Brother drug addict mother enabler?

by Jen

(St. Louis)

My brother is a drug addict. I think he is doing cocaine but wouldn’t be surprised if it were something else. He is 36 with two young children separated from their mother and the kids at this time.

He first got hooked at the age of 18 or so while partying. He was hooked immediately. Close to death around 20 years old. Clean from cocaine for a good stretch but always had a beer or weed to smoke.

The last three years he has been non working in my mom’s basement doing his habit. She enabled him no doubt. I found out he cleared her bank account and stole anything of value to pawn. She removed herself from her house and he is in the basement.

My dilemma is that anything I do help the situation my mom will undo (not intentionally). She is 71 but since losing my father her health has gone down hill big time as well as her mental alertness. She believes anything he says.

Do I treat her as “senile” and take her home and possessions so he can’t get them or do I let him die in her basement? I’m not sure what my role is supposed to be.

I am the strongest in the family but it seems like I’m all alone in my efforts and I have a family to take care of myself.

Any advice is greatly appreciated, I don’t feel like I have much time left before it’s too late for him.

Two Fronts to this Fight

by: Ned Wicker

Dear Jen,

Your path is very difficult, because you mother completely misses the point. What you might want to attempt, and this will be hard, is to explain to your mother that your brother has a brain disease that is eventually going to kill him.

She will probably not understand, because she doesn’t want to understand, or she’ll refuse any information that might change her mind. She wants to protect her son, even if that means killing him.

If you have other family members it might be a good idea to get together with them and have a family pow-wow. I also recommend a call to Al-anon to seek the advice and counsel of people just like you who have had to deal with a mother in denial.

It’s always good to hear from someone who has gone through the same thing, to learn what they did to help.

Confronting your brother is probably going to not render anything other than a fight. If he’s living in your mother’s basement and has already robbed her of everything, he has no self-respect left in him and the disease has already taken over complete control of his life.

If there was any way you could show your mother that he is in peril, she might be willing to either support you, or at the very least stay out of the way. Probably not.

If the rest of the family is willing, especially his wife, you might be able to get him into treatment if there is any love for his children left in him.

An intervention might help, but seek the counsel of a trained professional, as interventions are not necessarily like the ones you see on television, and all too many people think they can execute this sort of plan on their own. Treatment centers might be able to give you guidance.

This may sound harsh, but if nothing works, maybe you can get help from law enforcement and have him arrested. Your mother, of course, will not press charges for all of the property he has stolen, but if he gets any worse he’ll die down there just as you stated. Law enforcement can be a friend and may be willing to try to help you.

The intense cravings for more cocaine, even long after treatment, can cause so many addicts to relapse. Your brother needs treatment and a strong recovery program to help him turn his life around. In the months ahead, you’ll see how much is left of him and hopefully that will be enough to spark a desire in him to be a husband and father.

Similar Posts