Posted by: Suzie | 2008/05/29

How do I handle this?

Hi Doc

I need your advice on how to handle the following situation:

In December my elder brother asked me to help him intervene with our younger brother, who has been doing drugs since the age of 14 (marijuana, mandrax and god knows what else). He is now 35.

The decision was made that he needs to get away and come and stay with me in another city, because my mother seems to be heading for breakdown with him in the house (she's now on Prozac) and she'd been threatening to get a restraining order if he doesn't leave. I realized he had become extremely verbally abusive towards her, ever since he suffered a slight stroke last year.

Well, as I said, he's been with me ever since and has not had the opportunity or finance to indulge his habit (at least I think so cause I haven't smelled anything or seen the red eyes or noticed the beastly appetite he used to have.

Do you think he could be over the addiction? Finance for him is a problem, so he can't at this stage go for professional help.

I've had to play disciplinarian, teacher and mother to him since Jan: he won't let me cook with onions, garlic or any of the stuff I like. My mother's cooking is quite basic and bland and on the other hand I like to play around in the kitchen. I've been out of the house for approx 15 years so I'm used to doing my own thing.

I got him off the verbal abuse towards me when drunk by threatening with the police and also having sober chats to say that's not my style of resolving issues.

Now I'm left with the issue of the food and then other irritating things like he likes to watch tv with all the lights out and the front door open - this after I told him we have frogs and they come and did come into the house!

He's soo stubborn. I have my own issues and feel drained.

He takes permanent possession of my remote and works out days in advance what he'll be watching on TV.

I love him and really want to help him. Our elder brother and I both feel that the way he turned out was a coping mechanism for our father's alcoholism, lack of attention to us and also his violent temper. The rest of us left for tertiary education and only go home for visits. Dad has since passed away.

My brother also has a scary temper and I think it's because of withdrawals. Surely after six months he should be consisdered "clean"? I notice that he has very low self-esteem and is not very confident.

Please advise if I'm handling this correctly or what more I could do to help him.

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Sorry to sound harsh, but what a bum this guy is ! If he's been drugging from 14 to 35, it's really not likely he'll stop before it kills him, and he certainly won't stop for anyone else or because of anyone else's intervention. At 35 he's still sponging off his family ? Where does he get the money for his expensive habit / hobby ?
If while he's with you he's finding it hard to get funding for it, it may cramp his style temporarily, but be wary and on the look-out for any of your belongings going missing to pay for the stuff. Also, if he is on other drugs than those you're used to looking for, you might not notice the signs of their use. I doubt he's over his adictions and bad habits. ANd don'\t buy his cheap arguments -- professional help is chaper than the drugs
While he stays with you, he should eat whatever you choose to cook, or go hungry. You're not his personal chef. You lock the front door, and keep the key --- he has no need of one, as his stay is surely intended to be temporary --- don't let him settle in and make a nest for himself. And while youi pay for the electricity bill, you control the lighting. He must be reminded, as often as it takes, that he is a GUEST< and temporarily so. And reclaim the remote --- you pay for it, so you watch what you please. If there's something he especially wants to see, he must ask you if he may watch it.
And don't make excuses for him. You ALL had an alcoholic and remote father, only he chose to turn out this way. He was never, and is not now, helpless and unable to change. DO some web-searching on the concept of Tough Love, which may be what he needs.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.