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Drug Rehab for Brother
Old 09-13-2011, 09:49 PM   #1
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Drug Rehab for Brother

About a month ago we found out that my younger brother had been using drugs for about 5 months, and it had moved beyond basic or party drugs. He was using Cocaine, Meth, and Heroin. My mom took away his phone, Facebook account, and car, he went to outpatient rehab, but they felt he was better after just a few weeks, he had all those things back, and she somehow trusted him. Of course, he was trying to text for drugs, but she still let him have his stuff and found out the other day he'd picked up some guy from 30 minutes away and they were doing cocaine in the house.

I'm unfortunately a 28-hour drive away in WA and he's in Iowa. He's only 23 years old, but just doesn't really "get it". Some of this is from his Asperger's, some of it from personality quirks I don't fully understand. However, I laid into him on the phone the other day and he explained to me that the stimulant drugs help him think straight and feel like his mind is organized.

They've asked for my advice, but I don't think she's tough enough to enforce what really needs to happen herself, and she's now researching inpatient drug rehab centers. She sent me this Narconon place to research, and I found that it was run by Scientology, so I immediately told her to stay away.

There's probably a lot more that I could type, but I'm tired and don't feel like making a nice organized post, so I'll get to my 2 questions:

1) Do you have any advice on how I can help out from halfway across the country? I'm heading back home in November, but it's not real practical to go back very often for me.
2) Do you have any inpatient rehab recommendations? I'm trying to search online, but I thought you guys may have some for me as well.

Thanks!
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:01 PM   #2
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That's tough news. Drugs suck. No recommendations on treatment for your brother, but your mother would benefit from a support group. She needs experienced and qualified advice to help her deal with this and him.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:17 PM   #3
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That's tough news. Drugs suck. No recommendations on treatment for your brother, but your mother would benefit from a support group. She needs experienced and qualified advice to help her deal with this and him.
Thanks. Given she's a nurse practitioner and sees people with these problems all the time, I'd think she'd be handling it better, but she's not at all. A support group is a good idea.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:20 PM   #4
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Unfortunately, with family it's different. A support group visit might be worth your time as well.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:24 PM   #5
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She sent me this Narconon place to research, and I found that it was run by Scientology, so I immediately told her to stay away.
Stay far, far away from Narconon!

Was your brother ever prescribed drugs such as Ritalin to address attention deficit problems when he was growing up? I know his problems are beyond just that issue now but curious whether his doctor had previously helped him with the issue.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:34 PM   #6
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...

I'm unfortunately a 28-hour drive away in WA and he's in Iowa. He's only 23 years old, but just doesn't really "get it". Some of this is from his Asperger's, some of it from personality quirks I don't fully understand. However, I laid into him on the phone the other day and he explained to me that the stimulant drugs help him think straight and feel like his mind is organized.
...
This is not medical advice, just something I've seen. For some people a stimulant drug actually works well to help them focus. Drugs like Ritalin or Concerta for ADD actually do not stimulate such people but seem to help them to be more "normal". Such drugs are carefully controlled because they can cause problems for normal people. They are prescription drugs. So perhaps your brother should be seen by a doctor who is knowledgeable in this area. This is a long shot, but perhaps there is something going on here that is not easily diagnosed by untrained people -- like us.

Another thought, unless your adult brother really wants to change it will be tough to do a lot on your end.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:37 PM   #7
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Stay far, far away from Narconon!

Was your brother ever prescribed drugs such as Ritalin to address attention deficit problems when he was growing up? I know his problems are beyond just that issue now but curious whether his doctor had previously helped him with the issue.
I've been out of the house for about 7 years now, and I'm not sure what the exact story has been in regards to that since I've left. I know that he had Prozac some when he was younger, and that really helped with Anxiety, and I know that at some point in the last 7 years he's been on Adderall. My mom said something about how he's on delayed-release versions now because he used to grind up and snort the other versions of the pill. I don't know the details, as it was just passingly mentioned in the conversation.

