An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

What do I do about my brother's drug problem?

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by dolittle94, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. dolittle94

    dolittle94 Member

    My brother has sold drugs here and there throughout the years because in his mind that's the only way to earn decent money. My family and I suspect that he is also using the drugs that he is selling and we aren't sure what to do about his actions. We don't want him to go to jail and we definitely don't want him end up dead, killed or overdosed, because of reckless and dangerous behavior, but we are at a standstill.
  2. SF13

    SF13 Member

    The problem is that as much as you want to help him, he can't be helped until he wants to help himself. You could try seeking out professional counseling from a drug abuse specialist to see if they can provide clearer insights, and who knows, an intervention might help the situation.

    I had a similar issue with my own brother, but no matter what we tried he never got clean till he went to jail and was forced to 'dry out' for a few years. Even now, I wonder if he is only abstaining because he's broke. Still, I haven't seen the tell tail black marks around his lips that he used to have, so he's been sober for a few years at least.
  3. jbepp

    jbepp Active Contributor

    It's difficult when money is part of the equation. It's true that selling drugs is easy and you make good money, but the risks involved are very high. If he's not careful enough even his life could be in danger. First of all, I think you should talk to him and try to make him stop selling drugs. Even if it sounds harsh, you could try making him realize that if he continues to do so his life could be in danger, and that his life is more important to you than money. Once he has stopped selling drugs, depending on the substance, the rehabilitation should easy.
  4. Allen24

    Allen24 Active Contributor

    I agree with Sf13, it's very hard to help someone who does not believe there is a problem. He is likely justifying his behavior with some sort of roundabout logic. If you and your family have already tried discussing it with him with no results, you could try counseling but I doubt he would willingly attend and participate. You are definitely in a tough situation.
  5. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    If what he is doing is putting his life in danger, it would be better for him to get arrested and be forced out of it before something worse happens. I would definitely get him information about counseling and drug treatment and see if he is willing to take these steps on his own, but if he is not and he is in fact selling drugs, turning him in might be the only way to save him from himself. That is a really hard position to be in, I can't imagine having to deal with that. I hope you have friends and family supporting you as well in this situation.
  6. karmaskeeper

    karmaskeeper Community Champion

    I've learned you simply can't help those, that won't help themselves. It is so hard to watch the people you love suffer with addiction. You want so much to help, and maybe you have tried only to be disappointed time and time again. A person that has an addiction problem no matter what substance they are abusing. Will not stop for anyone or anything the addiction is just to strong. Aside from locking them away, there really isn't a lot that can be done for the addict. Ultimately it is up to the addict when and if they ever decide to get clean.
  7. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    This is a very tricky situation. First he won't just stop selling drugs because it's from the proceeds that he's able to get his own fix. So in order to give up selling drugs, he first has to stop doing drugs. But as a seller he's around drugs which makes quitting much harder . . .

    It's more like a vicious cycle. One leads to the other. In order to break the chain maybe you should try helping him find another respectable job. This would at least get his hands off the stuff. After that, you can then together, if he is willing, to work on helping him overcome the addiction.
  8. LostmySis

    LostmySis Senior Contributor

    I feel for you. I tried for years to get my sister off drugs, but she refused. I sometimes think she did "Wet" and became schizophrenic from it. She died at 47 after two years of attacking me, harassing me, and claiming I killed our mother. Often people get hooked on drugs due to low self esteem. Sometimes it is from depression or another mental disorder. All you can do is try to encourage him and find him resources. It is up to him to act upon it. My sister said that money was a factor, so I got her signed up for SSI. She was accepted, but they told her she would have to stop doing drugs and get random testing. She refused at that point. At times I feel guilty thinking I did not do enough to help her. Then I realize I did more than others would have, and the choice was hers. In the meantime, we are here for you.
  9. cynamarie

    cynamarie Member

    I agree that you cannot help someone who does not want to be helped. I have a similar situation with a family member and it is hard for them to transition into a regular job after selling drugs. They have little or no work experience so they will not receive much pay and they now have a boss breathing down their neck. Most likely, they have the street mentality where "respect" means everything and now they feel as if their boss is "disrespecting" them by enforcing the rules. In addition to dealing with a boss, they are making pennies so it does not make sense in their mind to stay at this job when they can be at home, being their own boss, making a lot more money doing illegal things. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes jail for them to realize the error of their ways.
  10. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    It will ultimately be his decision if he wants to give it up. I think the best way to show him that dealing is not the best way to get money is to show him a better, legal alternative. Chances are, if he sees this as a way out then he probably hasn't seen all the other options for one reason or another, most likely because he hasn't been shown by his family. As for usage, that is a bit more tricky since if he is already using then his mind is probably a bit foggy and thus his decision making is probably hazy. I think in cases like these words are just not very effective anymore and the best way is really to be shown by example.
  11. frogsandlegos

    frogsandlegos Active Contributor

    I think you could simply tell him "I love you, and I love you too much to see you go to prison or end up dead. What can I do to help you stop this?"

    And if he doesn't want to change - well then - there's just not much you can do. If someone doesn't want to change their toxic behavior, they will unfortunately learn the the dangers of it the hard way rather than the easy way.