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Brother heroin addict- anyone else? Can we offer support to each other?

(42 Posts)
Goodmum1234 Sun 16-Jul-17 20:47:42

My brother had been a heroin
Addict for more than 20 years. It nearly cost him his life 6 weeks ago but he's recovering. Says he'll never touch the stuff again. Brilliant, I think but have a nagging doubt that once he's better physically he'll be back to his old ways. Anyone else?? Good news, bad news, support required and offered. Could just do with chatting to people on here as it's been our family secret for so long c

Elmindarina Sun 16-Jul-17 22:04:11

Yes, me. My brother was a heroin addict for around three years. He managed to stop, had help from a psychologist and something like methadone. I'm unsure of the details as we are not close.

He still takes drugs - mostly smokes marijuana and takes ketamine. He also drinks very heavily and has outbursts and episodes every few months (probably more often tbh, but like I say, we aren't close).

He is, however, alive and somehow manages to hold down a pretty decent job. I see him around 3 times a year. My mum sees him weekly. I know she finds it really hard and it affects her badly but I have detached myself from it all and we don't really talk about it.

Just wanted you to know you're not alone. I know exactly what it's like to have this sort of family secret.

Does your brother want to access any support, OP? Are you close?

Goodmum1234 Sun 16-Jul-17 22:14:09

Hi, we're quite close. He's not been in work for a few years but has held down fantastic jobs in the past- such a waste.
He's currently staying at my parents whilst he's in recovery from a distended aneurism that nearly killed him, and then nearly lost him his leg! This has to be the turning point.


Elmindarina Sun 16-Jul-17 22:20:44

Hope things turn around for your bro, OP.

I feel like it's such a waste too with my brother. He wasted so many years doing crap jobs or doing nothing. He very clever and did amazingly well at school and uni.

needanothercat Sun 16-Jul-17 22:25:13

You are not alone. Sadly, my brother passed away at 22 from an accidental overdose after being clean in prison. He put my family through hell with his addiction, from arranging our own house yo be burgled twice to having drug dealers threaten me and my mum with baseball bats but, that doesn't compare to the hell we went through by losing him. My heart goes out to the families of drug addicts so I hope for all your sakes that he succeeds in coming clean. My heart goes out to you. Xxx

Goodmum1234 Sun 16-Jul-17 22:30:03

Thank you all, it's strangely comforting to know that I'm not alone in this. Needanothetcat, I'm sorry for the hell you and you're family have been through and are still going through. My brother is nearly 37, has no teeth, limps, is skin and bone and owns nothing. A very sad life indeed x

needanothercat Sun 16-Jul-17 22:53:17

Incredibly sad life indeed. I always wondered what the hell possessed him to go down this route and wish I could go back and make him change his mind. He's been gone 16 years now and it is still extremely painful. I'm still so angry at him for missing out on so much and now missing out on his nephew. Please stay strong if only for your own preservation, it's completely soul destroying xxx

Darkblueskies Sun 16-Jul-17 22:54:20

My BIL is. He's gone back on it again. We haven't heard from him in about a month...

Darkblueskies Sun 16-Jul-17 22:55:41

He's been on it about 20 years off and on as well. He's been on methadone for a few years since his last stint in prison. LAst year he had ulcers all over his legs and I thought he might lose a limb. I honestly don't know how his body holds out

YolandiFuckinVisser Sun 16-Jul-17 23:02:04

My bro used to be a heroin addict, clean for 10 years now. He put my parents through hell, eventually nearly died from dirty digs but was fortunate enough to be referred to rehab after that and turned his life around. Has a flat and a job and a car. No kids of his own but He's a great fun uncle. A success story!

Goodmum1234 Sun 16-Jul-17 23:03:47

Hugs to you all. It's strange that I live a relatively normal life and at times he is completely in the gutter. He's ok at the moment and is on methodone. He's manage to avoid prison, somehow xxx

NooNooHead Wed 09-Aug-17 21:30:02

My brother is always smoking pot and has only weeks to live with bowel cancer... Not necessarily related to the pot smoking but I'm sure that didn't help. He is only 34 and very bright, and really could have done something with his life.