@MichaelB - Regarding support for me, I appreciate the suggestion, but I'm not really struggling or too stressed out by the situation. I want him to get better, but I've also realized that a lot is out of my control, and I just need to do the best I can to support him, show him I love him, and try to help my mom make good decisions. With a busy job, a young daughter, and more hobbies than I know what to do with (why do you think I want to FIRE? ), I don't have time to dwell on his problems, so not really stressed out.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:41 PM   #8
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This is not medical advice, just something I've seen. For some people a stimulant drug actually works well to help them focus. Drugs like Ritalin or Concerta for ADD actually do not stimulate such people but seem to help them to be more "normal". Such drugs are carefully controlled because they can cause problems for normal people. They are prescription drugs. So perhaps your brother should be seen by a doctor who is knowledgeable in this area. This is a long shot, but perhaps there is something going on here that is not easily diagnosed by untrained people -- like us.

Another thought, unless your adult brother really wants to change it will be tough to do a lot on your end.
I really do think you have a point here. He's often talked recently about "internal conflict" and similar things. I've suggested to my mom that she find a good psychiatrist, one that can listen to him and prescribe the right things.

When he told me the things about needing help thinking clearly, I asked him if he'd told anyone else this before. The answer was "no". He basically never lies, but nobody ever asked him the right questions up to this point. A professional can do that and get the right answers from him.

I've emailed a college professor who's wife is in psych, and I'm gonna try to sleuth out a good Asperger's counselor or program for him, to supplement any rehab he's doing. He could use some things that will help his self-confidence.
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Old 09-14-2011, 04:38 PM   #9
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Sorry to hear about your brother. I have some experience with helping a family member through a drug rehab program. Here’s what I learned...

-- Most importantly, the drug user must want to stop using the drugs. It they don’t want to stop, there isn’t much chance of staying off the drugs when they get out of the program.

-- They must lose their current set of friends and acquaintances.

-- Sometimes it takes the user hitting a “bottom” before they admit they need help and want to stop using.

-- You said your brother is 23 years old... he’s an adult and must decide for himself that he’s ready to accept help.

-- There are likely to be a couple relapses along the way.

-- You and your family can be supportive (as I’m sure you have), but don’t in any way be enabling.


I hope things work out for him.

BTW - My family member was one of the lucky ones. She got off the drugs and now is an upstanding member of the community with a job and family.
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Old 09-14-2011, 04:47 PM   #10
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If you think 12 step based rehabs wont work,search SMART RECOVERY website
If gives you a list of rehabs around the country that are based on REBT. Rational emotive behavioral therapy.Their are also other alternative paths out their.All the best.
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:04 PM   #11
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I'm really sorry about your brother.

The big in-patient rehab in the Midwest that seems to have a great reputation is Hazelden (Hazelden -- Addiction Treatment Center).
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:23 PM   #12
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:24 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Life_is_Good View Post
Sorry to hear about your brother. I have some experience with helping a family member through a drug rehab program. Here’s what I learned...

-- Most importantly, the drug user must want to stop using the drugs. It they don’t want to stop, there isn’t much chance of staying off the drugs when they get out of the program.

-- They must lose their current set of friends and acquaintances.

-- Sometimes it takes the user hitting a “bottom” before they admit they need help and want to stop using.

-- You said your brother is 23 years old... he’s an adult and must decide for himself that he’s ready to accept help.

-- There are likely to be a couple relapses along the way.

-- You and your family can be supportive (as I’m sure you have), but don’t in any way be enabling.


I hope things work out for him.

BTW - My family member was one of the lucky ones. She got off the drugs and now is an upstanding member of the community with a job and family.
+1 to all of the above.
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Old 09-15-2011, 01:27 AM   #14
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Thank you everyone for all the comments and the PMs, it's really appreciated.

Between this message board and the emailing I've done with professors at the University of Iowa, we've got some good starting points and ideas.

