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Worried about brothers addiction/Bipolar

(4 Posts)
CM88 Tue 02-Oct-18 22:11:34

I am very close to my brother who suffers from bipolar and has suffered with an addiction to pain meds for years.

I have strong concerns that his addiction is progressively getting worse and I have tried to confront him however he says it isn’t and it’s just slip ups here and there.

He doesn’t seem to accept any help for his mental health or addiction and has a very isolated life. I have tried helping so much but we now just clash and I feel the stress is getting to me.

Does anyone have any advice on how to help someone who isn’t necessary ready to help themselves yet and how to remain calm. I feel if I push too much it makes him worse as we end up falling out. I’m trying to learn not to pry but it’s hard as I’m constantly scared/worried for him.

Restlessinthenorth Tue 02-Oct-18 22:20:56

I'm an addictions nurse working with people who also experience poor mental health. The best bit of advice I can give (and this is hard), is to avoid getting into all the reasons why you know he should stop/seek help. It won't work! Have a read about "the righting reflex", to understand about more about it.

Try open up very non judgemental conversations and draw out what concerns him about his substance use. Explore those with him.

There are groups in most areas which can support family/friends in your situation. I would absolutely recommend this

I wish you all the very best

CM88 Wed 03-Oct-18 08:59:57

Thank you very much for your advice. I will have a look into that.

It’s really hard, I feel like he wants me to try get tablets by saying his head is sore. I feel bad as he may be telling the truth but I am just going by my gut reaction of not getting them.

Hopefully will get better.

Restlessinthenorth Wed 03-Oct-18 17:00:20

If the pain medication is opiate based, he may need an opiate substitute to help him get off the medication, such as buprenorphine or methadone. Your local drugs service can prescribe this, along with addiction therapy.

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