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I have a long history of drug abuse and drugs, particularly psychedelics and weed most probably contributed to my initial psychotic breakdown at the age of 20.

My problem now is mainly weed, although other drugs are involved. I suspect I am depressed but without a good period away from drugs I can't tell and probably shouldn't go to the doctor until I have been away from illegal mind-alterants for at least two weeks. Without drugs I get my confidence, concentration, energy and motivation back.

This is hard because my brother, who lives with me and my other brother, always has plenty of weed and frequently other things such as cocaine and exstacy. I won't go into why he always has lots of weed (use your imagination) but the situation is such that for three years now I've been trying to kick weed and each time relapsing, usually when drunk, simply because there is such a large amount to hand. On Saturday I got back from the pub very drunk (well it was Saturday) and ended up taking half an exstacy tablet and smoking a lot of weed. By the early morning this had turned into three exstacy tablets, several grams of weed and 20mg valium. I believe that the last three years would have been pretty much drug-free if it wasn't for him returning from the drug-squat in Sheffield where he was living at the time. Over those three years I have infrequently accepted class-As from him (usually when drunk again) and frequently smoked weed. With the weed smoking there is a pattern: I go for months without and feel a lot better then I relapse (simply because it is there - I am not the type to plan drug use and phone a dealer anymore) and get addicted and keep smoking everyday for a number of months.

My own psychosis is controlled by the amisulpride but now my youngest brother is the same age I was when I became ill and he is displaying signs of similar depression and paranoid-psychosis, directly triggered it seems by episodes where drug-brother as gien him weed or cocaine. Youngest brother has recently failed his second year at university, just like I did before becoming seriously messed up.

Trouble with drug-brother is he leads a successful life working 50 hours a week as a pub manager and is my parents favorite despite, I believe, ruining family life with his bringing drugs into the house.

So I'm at my wits end. I wrote drug-brother a long letter in September about how I wanted drugs out of my life and got abuse back - apparently I am just being weak. So I am planning to give him an ultimatum tomorrow - 48 hours to get all drugs out of the house and if I find out there are any in the house ever again I will tell our parents and get him kicked out. He says he will move out soon, probably within the next six months but I cannot wait that long. I am 27, have no career, and drugs, particularly weed, have ruined my life. I'm going to lose a lot of friends over this, not least my brother, but I can't see any other solution. My lack of a life and my youngest brother's newly troubled mind are getting me down to the point of feeling suicidal. Not sure why I'm writing this because there seems to be only this solution - threaten drug-brother with parental action. Any thoughts appreciated I guess - I'd love to find an alternative solution that doesn't involve threats.

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No alternatives, but a massive round of applause for doing what is right and getting things out into the open. No need for your brother to go down the same route.

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Okay, I'm going to preface this with the fact that it's probably not what you want to hear.  So keep that in mind.

First off, you say that your problem right now is weed.  Well, from things like "I've been trying to kick weed and each time relapsing, usually when drunk," and "Over those three years I have infrequently accepted class-As from him (usually when drunk again)" sound to me like the problem is really alcohol.

This is a hard line, but if you can't control what you do when you're drinking, you probably shouldn't be drinking at all. 

Your brother is not responsible for your drug use, or the drug use of your younger sibling.  You are 27 years old- you have had nearly a decade of complete responsibility for your own actions.  He can't make you take drugs- especially not just by having them around. 

If I were your brother, I probably wouldn't respond well to having your drug abuse placed on my head, either.  It sounds as if he is at least mostly a responsible user.  While he should be aware and empathetic to the fact that you are not able to use drugs the way he does (and definitely shouldn't be pushing them on you in any way), I don't think it's reasonable to demand that he stop because you can't control yourself.  It is not his responsibility to make sure that you don't use, in other words.

Many people would not want illegal activities taking place in their house.  But I'm not clear on whose house this is- are you living with your parents and your two brothers?  If so, then I think it's fair to tell your parents- they're allowed to make the rules for their house.  I don't understand how they could "kick him out" otherwise, so... I assume that's the case.

Otherwise... it seems unfair to me to give him a 48 hour ultimatum.  What gives him less of a right to the space than you have? 

I know this sounds really harsh- but you'll never stop relapsing if you keep blaming other people for your use.  You are in charge of your own life, and what you do in it.

There's nothing that says you can't see a doctor and smoke weed.  I am very open with my doctors about the fact that I smoke pot, and while I don't think they have particularly liked it, none of them have told me to get out of their offices and come back after I could pass an UA. They would likely help you find substance abuse treatment programs and a way to stay away from using.  I'm still not clear on how health care works in the UK, so I don't have any more specific advice.  But doctors are human, too, and most of them have experience with drug use (professionally- although many probably have personal experience, too. ;) )

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Becca- I don't think alcohol on its own is my problem - it is always having weed at my disposal. And who the hell is completely in control of their emotions when drunk - the point of drinking is to lose your immediate inhibitions is it not.

Yes we all live in the same house. It is a case of having a lot of skunk 5 yards away from my room when I am a constantly recovering weed-addict when weed is not good for me. Or my little brother - he is becoming psychotic becuase of weed exposure and it is obvious that his burgeoning psychosis is triggered by weed exposure.