I'll keep you updated on what's happening.
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:01 PM   #15
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Good luck to you and your family in helping your brother.

My brother was a 45 year old pothead who died when he started using oxycodone. I wish he would have tackled his drug usage in his 20's rather than wasting his adulthood. His drug usage affected every aspect of his life from about age 15.

A couple of things to keep in mind about drug users -
- Nothing is more important than the drugs.
- Drug addicts lie.

I hope you can find a treatment center than can get him to turn himself around.
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:18 PM   #16
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I'm curious how he gets money to buy drugs. Disability? Mom? Job? Other?
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:26 PM   #17
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I'm curious how he gets money to buy drugs. Disability? Mom? Job? Other?
He had a job, and some money saved up. My mom would also give him grocery or gas money. He also had supposedly only been using the hard stuff for 5-6 months (I'm unsure how true this all is). I think that's why money never became a huge issue, but it still was one.

I am the oldest of my mom's children, and for a variety of reasons (some I can easily explain, others I can't) she was a lot more lax for all my younger brothers, and let them do whatever (compared to me). She loves and adores us all too much, but they got all that love without the necessary discipline that I got (all the time I was mischevious).
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Old 09-15-2011, 06:37 PM   #18
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Sorry to read this.

I would start by checking these two websites (CDC and NIDA)

Alcohol & Drug Use Links - DASH/HealthyYouth

National Institute on Drug Abuse - The Science of Drug Abuse and Addiction

Good luck
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:21 PM   #19
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I'm curious how he gets money to buy drugs. Disability? Mom? Job? Other?
edited for clarity:

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My mom would also give him grocery or gas money for drugs.
I'm sure your Mom does not see it that way, but I would bet that is what happened. Sure, they say they need money for this or that, of course they are not going to say they need money for drugs. But if they were not spending it on drugs, they would have it for the grocery or for gas.

Your Mom is an enabler. Good luck with that, sorry to say.

-ERD50
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:19 AM   #20
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I just wanted to stop in and give an update for everyone. I'm verbose, so I'll use bullet points to make this quicker.
  • As some of you pointed out, yes, my mom is an enabler. I've been working on trying to solve that problem, teach her some tough love.
  • My brother is doing drugs less often, but still finding new ways to sneak around and use them and sometimes won't admit he's wrong "but they were my prescription, it's not illegal" after he sold them and used them inappropriately.
  • He also has been racking up CC bills apparently. Buying stuff for dealers in exchange for a fix. My wife & I emphatically told my mom to quit helping with his CC bills. He's a man now and he needs to live up to his mistakes.
  • We're back in town for Thanksgiving and I'm trying to spend time with all my brothers, just to help them. Not all are as bad as this bro, but they have their own issues (failing courses, lost scholarships, a bit too much partying, just being stupid, etc).
  • I'm taking the brother in question out for 4-6 hours tomorrow just to spend time with him, talk about things.
  • He's currently not in rehab because he's started a semester at the local community college, and if he drops out again, he's likely to not be eligible for student aid again. Of course, I had told my mom that sending him back to school was a bad idea, nothing good has come of him going to school, especially if he's just going aimlessly with no goals in mind. They didn't listen.
  • We also have an aunt with Stage 4 Lung Cancer (non-smoker) who's valiantly fighting it and *maybe* winning. However, much of the family is going on a cruise with her over Christmas. Apparently my brother is going on the same cruise, but I don't think he deserves to. Working on my mom about this.
  • Anyway, thanks for all the recommendations via this thread and PMs, I think Hazelden is the right answer. I've talked to them and will be calling again in late December to get him set up and into rehab, because he's obviously not better. If my mom won't sponsor him, I guess I may have to.
As one of our friends from church said (speaking of their own family): "why are we the only normal ones?" It's how we're feeling about now.



But hey, I'm on vacation and family drama stresses me out less than work does, so I suppose it's a net gain
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