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Is my brother back to the addiction?

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by Peninha, Oct 2, 2014.

  1. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    My brother has been a drug addict since he was a teenager. He's now 40 years old, just recently got separated from her wife and 5 year old daughter, moved back to my parents and I fear he's back to the addiction I assumed he had quited. Don't know if I should talk to him about it or not...
    Joseph likes this.
  2. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    Hi Peninha,
    I think you should definitely talk to him if you have reason to believe he may be using drugs again, but has he done anything that makes you feel like he is, or are you just concerned about his ability to cope with something like separating from his wife?
  3. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    Well, I never had a close relation with him, I tried to when we were teens and living together, but he always shut me off. He's all arrogant like he used to be when he was on drugs you know and I know that's the way he has to disguise his insecurity, he shuts people out and acts superior. I fear that drugs might have caused his separation yes.
  4. maryannballeras

    maryannballeras Senior Contributor

    That is alarming. I can definitely say that someone should talk to him. If not you, maybe someone close to him can? As you've mentioned, he's already 40 and this should be the time that he needs to be cautious about his health, not to destroy it. His body might not contain whatever substance that he's taking, and we don't want him to reach that level.
  5. Allen24

    Allen24 Active Contributor

    I would reach out to him even if you are not close. A family bond is important and he needs to know that others are concerned. Maybe call your parents if he is living with them-- they might have tried talking with him too. Perhaps you can coordinate your efforts.
  6. RakeMind4

    RakeMind4 Active Contributor

    You should listen to your gut on this one and get involved. You don't know what it might mean to him to have someone make a genuine effort to help him, you know? It might be the light in the harbor which he can then, only of his own volition of course, come back to. Even if he shuts you out too, the potential that your efforts could make some difference for him (and if not now, then later) is too great to pass up.

    I don't know the specifics, but it will probably not be just one conversation or communication that will be appropriate. You will probably have to consistently make a presence in his life. Kind of like the difference between a dot and a line; a dot is much easier to forget about in the rush of everything, but you'll remember a big old line that came out of nowhere.

    But then, also, there will be a time where it's like you've done what can be done, and if he doesn't want help, then you need to leave him to his own devices. That is to say, there is also doing "too much," where it's like the influence just becomes white noise.

    It is unfortunate that 'leaving him to his own devices' with hard drugs has the possibility of his eventual death. You have my condolences, and I wish you all the luck in the world with your brother.
  7. Muraki

    Muraki Member

    I think you should talk to him.

    He is in a tight spot right now and needs someone to guide him. I know we are talking about an adult man who should be more than capable to do it on his own but you should take in consideration his drug abuse, his wife left him, and he probably feels like his life is not going anywhere right now so he needs a pillar of support. It doesn't matter if you are not so close to him, if you care about your brother it should be clear what you should do.

    Try to be patient and know that some words mean a lot to other people without us realizing it.
  8. ccpier

    ccpier Member

    I think that when people have a history of addiction they can fall back into old habits when faced with stress. I would reach out to him, you never know what you might find.
    Good luck
  9. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    I feel like that as well, but it's so hard to be close to him even if he's my brother. I invited him many times to my kids birthdays and sometimes he doesn't even show up, that's the relation we have, we just see each other a couple of times per year...
  10. ccpier

    ccpier Member

    I get that. I remember when my brother would not show up or have excuse after excuse. Have you considered staging an intervention?
  11. You should consider the fact that maybe he doesn't think your relationship is strong enough with him to share his troubles. He is probably going through a very tough time in life right now and his automatic response is to resort back to drugs. He probably feels trapped and is bottling up all his emotions. You should try to build a good relationship with him first, maybe go out for a fun dinner and break the ice. You need to give him time and build some trust and then share your troubles with him and he will probably respond with his troubles. Good luck to you and your brother!
  12. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    I know that, but what can I do? All the times I tried to talk to him he shut me off... Now he's at my parents, a lousy place to be when you are 40, let's see if he manages his independence again.
  13. La.oui

    La.oui Member

    I agree with most posters that you definitely should reach out to him, as he is in need of support now more than ever. However, I implore you to be very mindful as to how you should be proceeding. Like you have mentioned, you two haven't been close. If you you open up your concerns regarding his drug abuse on the get-go, this might push him away even more. Be cautious to not make him feel like he is being attacked or ostracized for his drug use.

    Maybe it will take some time for him to open up to you about his substance abuse issues, but if you show him slowly that you are there to listen and support, not judge, it might enable him to become more comfortable with you. In the meantime tap family members or friends of his who you think might be able to communicate with him on this deeper level. It's the most you can do at the moment.
  14. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    Maybe I am just thinking about myself and I should think more about him I don't know, the fact is that I have a wife, job, 2 kids and I've spent many many hours worrying about him...
  15. RakeMind4

    RakeMind4 Active Contributor

    Hey Peninha,

    If you've brought up the issue with your brother, and he is telling you to take a hike, that's really all you can do mate. Your life and your family comes before his willing self destruction.

    But do make sure you've made the effort to bring the topic before him, even if it's uncomfortable for you. It's for the best. And even if, for whatever reason, you do look soft-handed when doing it, it's still for the best, anyway.
  16. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    You need to comfort him because a break up is really difficult to hold it together when you have been an addict. You have got to talk to him about it and remind him that there are kids involved now and he has to be strong and sober for them to have a future. Your approach has to be subtle so that he doesn't feel he is being confronted but at the same time you make it clear that he is a father and being sober is a must.
  17. Daniel Lucky

    Daniel Lucky Active Contributor

    My opinion would be yes to reach out and talk to him on a humble level. Try taking him out to lunch and discussing the issue very lightly. Ask him whats on his mind a lot of times as addicts we feel we can't open up because no one really understands and this is what frustrates us. When we get frustrated this is when we start to act arrogant and act like we don't have an issue. Stress is one of the many causes for relapse, his wife and family leaving had a major effect on him mentally and emotionally and helping him with this issue is what is going to get him to open up, show love and pray. Good luck!
  18. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    The issue is that I don't have a close relation with him, so any approach on my side will of course be suspicious. He knows he can count on me though, I am there for him if he needs me.
  19. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    Yep, that happened 20 years ago twice, I tried to help him and told me to go away, so now I am really not that interested to get into that, but at the same time he's my brother you know?
  20. RakeMind4

    RakeMind4 Active Contributor

    Lol. 20 years ago is a long time buddy! Give the guy another chance or two, talk is cheap. And if he wants to be that way again, then hey.

    But it's not only about "you getting the responsibility off your back," of course; you should also have a genuine interest in helping your brother avoid the road of suffering and self destruction that he might be on. Hell, he could even maybe hurt others with drunk driving or who knows what, by walking down that road.
    Peninha likes this.