I completely agree with others that it is such a waste and I feel so sad seeing him lying in a hospice bed, emaciated and so ill from cancer. He had such opportunity to live a good life, it seems to have all gone to waste.

Goodmum1234 Wed 09-Aug-17 23:33:17

I'm sorry that he and you are suffering through this. Yes, what a waste of life, but a life nontheless. He is loved by you and he matters to you. I love my brother and he matters to me despite everything. Hugs to you, even tho they're not allowed x

Lizzy1980 Sat 16-Jun-18 07:44:32

Hi there. I'm new to Mumsnet and have just come across this thread. I know it's almost a year old so not sure if I'll get any responses.
I have just read all of your comments with tears in my eyes as I can relate to them all. Exactly the same issues with my brother. Other family members suspect some sort of drug abuse but I'm the only one who knows the full extent as we're very close and he confides in me. For this reason I wont betray his trust by telling anyone else but it's a huge burden I'm carrying around with me and it's wearing me down. I am constantly worried about him. Where he is? What's he doing? Is he safe?
Although I wouldn't wish any of this on anyone it is comforting to know that I'm not the only person going through it.
Love and best wishes to you all

SandysMam Sat 16-Jun-18 07:49:55 sorry you are going through this but DO NOT keep his secret. It is the worst thing you can do and you are enabling his behaviour. If he is to recover it needs to be out there with all. Wishing you the best of luck, such a hard situation.

Antonia87 Sat 16-Jun-18 07:52:19

Hi, my brother is a Crack addict with drug induced psychosis. Its not pretty. My mother is a recovering alcoholic and we lost another brother to suicide. To be honest I have just detached and now just focus on my own family. I wont have him around my child after he showed up drunk and psychotic looking for things to steal and threatened my husband. Families anonymous can be helpful. I used to attend Al-Anon and they saved my sanity. Its terribly sad as he had so much potential.

madeyemoodysmum Sat 16-Jun-18 08:19:48

Google Paul hannaford
Ex gang member and heroin addict
He is really helpful and will have great advise He replies if you message him on instagram.

Goodmum1234 Thu 08-Nov-18 19:25:59

Welll, id forgotten about thread but wish to open it up again please.

My brother nearly died a year last May but pulled through. He went to detox and rehab this January. All great. Out in June, lived with me and my family. Got a job, car and things were looking up.
Last night, after weeks of odd behaviour I find him slumped over after shooting up in my bathroom next to the room where my children were. He’s out, he’s homeless, he’s getting nasty and desperate.

I’m devastated with the betrayal.

I started this thread over a year ago btw.

Anyone else? X

tard86 Thu 22-Nov-18 12:57:33

Goodmum1234, im so sorry that you're suffering with your brothers addiction also. If it's any sort of consolation, It sounds to me like you go above and beyond to help him. I came across your original post on a google search, frantically looking for some sort of wisdom as I'm in a similar situation. My brother is 38 and has been an addict to various illegal drugs since his late teens. Last week he told me he was addicted to heroin. I hadn't imagined it had got this far...i naively thought that it was a line he wouldn't cross. Similar to a poster above, my brother made me promise to keep it secret. He felt so ashamed, but i have had to tell several people just to share the burden, and also to give people the chance to protect themselves financially. My brother has become quite ruthless...begging and stealing from our own family. We lost our mom last year and my brother and Dad don't have a good relationship, so my brother feels no shame taking advantage of him. I feel like i have to protect everybody and it is wearing a little thin. I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful children, but on top of that i then have to look out for 2 other fully grown adults. I am so sorry this post has turned into a major vent, y point was, you are absolutley not alone and it feels reassuring to me to know that i am also not the only person carrying such a burden. I do hope you have some brighter days ahead of you. I hope we all do.

