Addiction to Alcohol/My 22 yr old brother



I had to move back in with my parents and my brother after I graduated from college. I did it because I ran out of money and could not find a job. My parents on the oher hand wanted me to help them wih my alcoholic brother whom also has anxiety issues and depression. At first I agreed, I didn't expect to be living here that long but I have come to realize that I cannot help him. Hehas to help himself.

Long story short, a lot of things have happened. He pretty much has control over the house and my parents. He is king. He knows he cannot get alcohol from me and pretty much no pity or sympathy from me anymore. I mostly ignore him when he drinks, etc. My dad still believes he can fix this himself.

My brother was on lorazepam for nearly two years. He is no longer on this and overall most of the bigger problems have decreased for a while. What was happening nearly every day only happens once a month at the very least. Sometimes it happens more. There were cases of fist fights but mostly verbal abuse as well as selfharm and threats to the rest of the family. His counselor didnt see any of this as a problem.

Now he is on Wellbutrin and it seems like he has a lot of the horrible side-effects.

He has threatened to kill himself and the family several times and I am starting to get afraid that one day he  might do something along those lines even hough he claims they are empty threats.How do I reach my parents?

Just his morning he was angry at us for opening doors. He sleeps in the living room. We are not allowed to move around the house and somehow this still seems to be alright with them. My brother has said that  he wanted help a few times before. He said he wants to stop but that his main reason for not stopping is he is a afraid he will have a seizure and die.

I am planning on going to Al-Anon on Monday, with or without my parents.  When my brother is sober heis really awesome. I wish he could see that.

Any rellpyor help is welcome. I don't knlw what to do. There is so much I have left unsaid but I feel like I have written enough.

Thank you.

Hi H,

Going to Al-Anon is a very good idea.

Often parents have a lot of fear regarding taking action. They fear they will be the cause of the addict/alcoholics death, if they push the person out.  But in most cases, this has to happen for the individual to gain insight.  Consequences are necessary for people to change behavior.

Your parents asking you to help is just shirking the responsibility they have for forcing your brother to treatment, or calling the police on him when he makes threatening remarks. No one should live under the dictatorship of an addict/alcoholic.  This never works, and just builds up the negativity and resent on the part of all.  You will see this have a very bad outcome unless your brother is required to get help.  He needs treatment and he needs it now.

I recommend that unless things change, that you find a way to extricate yourself from those dysfunctional circumstances, and try to make a life for yourself elsewhere.  It may be hard, but ultimately give you peace of mind.  You may ultimately find yourself in a pretty rough situation there, with everyone disappointed in you and you feeling demoralized.  

Again, your brother needs treatment.  Tell your parents this.  Anything else will not work.

Best wishes,

Addiction to Alcohol

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Peter L.


Any questions regarding addictive behavior, withdrawal symptoms, selecting treatment options, relapse prevention, defining abuse vs. dependence, self-help groups, denial and resistance, building motivation, physical health effects of alcohol, substitution of other addictive substances; holistic approaches to addiction recovery.


I have been a counselor, educator, and supervisor in the addiction field for 28 years. I hold alcohol and drug counselor certification and licenses in three states. I have experience with adolescents and adults, ranging from those who are experimental/casual users of alcohol to those with very progressed addictive disorders.

Masters Degree - Behavioral Science CADAC, LADC, LADC1

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