It is challenging and heartbreaking to see your brother struggling with substance addiction. As a sibling, it’s not a lovely sight to witness a loved one walking in the wrong direction. It is natural for us to worry about how their future would look like with their choices in life.
Normally, our instincts would automatically say that we need to protect them and confront them to stop what they’re doing right now. You might have this urge to seek immediate help to avoid worsening the problem and save your brother from that dark pit that he is in.
We know that you mean well on your intentions to help your brother. However, one wrong move can make the situation worse than ever before. If the approach was not made the right way, your brother might feel under attacked and will most likely pull away from you.
Here’s what you can do to deal with your brother’s addiction:
1. Do your research first
You can’t just assume what you want by what you see on the surface. You need to dig deeper into the problem. Learn what medicine he’s addicted to, how it affects a person and how to help them once they get hooked with it. You can’t jump into conclusions just because you found out that your brother is a medicine addict. It’s important to educate yourself first about his current situation so you can find better solutions for helping him out.
2. Talk to a Professional
Always seek medical advice at all times. Once you’ve done your research, verify all the data you’ve gathered, and consult with a medical expert. This way, you can confirm the weight of your brother’s addiction. These health professionals are the best person to talk to in terms of leading your brother’s addiction to cure. They’ll be happy to provide you with steps and discuss the reality of the situation to prepare you on what’s to come. Upon doing this, it’s best not to inform your brother first so he wouldn’t feel threatened or scared.
3. Talk to your Family
This is a family matter that needs to be discussed and solved together. Especially if your parents or the rest of the family members don’t know about it yet, it’s important to inform them. Do not hide your brother’s situation from your family but rather seek for their help and support. This is the time that your brother needs your family. He can’t face this alone without you. You may privately talk with your family and discuss the best approach to deal with your brother’s addiction. Once you’ve come up with a plan, be a team to play each of your roles to help your brother with his addiction.
4. Maintain Good Communication
Show your brother that he can talk to you anytime. Let him know that he can come to you whenever he needs you. Encourage him to air out his feelings or his thoughts so he won’t keep it to himself alone. Communication plays an important role in understanding the situation. When your brother feels understood, he will open up more and gain the confidence to seek for your help in combating his addiction.
5. Do not Tolerate His Bad Behaviors
One way to deal with the addiction is to help him stop it. Don’t be afraid to let him know how bad the situation looks like. Talk to him when he’s sober and help him reflect on his actions when he came home high on drugs. When talking to him, always do it with love. Please help him to realize the weight of his actions and how it’s taking a toll on his life and your family’s relationship. By doing this part, you need to be more patient and watch your speech tone to avoid driving him away.
6. Stop the Blame Game
It can be frustrating to learn how your brother got his addiction. He might be influenced by friends, classmates, workmates, or worse by your family members. Naturally, it’s frustrating to find out about it, and all you want to do is to lash out at him and ask why he let these people influence himself. Do not do this at any cost. You’re only making the situation worst and just pushing him away. Deal with your anger and frustration towards the situation and, rather, think rationally. Addicts don’t think rational, and most of the time, they’re not aware of what’s happening. The least you can do is to move past from it and help him stay away from those people.
7. Gain His Trust
By constant communication and love you’ve shown, your brother will immediately rely on you. He will because he already trusts you that he can count on you no matter what. By gaining his trust, he’ll most probably listen to you now and might consider changing his life for the better. Please do not break this trust and continue flourishing it throughout the whole process until he’s cured. When that time comes, he will always be grateful that he had you during those times when he was struggling to fight his addiction.
8. Don’t Be a medicine User, too
If you’re an older brother or sister, your younger siblings most probably look up to you as their big bro or sis. How can you influence them better when you’re the bad influence yourself? First of all, you should stay away from any medicine substance and become a good role model. It would be hard to correct someone if you are wrong in the first place.
9. Plan Appropriate Steps for the Intervention
Being put to rehab is very hard for a medicine addict. They will be separated not only from their families but also from the outside world. It is normal for your brother to retaliate and be angry towards your family’s decision to put him in rehab. Handle his anger by showing love and care while also ensuring that he will never be alone in this battle. Plan with your family on how often you should visit him so he won’t feel lonely and depressed while in rehab. It’s a challenging situation dealing with rehab and withdrawal symptoms, so knowing that he has a family to root for, he will be encouraged.
10. Be involved with his treatment
Know what your brother is about to go through and make an effort on how you can play a key role in helping him get better fast. Together with your family, talk to his doctors and carers by discussing different ways that your family can be good support. You can’t just send him in rehab and let him face it alone. Instead of bringing good, it can bring harm to your brother once he feels that he was left behind in rehab. Show him that he got your love and support by visiting him often, bringing his favorite food, asking about his improvements, and simply just listening to his experiences and stories.
11. Please help him to rebuild his life again
To motivate your brother to recover as fast as he can, let him know that you are willing to help in whatever plans he has in mind once he gets out. If he wants to go back to school, bring him some university prospectus that he can choose. If he wants to go back to work, send him some job ads you’ve put together. Whatever he wants to do after he finishes rehab, the family must be there to support him towards rebuilding a new life so he won’t go back again to his old ways. Having a fresh start will push his goals that can turn his life around.
12. Let yourself heal, too
Drug addiction in the family can be stressful, resentful, and frustrating. Dealing with those negative behaviors brought by an addict family member may cause mental illness like depression. The whole family suffers other than the addict, and it’s not a pleasant sight to look at. Take care of your mental health first. If it gets too overwhelming to handle your brother, distance yourself away. This way, you can let the negativity pass and give yourself some time to take a break before you face your brother again. If you force it, both you and your brother will suffer and take the consequences the hard way. If you need to talk to a specialist, then do so. Reach out to a support group near you that’s also dealing with the same situation. Sharing your thoughts and feelings with others in the same situation will help you deal with the situation better.
Addiction hurts not only the addict, but it hurts everyone that’s around him. It’s not a joke that you should take lightly. It’s a serious matter that needs urgent action. When your sibling is an addict, there are many ways that you can help him, your family, and even yourself. Be strong and enduring until your brother recovers.
What do you call someone who is addicted to drugs?
Addict, burnout, dopehead, doper, druggie, fiend, hophead, junkie, stoner, user, zombie.
Is addiction really a biological disease?
What is the primary cause of addiction?
What really causes addiction?
How do I stop being addicted?
- Educate Youth. One of the best and most effective ways to prevent addiction is to educate the youth about the risks of medicine and alcohol abuse.
- Teach Healthy Coping Skills.
- Get Involved in Something You Care About.
- Stay Close to Friends and Family.
- Practice Self-Care.
Is addiction genetic?
What percentage of addiction is genetic?
What are some examples of addictive behaviors?
- Impulse Control and Addictive Behaviors. Impulse control is the ability to fight temptation and stop using.
- Lying. Often, people struggling with addiction lie.
- Stealing. While in the throes of addiction, people steal as well.
- Seeking Addiction Treatment.
What is the difference between hereditary and genetic?
What race has the most genetic disorders?
What are 5 genetic diseases?
- Down Syndrome.
- Cystic Fibrosis.
- Tay-Sachs disease.
- Sickle Cell Anemia.
- Learn More.