Dealing with Family members with Alcohol Addiction

Discussion in 'The BS Topic' started by 1971CamaroGuy, May 4, 2021.

  1. 1971CamaroGuy

    1971CamaroGuy LS Swapped 1971 Camaro

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    Kind of at a loss here.....

    I have a younger brother who is 45 and not sure what to do with him.

    He lives with my dad, dad is 68 and works as a security guard at a hospital (he's retired military). Brother doesn't pay rent, and dad buys the food and cigarettes. Both smoke.

    Brother is diabetic, has been since he was 18. But he's also an alcoholic and heavy smoker about a month ago he had to go in the hospital because he had a heart attack. 3-4 stints later and a couple of balloons, he's out. This isn't his first time, he had two stints put in when he was 32 also.

    He also doesn't work, his employee history is very sparse over the last 20 years. He's work for a few months and then not have a job, then work somewhere else for a few months.

    So dad told me that he's hitting hard liquor now and I didn't realize how bad. Brother had messaged me asking if I had an old OG xbox, and we worked out something if he bought an xbox 360 I would swap with him, I had the OG xbox at church, but the kids like the 360 better.

    I was supposed to swap when I got into work yesterday morning and he never messaged back. He finally messaged about 12:45 he just got up???

    I went ahead and told him we would swap today on my way in to work. I stopped by the house and holy sheet he looked bad. You could smell the whisky coming off him and he could barely walk. Keep in mind it's 6:30am.

    I was taken back by his appearance, he's missing a lot of teeth, and what he has isn't great, color was grey, missing most of the hair on his head and shrivled up.

    It made me uncomfortable and not sure what to do now, part of me is saying we have been telling him for years to stop his drinking, and it's his choice. But part of me wants to try and help him, but I don't think he wants help.

    I know my dad is enabling him, because he has to get the booze from somewhere.

    I'm at a loss here, we are so very different people. I don't drink or smoke and always kept a job and worked for everything I have in life. I can't relate to him at all.
     
  2. danbrennan

    danbrennan Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    No chance he'll regularly take antabuse or naltrexone? I don't know how to help someone who won't admit they have a problem. That's the first step, I guess.
     
  3. 1971CamaroGuy

    1971CamaroGuy LS Swapped 1971 Camaro

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    I never heard of those meds, I'll have to look those up, thanks

    Yeah we have tried to help him over the years, but he's never admitted he's had a problem and asked for help.
     
  4. TTR230

    TTR230 Veteran Member

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    Having been through this with someone myself, you can't help anyone that doesn't want help. At best, the best you can do is get your dad to quit enabling him, which will probably be a mountain to climb in itself.

    Your brother needs to hit a rock bottom first, and you'd be surprised how low that can be for some people. Tell him that you're there to help if he wants it, but with support only. Does he have a reason to get better, like children? Unfortunately, not everyone can be saved, and not everyone has a reason to do it themselves.
     
    Zstar, carr911 and gramps like this.
  5. Gary S

    Gary S Administrator Lifetime Gold Member

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    Those words say it all. The only person who can help him is himself. As long as he has someone enabling him, he has no incentive to change. We have all had similar situations around us with addicts using alcohol, or even worse drugs. All but one of the addicts around me eventually succeeded in dying from their addiction, and rehab and any help offered by friends and relatives was totally wasted because they didn't want to change.

    The one who succeeded in life did it totally by himself once he made up his mind to change and live his life right. He didn't need rehab or outside help. He just QUIT!
     
  6. John Wright

    John Wright Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    So sad...I've seen alcohol and substance abuse take a toll on good people. I see the results of those things on people's lives, so the appeal to go get hammered just isn't there for me. I find it hard to relate to how someone feels the need to get drunk and stay that way. I will certainly have you and your brother in my thoughts and prayers. I'm with you, I don't drink or smoke and it's hard to relate to someone who is a slave to those things.
     
  7. 1971CamaroGuy

    1971CamaroGuy LS Swapped 1971 Camaro

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    He doesn't have kids or not married or anything it's just him

    Yeah, I think I am going to let it go. I tried to call my dad a sec ago (he just got off work) and started talking about my brother, and he said he would call me back (brother was standing there)

    He called me back and said that the problem was his sugar was 84 and he was running to sonic to get him a blast to get it regulated. I question the fact he smelled like whiskey and he said that it wasn't whiskey...said that smell was from his breath due to diabetes, said it was same reason he got pulled over for a DUI in the past because cop thought he was drunk....I have never heard anything like that.

    I know he had two DUIs in the past almost back to back and lost is license for 5 years..this was in the early 2000's

    I am 100% sure brother was drunk, I smelled it on him...

    But yeah I am going to leave them alone, I don't need the additional headache or stress
     
  8. 1971CamaroGuy

    1971CamaroGuy LS Swapped 1971 Camaro

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    Thank you, I don't get it either...I never wanted to take anything that affected my body like that, especially to the point it incapaciates me
     
  9. xten

    xten Veteran Member

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    That's what I did. It's gotta come from within. I was pretty bad at one point. But I have 2 friends that hit rock bottom and kept digging. Both were millionaires on paper. One is 69 years old and still living with (and sponging off) his 94 year old mother. The other was like a brother to me, we started his business together, and he was very successful. He would come to my house, sit at the kitchen table and cry, knowing he was ruining his life. I tried every different approach I could think of to get through to him, but apparently I couldn't. He's been to jail, 9 different rehabs that I'm aware of, then got into pain pills while still drinking. After he sold everything and couldn't afford the pills, he huffed lacquer thinner. He has now quit drinking, but he's blind from the lacquer thinner and everything he worked for is gone.
    You have to want it. Everyone tried and I still love him like a brother. Sometimes I think some of the efforts made him worse, but I never stopped trying.
    Best of luck, don't give up, and I hope you have better results than I did. Please keep us posted.
     
  10. dcozzi

    dcozzi Veteran Member

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    Sounds like he has had many "wake-up calls" already. I'll bet he is depressed which just makes things worse. He will need to make the call if he wants to change or not. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do besides talking to him about where he is at and if he is willing to get help and/or change. Sounds like he is in denial though.
     

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