Dealing with an Addict

Old 07-22-2008, 01:41 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
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Dealing with an Addict

I posted this in a different section but was asked to move it into this forum.

Hi everybody. I'm new here, but I've been looking for advice about something online for the last few days. Ok, here goes.

My girlfriend recently found out that her brother is doing drugs. He has been going out and smoking marijuana with his friends a lot lately. Their family just found out about it. They found paraphenalia in his bedroom and one night he called home and told them he had no idea where he was, but they could tell he was really messed up, so they had to go out and find him. Another night, my girlfriend and her sister knew that he was out getting high with his friends, but they had no idea where he was. So they told him that something happened to their mother and she was in the hospital. He still did not come home or call anyone entil the next day.

My girlfriend is concerned because, while marajuana is admittedly not as bad as some other drugs, he left his paraphenalia in a fairly obvious spot. It did not seem like he made a real attempt to hide his things from his family, and she feels like, if he's not hiding things like that from them, than what is he hiding? He has also shown some signs of alcoholism, such as doing favors for people and asking them to buy him liquor in return (he's 19). And someone gave him a bottle of liquor as a gift earlier in the summer, and he apparently drank the whole thing, by himself, within a few days. He stayed at home and just drank it by himself. Oh, and they found out that he had been driving around with a suspended licence because he recently got a DUI.

So, my girlfriend and her sister have talked it over with their parents and they're trying to crack down on this behavior to keep their brother out of trouble. Her brother works as a delivery driver for a local florist, but she called the florist and informed them that he got the DUI and was driving with a suspended licence. She threatened to call the Department of Labor if they did not fire him, because she was afraid he would get into further legal trouble and she also thought that without a job, he would not be able to afford the drugs that he uses.

The problem is, their mother is still in denial about it, it seems. Last weekend, her mother caught him sneaking out at 6 AM. He told her that he had tickets to see the new Batman movie and she let him go because she didn't want to tickets to go to waste. He obviously lied to her, because the theaters weren't showing the movie that early in the morning, and he did not come home until very late that night, like 4 AM. While he was out that day, he sent my girlfriend a text message mocking her because he was out with his friends.

Then came the incident on Saturday. Her brother wanted to go out with his friends, but her father is being real about the situation, and he knows that he needs to keep his son in the house and out of trouble. Well, my girlfriend's brother actually physically threatened her dad. He threatened to attack him if he did not let him go out with his friends. The problem is that her brother is big and strong. He works out all the time. And her Dad is in his 60's and has some debilitating medical conditions. So he had to let him out. It really scared me to hear that he would actually attack a member of his family just so he could go out with his friends.

And that leads to what really has me worried. For his own benefit, my girlfriend called his college and had him put on a leave of absence for the semester. They're hoping that by keeping him home, he will be away from the negative influence of his friends and they can get him into a rehab program. But her brother doesn't know that they pulled him out of school yet. She is legitimately afraid of what he will do when they tell him. She has seen how his addiction is changing him and making him more violent, and she is afraid that he will lash out and attack them when they tell him that he's not going back to school. She just told me, flat out, "Yes, he's probably going to hit me and my sister, but there's nothing I can do about it."

Other than maybe her older brother, who is 40 and has his own place, there is nobody in the family who can physically stand up to her younger brother. I told her that she better make sure her older brother is around when they break the news to her younger brother, just in case he does go off the deep end. If he can threaten their old, sick father, what would he do to the rest of them? It just boggled my mind that he could get so out of control.

I'm really worried. I don't want him hurting my girlfriend or anyone else in her family. Honestly, to protect her, I wish I could be there. But it's an intensely personal family moment, and something they're really ashamed of, so I don't think they're going to want me to be there. Not that I think I can beat her brother in a fight. I've never been in a fight in my whole life. But I can't just stand by knowing that she could get hurt.

Anyway, I've been rambling here. Sorry about that. I just don't know at all what they should do. Should they have him arrested? He's over 18, meaning that when he goes out with his friends, the cops won't be able to go after him unless he's been gone for more than 24 hours, in which case they treat it as a missing persons case. Even if they have him arrested, then what? Will he go to prison? If he's clean when the cops find him, can they make him go to rehab? I feel like rehab is a volunatry thing. The real problem is finding a way to get through to her brother and make him realize what he's doing. They're trying to help him out and he's just fighting them about it. Maybe they should kick him out of their house, but who knows what kind of trouble he could get into if they do that. Ok, sorry for the long post. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-22-2008, 03:38 PM
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Welcome, Plaxmax.

This young man definitely seems to be out of control, regardless of the reason.

Sadly, nobody can make him change unless he decides himself to do it and takes actions to back his intentions. All the love in the world will not save him, if it would not one of us would be here.

Allowing someone like that to live in our homes is giving ourselves a front row seat to the drama and it rarely has a happy ending. The hardest thing I ever did was to make my son leave but it was also the best thing I ever did, for him and for us.

What helped me, what literally saved my life, was to go to meetings, get a sponsor and learn how to work the 12 Steps and apply them daily to my life. His family could gain a lot from this but like the addict, they may not think they need this and simply not go until they reach a point of surrender.

Maybe you and your girlfriend could try some meetings and see if they don't help you regain your balance.

And stick around here, others will be along to welcome you. We truly understand that dark place where you stand right now and we hope that sharing our own experience, strength and hope will help you in some small way.

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