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Brother's drug problem

(6 Posts)
Macocious Fri 07-Mar-14 10:29:40

Hi everyone. I hope this is the right place to ask for advice.

I've just found out that my brother has gone to rehab for a cocaine problem. I know absolutely nothing about cocaine... is it addictive in the same way as other drugs? As part of the program will he be asked to stop drinking and smoking (cigarettes) too? He isn't an alcoholic in my opinion, but a bit of a binge drinker at times which obviously isn't great.

He lives in another country and I'm struggling to think of how I can help him. Any suggestions? I believe he asked to be taken to rehab so I assume this is positive.

BarbarianMum Fri 07-Mar-14 10:50:46

Things you can do:

Listen if he wants to talk. Respect it if he doesn't.

Do not lend him money/bail him out/protect him from poor choices he makes now or in the future that are related to drugs (this is called enabling).

Don't encourage him to use drugs, or use drugs in front of him, or take him to places where drugs are openly being used.

It's good that he wants rehabilitation but it is not an easy path to follow. Drug addicts are pretty messed up people and the type of drug is pretty irrelevant to this. Yes heroin is more physically addictive than cocaine but the psycological addiction is pretty much the same regardless.

Rehabilitation often involves changing your whole lifestyle - where you go, the people you hang out with - as well as dealing with your underlying problems (that resulted in you turning to drugs in the first place) and that's hard to do.

As the sister of a long-term addict I'd advise you to be supportative but not overly invested/involved because irt can be a long endless journey and can take over/mess up your life too if you're not careful.

turnaroundbrighteyes Fri 07-Mar-14 15:20:58

Excellent post from BarbarianMum, nothing to add, hope it works out, but for your own piece of mind try and see rehab as a first step, that you are positive about rather than the end of his problems.

Macocious Fri 07-Mar-14 17:36:15

So would inviting him to stay with me for a bit (given that I have a young baby) be a very bad idea? He has stayed before and I had no idea that he had a problem

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 07-Mar-14 18:21:37

Do not let him stay with you. You now know of his drug problems.

You cannot help anyone who may ultimately not want to be helped. You as his sister cannot help him without running the risk of being dragged into his life and his problems; he has to want to help his own self. You have to remain his sister; not his enabler or therapist.

blowsygirl Fri 07-Mar-14 18:33:53

I think it is perfectly possible to support him without getting dragged into his problems, unless you are already that way inclined or will feel compelled to pay of his dealer or something like that.

I'm not sure cocaine is addictive in the same way as heroin. I mean, I know lots of people who have developed a problem with cocaine and they have needed to change their lifestyle, drop certain friends etc but they have not suffered physical withdrawal symptoms.

If you want him to stay with you, have a brutally honest conversation with him and a verbal or written contract that says if he takes coke he will be out. I don't think the fact that you have a baby is a problem, he is still your brother, he is not going to hurt your baby.

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