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How can I help my addicted brother?

by Cira

My brother is an addict. Hes been taking hard drugs like heroin and cocaine. His fiancé found drugs in their apartment and, even through tough love, he makes promises to get clean and relapses.

My mother is sick with a respiratory condition that can be fatal and I fear that he uses also to cope with the fear of losing our mother. No matter what the family says to try to stop him he lies and leads us to believe he's waiting for a bed to be available for detox unit. But he doesn't check himself in.

This month he literally died and the paramedic brought him back to life. He said it scared him straight, which he lied to us about because he continues to use. We are desperate for help and a solution. We don't know what else to do. Please help us to help him get clean.

What can I do?

Comments for How can I help my addicted brother?

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Have you tried an intervention with boundaries and consequences?
by: Debbie Wicker

Dear Cira,

Addiction is a disease that attacks our brain and changes us into a different person who is often unrecognizable. Your brother sounds like he's addicted and the drugs are controlling him completely. Until he feels the FULL impact of his addiction, which may include time in jail, he may not be willing to quit.

I would recommend that you go to your doctor and get a referral for a treatment center. Then meet with the treatment center and enlist their help to do an intervention with your brother.

During the intervention CLEARLY layout the consequences he will receive if he refuses to go into treatment. Let the treatment center be your guide as to how to set and enforce the consequences and they will hopefully get him into treatment.

Also, you and your entire family should begin going to Al-anon and working the 12 step program. You'll learn how to continue to love your brother but hate the addiction that has such a terrible grip on him.

Good Luck,

Debbie

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