Goodmum1234 Wed 28-Nov-18 20:33:01

Hello and thank you so much for posting. We sound so similar. My brother is 38, I’m the older sister with, like you, a wonderful husband and 2 beautiful children. I’m so sorry you have recently lost your mum. My mum had cancer but think we have caught it in time. Here if you need a chat or wish to inbox me xxxxx

Wilma999 Fri 04-Jan-19 19:57:43

Hi I don’t have a brother who’s an addict but I do have a sister .
My sister is 43 and been an addict since she was around 20 years old , Her addiction to heroin is worse now than it’s ever been , she is also using crack cocaine .
All three of her children where born addicts . Luckily for two of her children their father is great and has moved out the home with them to give them the life they deserve . Her eldest child became a mum herself at 15 and is now having to live with my parents along with baby . My sister openly admits that she loves the drugs more than her kids , which is shit as the kids know that their mother is an addict and has no time for them .
My Sister has been admitted to hospital several times because the veins in her legs have collapsed where she injects herself . For the past 20 plus years she has made several attempts to be clean and has lasted around 3 month but always goes back , she has also made 1 attempt at suicide . I love my sister but hate her in equal measure xx

Goodmum1234 Fri 04-Jan-19 20:44:14

Hi wilma999,
How are you?
I totally get love and hate in equal measure. If I could cure him I’d remortgage my house and sell my car- anything! But there’s no guarantee.
To me, life can be ok for a while but it is a constant niggle that occasionally erupts into a full blown nightmare.
I once explained to someone that it was like a long, incurable death that could take years, but instead of sympathy you and they get the usual , ‘well they choose bla bla’

I get that something happened in their life to make them choose to take this in the first place but I 100% bet that could they have seen the future 20 years ago, maybe they wouldn’t have touched it with a barge pole. It’s not a choice now, but an all- consuming addiction.

My brother has a beautiful daughter who’s mother is a brilliant non-user thank goodness. But he’s chosen drugs over her his whole life. If he weren’t so addicted he wouldn’t!

Lovely to meet with you, as it were. There seems to be a good little group of us on here now. Even if it’s only occasional, it’s nice to know others are there for us knowing how it feels.

Much love x

Macstuffin Sun 06-Jan-19 00:07:52

My son is an addict. He spends his time in and out of prison and living in homeless shelters or rough sleeping.
It is a long slow illness that will end in death and you can’t really discuss with it other people.
My son is 30 and appears to actually enjoy this life thinking the rest of us are fools. It’s so so sad.

Goodmum1234 Sun 06-Jan-19 09:34:24

Hi macstuffin,
Hope you are well? I M sorry about your son.
Myself and parents kept this a total secret for 20 Ish years. People used to enquire if he was ok but we’d do a good job explaining away that he’s tired, ill etc
But, this year 2018 he went into rehab which has been the best and worst of times of you read my posts above. Okay we’ve had a relapse but it has meant my parents have attended family therapy without him. They are nearly 70 and they are changed people. They drive hours each week to attend. They tell people the absolute truth as have I. It has been amazing. No real judgement and is I sensed it I’d have stopped contact with so called friends and family. People have been loving and supportive. Have you had any support ever? X

zinrepus Thu 21-Feb-19 17:07:23

I'm happy to see some people talking about this. My BIL has been having issues on and off for years and this week we found out he's upped the ante by changing to heroin. DH didn't see it coming and thought BIL had been only drinking and smoking weed as of late.

The sad thing is I understand he needs to lead his recovery, and that probably is going to require some kind of rock bottom. And from what I've seen him go through previously, this most recent hospitalisation (not an OD, just a related complication) is definitely not going to be that.

How do you all best manage your own MH when there are new developments? I know my primary focus is supporting DH, as it is his brother, but when I have me time, what helps you find calm?

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