: Drugs, alcohol and mental health

Discuss the twin challenges of mental health and substance use

3 replies

Should we tell our dad about my brother's drug use?

Hi, so my brother (mid 30s) has admitted to me and my sister (both in our 40s) that he has developed a drug problem. Started years back with prescription pain meds, which he stopped, but recently (last few months) has now started taking a whole range of other drugs, including coke, ketamine, all sorts, and using xanax to cope with the come down.

He stayed with me for a week to get away from temptation, which mainly worked, but has gone back to his flat and is using again. He went to a local drug service, has been twice but I'm not convinced he's going to go back. Our mum knows, the strain on her is awful, we are all struggling.

My parents are divorced and my brother refuses to tell our dad about it, but as my dad doesn't know he keeps giving him money..thinking It's going on bills when it's going on drugs. Should we tell our dad? My brother won't tell him but his giving him money is not helping. Also I keep thinking if the worst happened (my brother gets seriously depressed and suicidal) how will my dad feel knowing we've not told him? But then, my brother might not trust me again if I tell dad.

It's all such a mess. I'm worried about the impact on everyone, including my 2 young children, who love their uncle but I need to keep them safe.

1 reply

replying to Worriedsis

I can understand how difficult this is for you . My son has been addicted for a long time to cocaine and other drugs. In my experience it has caused me many dilemmas . I've covered for his behaviour , not told certain people the whole story etc. I also moved in with him to help sort him out again having to tell certain people a different reason for my staying with him . I think if you tell your dad your going to upset your brother and if you don't you could upset your dad . You can't win . It's going to have to be your call and I know it's hard but maybe at this stage with the possibility of your brother getting the help he needs maybe I would let your brother decide who he wants to tell. It's his illness and I think you sound like you wouldn't like to break the trust at this stage . Well done on your support it's difficult. I've been doing the same now for a very long time . I wish you well.

replying to Holton

Thank you so much for your reply, and I'm sorry you've been through so much with your son. I'm trying so hard to understand; I understand depression, anxiety and destructive behaviours as they are within my realm of experience, but not in relation to drugs. It's all quite terrifying. My brother has come to mine again tonight, asking to stay here so he is away from temptation. I've let him stay. He has no memory of anything since last Friday.

Thanks again for your reply, I will think about it and talk to my sister x

replying to Worriedsis

I know what you mean I knew nothing really about cocaine until I found out he was taking it . It's very scary when it comes into your world. You worry about the user and worry about other people's reactions. Good luck with whatever you decide and I think there is no right or wrong way to deal with it. We didn't choose to be in this situation we are trying to help our loved ones and whatever we choose to do its because of our love for them x

replying to Worriedsis

Hi, as an addict I can just say you're doing the right thing by giving him non judgemental support. I wouldn't tell your Dad as it would only add to everyones stress that you all must be going through.

From personal experience I would say if hes already had some or it's the day after, it's going to make him feel worse if you're having a go and hes more likely to use again. And I know partners of addicts have every right to get angry and upset, I just think it's best to pick a better time.

What works for me is my partner checking on me loads and giving me no good reason at all to buy it. Its reduced my amount so much and although I still buy a little occasionally, the guilt I feel if she finds out or if I get it with her knowing just kills the high and pretty pointless.

It's just about giving him support whilst making sure he knows how much it hurts you all when he uses, without making him feel like hes no good.

It's the hardest thing in the world to beat but with my partners amazing support and because she is the kindest person you would ever meet I have to win more battles then I lose with the devils drug, and will never give in.

I hope your brother fights harder

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