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Brother injecting amphetamine... form of self harm?

(5 Posts)
chosenone Wed 07-Oct-09 17:53:25

Its the 1st time I've posted in mental health, hope its ok. Posted in relationships before about my brother. He has had an issue with amphetamine abuse for over ten years on and off, he's now 31 and single. He had been clean for a number of years but recently began a downward spiral of taking Cocaine and slipped back into injecting amphetamine most days. He had a 'rock bottom' moment after a huge row with my mum about it, he visited the GP and was told he is depressed and has had an episode, he said the injecting was a form of self punishment akin to self harming. DB agrees and thinks its not about the high of the drug anymore but the high of injecting hmm he does go through 'up' periods when he gets fit, stays clean and is generally happier. My parents have given up and are on the verge of disowning him, I feel I need to be there for him.

He's been signed off and prescibed Anti D's, not sure which ones and he wants to sort his head out and get back to work. He reckons his drug problem is 2nd to the depression and if he comes out of it the drugs will go!? The doctor is seeing him once a week to councel him as there are no councillors available in the area at the moment. How can I help/support him when it looks like everyone else has given up (his remaining friends are druggies) and my dad suffers from depression too, my mum lacks sympathy anymore because of the drugs and she's had enough really now. Anyone got any experience or advice? Would be appreciated.

luckyblackcat Wed 07-Oct-09 18:00:36

Sorry, but imho he is kidding himself if he thinks the depression will go and take the addiction with it - speaking as a sibling to 2 drug addicts and an alcoholic mentally unstable (and no longer with us) mother.

Drugs (and alcohol) are mind altering substances causing mood swings and depression. Depression does not necessarily lead to drug abuse.

If the 'high' is being caused by the injecting rather than the drug, surely he would be injecting water?

I'm sorry if I sound unsympathetic, but 'being there' for him may just be enabling him to continue his lifestyle.

Go to Families Anon, I highly recommend it - it helped me cope with the guilt, enabling and poverty that I was suffering from continually bailing out my errant family.

chosenone Wed 07-Oct-09 19:13:04

I appreciate that, really I do. I've heard of 'enabling' but what does it really mean? I don't ever give him cash, I buy him things occasionally, clothes or food thats it. he knows we're not happy with his lifestyle and won't accept him at family events when he's out of it! what now though? what do you do?

luckyblackcat Thu 08-Oct-09 13:01:16

Enabling...ok my younger (but older than me)drug addict brother had 2 young DC and lived in a council house. Despite the fact that his rent was only £67 per week and he was on all manner of benefits he was always being threatened with eviction for non payment of rent. Cue teary call to Dsis for a bail out - even the housing officer, on my 3rd +£1k bail out, suggested I just let him be evicted as it may knock some sense into him and get him off his backside (not his exact words, but the gist).

With my mother it was more practical - organising meals on wheels for her as she didn't eat, arranging a home help, a commode for her as she was too pissed to get upstairs, once a month (if I was lucky and visited her when she was sober enough) opening all the unopened post and making her pay her bills.

I was enabling her to carry on her lifestyle by doing practical things for her, if I hadn't all her utilities would have been cut off and she would have had to face up to the fact she had serious mental health/alcohol issues.

Enabling can also be pretending there is no problem, avoiding confrontation - anything that 'enables' a person to carry on.

chosenone Thu 08-Oct-09 15:01:08

Thanks for that it makes sense. My mum enables my brother then, pays his rent, sorts out his car (she's scared he'll lose his job with no car!) and pretends all is ok, well usually until she blew a gasket last weekend. I've looked at Families anon, just what I needed, thanks black cat

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