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What's The First Step to Help an Addict?

My brother has been paranoid and delusional for a couple weeks and just told us(me and the rest the family) that he is using crystal meth. He thinks we are involved in a conspiracy to "get him". He won't go see a doctor, and he does not think he has a drug problem. What can we do? He has also threatened suicide if we do not stop.


The biggest thing you as a family need to learn is the concept of powerlessness, i.e. that you are powerless to control your brother or his addiction.

As tragic as it is, if he doesn't want to change and turn his life around, no one can force him. You can encourage him to get help and if things are bad enough, you as a family can even do a drug addiction intervention, but unless he's committed to changing, nothing much is likely to help.

There are 3 fundamental principles in relation to someone you love suffering from an addiction you need to understand, commonly referred to as the '3 C's.' 1) You didn't Cause the addiction. 2) You can't Control their addiction. 3) You can't Cure their addiction.

So yes, do everything you can as a family to get your brother professional help, ideally by getting him into a drug rehab program. And if takes doing an intervention, then that's what you need to do. But understand that there are no guarantees and that unless your brother wants to change, no one can force him.

Ultimately he is solely responsible for his addiction and doing what is required to overcome it, including taking the steps to get professional help. So as a family its important you also don't enable his behavior and that you hold him accountable for his actions, even if the consequences are undesirable. Because usually it takes an addict reaching rock bottom before they're ready to change.

All the best and hopefully your brother sees the light in time and reaches the point where he's ready to get serious about overcoming his addiction. Take Care.

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