you've told me so far, I would be surprised if this is something he'd be open to. But I don't think there'd be any harm in discussing it with him.
  12. Noreht

    Noreht Active Contributor

    We have discussed it and @Jani_pikki and I were actually the ones that convinced his parents to rather send him to rehab here where we live. He was heavily opposed to the idea and as we thought he would do better in an environment where we could support him we had him come down to us. We were there for every family meeting and visiting time that we could. He was doing well while in there, but it all turned bad when he returned back home.

    As you have seen with our previous posts we are at our wits end, but as we love him we really just want him to get better and we are looking for the best way to do this.
  13. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    I'm sorry you guys are having such a hard time with this. And it's too bad that your mom won't look at the book. I definitely feel for you. There's nothing more frustrating than seeing someone you love struggle, knowing what they have to do, but not being able to convince them to do it. I've been there with my son, who's now in long-term recovery from heroin addiction.

    I commend your fiancee and you for supporting your brother and trying to motivate him. It's obvious that your brother means the world to you. But I'm wondering if maybe it's time to create some boundaries and let him fend for himself. There's no doubt that you've tried very hard to help him change. But at some point, he has to take responsibility for his own life.

    I worry that your brother's problem is going to start adversely affecting you, if it hasn't already. When my wife and I were dealing with our son's addiction, it eventually consumed us. We became addicted to his addiction and our lived suffered because of it. I just don't want that to happen to you and your fiancee. The most important thing is to take care of yourselves. If you detach from your brother a bit, maybe it would help everyone. There's a line in that Codependent No More book that I truly love:

    “Detaching does not mean we don’t care. It means we learn to love, care, and be involved without going crazy.”

    My wife and I finally had to detach from our son, and that's when things started changing for the better...for everyone. He went to treatment, then moved into a sober living house, and is now almost 4 years clean. I honestly believe that if we wouldn't have detached from him, we'd all still be struggling.

    I wish I had more/better advice for you. I truly do. All I can say is that I genuinely feel for you and your situation. Addiction is definitely a family disease that affects way more people than just the addict. You are not alone, my friend. Please know that. And know that you can reach out to us anytime.

    I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. And I'm sending you virtual hugs, too.
  14. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    Returning home is definitely the issue, I think. He's so comfortable in his situation that he likely sees no reason to change. As the old saying goes, "If nothing changes, nothing changes." I believe you have to get him out of his parents' house.
  15. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    Yes, I think as hard as it is, sometimes detachment is what is needed. It is really up to the individual family as to how far they feel they need to take it. However, letting the person know that you are there from them but at this point it is best if you go your separate ways, at least for awhile.
  16. Noreht

    Noreht Active Contributor

    They are all coming to visit at the end of the month. I think the best course of action is for us all to have a sit down and a honest discussion. Not only about his dependency on drugs but his dependence on his parents. Like I have said, Jani and I have really done our best to support him and I even lined up jobs for him that he refused to take.

    I have always felt like it is not my place to say anything as I am just the fiancee, but his behaviour is influencing my daughters ability to get to know her grandparents and I will not take it anymore.
  17. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Noreht... I think sitting down and having a heart-to-heart talk with all the involved parties is a great idea. Just be sure to do it with love and compassion, not anger and confrontation. And you're totally right: Your brother-in-law's behavior is impacting your life and your child's life. So you have every right to talk about it.

    Keeping good thoughts for you guys. You can reach out to me anytime, my friend.
  18. Noreht

    Noreht Active Contributor

    Thank you for the wonderful support. I just needed to update you. Your good thoughts have created good things. My brother in law is actually going or an interview at a local computer store tomorrow. Lets all hope for the best. God is looking after us.
  19. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    Sending positive vibes to your brother-in-law for his interview tomorrow! Fingers crossed and prayers being said, my friend! :)
  20. Noreht

    Noreht Active Contributor

    Thank you @deanokat . The interview went well apparently. It seems my brother in law had a huge life changing moment. I don't know if it was the vibes we have been sending or the prayers, but he is actively looking for work and has started looking at courses to do distance learning. I will keep you posted, but I just want to thank ythe community and you especially for all your support.
    deanokat likes this.