Yes we both could quit alcohol and never have mental health issues. But if it wasn't for drug-brother we wouldn't have to. Alcohol on it's own, I repeat, is not a problem. I do not get drunk then phone a dealer then score.

I know you love your weed Becca. But that is your own affair - it's not good for everyone.

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Your idea re: your older brother seems well thought out and perfectly reasonable. You need to take care of you.

No, Becca, of course his brother isn't responsible for his drug use. But, taking sensible actions to help in one's sobriety is a good thing. If someone is an alcoholic, hanging out in bars early on in one's sobriety is not a smart idea.

Go for it, lost! And if you're not already doing meetings, you might want to consider it. Very educational, and tons of support.

You may also want to consider Al-Anon meetings. Many people at Al-Anon go to other 12-Step meetings as well. Generally speaking, people with substance problems have loved ones in their lives with these problems too. Learning to deal with your own problem versus dealing with a loved one with a problem are two very different issues.

Best,

revlow

PS -- If you have a problem with the "higher power" concept of 12-Step meetings, please feel free to PM me. Not going to try to convince you of this concept; just know of some other ways to think of this, if this is a sticking point for you.

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I did speak to my brother but did not threaten to rat on him. He's promised never to give any drugs to myself or my younger-brother ever again. Of course there's still a problem - I don't know what drug-brother was up to last night but here in the computer room (that my parents mostly leave for us to use) amoungst many glasses/bottles is a fair-sized lump of hash that would keep me stoned for a couple of days. Ordinariliy I would put this in his room (unless I decided to smoke it) out of the way of parents but this time if it gets found then he can just deal with the consequences.

One reason I didn't threaten to rat on him is that for various reasons there won't be much weed in his room anymore (no more than a few grams at a time), so if I take it it will be noticed, and anyway what there is will be better hidden from now on due to my theiving past. I haven't had a smoke in a week now and don't feel any cravings (yes I do get cravings after smoking it - it is definitely addictive for some people) and I feel strong enough not to seek it out in any way even when tipsy. With the new situation where it isn't so available this resolution should be easy to maintain.

I've been stoned most days since 1999 so I can't be totally down on the stuff anyway - I believe it's made me who I am - and only started protesting against it last September (although I've wanted to give up for over three years) and in my ideal situation I would have a smoke every once in a while. I believe in a free society so I should at least grant my brother the right to smoke it or else am not being true to my ideals. I was probably a little harsh to Becca, expecially before I edited my post.

And AA meetings? I don't want to give up alcohol! I get drunk a lot and get a little frayed around the edges but I frequently have days off, rarely drink before 7pm and if I've got something to do in the morning I won't drink so much and I'll get an early night. My heart-rate is completely normal and my biologist friend assures me I don't drink enough to harm my liver and I believe him - he is very serious about health matters. My social life revolves around drinking and although it says "avoid alcohol" on the front of my medication packet, there is no question I'll continue drinking and enjoy it. Quitting smoking cigarettes would be a much more positive step methinks.

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And AA meetings? I don't want to give up alcohol! I get drunk a lot and get a little frayed around the edges but I frequently have days off, rarely drink before 7pm and if I've got something to do in the morning I won't drink so much and I'll get an early night. My heart-rate is completely normal and my biologist friend assures me I don't drink enough to harm my liver and I believe him - he is very serious about health matters. My social life revolves around drinking and although it says "avoid alcohol" on the front of my medication packet, there is no question I'll continue drinking and enjoy it. Quitting smoking cigarettes would be a much more positive step methinks.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I have to laugh when I read this.  Some years ago, I had quit smoking and was at a party tooting my own horn about it.  Most of my friends were congratulating me for not smoking.  But one made a comment about how it would be better to see someone who had a drinking problem quit drinking than quit smoking.  I was sure she wasn't talking about me!  I knew I didn't have a drinking problem.  And these friends weren't aware of my secret cocaine problem.  Well, that was a lot of years ago and I no longer do cocaine or alcohol, but that damn nicotine!

Lost, I think it is great that you want to get away from pot.  It is definately harder to quit something when it is in your face.  I wish you the best and hope your brother keeps the dope out of the house.

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  • 4 weeks later...

But they talk about alcohol leading to drug abuse (in NA- where I just started going).  You can control yourself sober but lose control after a few drinks.  It seems to me that you have to try both just for that fact.  I love wine with dinner and I've found that I want a drink more than ever after keeping off drugs.  I can handle my alcohol.  I've never been drunk before.  But, two glasses of wine in me-I dont trust myself.  It sucks cause I want a giant margarita everyday.  But I need to stay sober and its what I have to do. 

I think all the posts are great.  Oh, I want to add.. Some AA people say it's ok to use weed- as long as they dont drink because weed isnt a problem for them.  So, people have different opinions about it.  I am really really rambling here.  I will stop.  I wish you luck on whatever you decide.  Good advice all.

- Dirty

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Okay, I'm going to preface this with the fact that it's probably not what you want to hear.  So keep that in mind.
I have, unfortunately, a PhD in abuse of drugs and alcohol. I have spent long periods of complete sobriety, longer periods of complete obliteration and some time in between. I have been to rehab 2 times, and have spent 7 of my sober years regularly attending AA meetings, and I say this cautiously, I don't go to meetings anymore. I found AA was excellent for the first couple of years I attended, because I had become utterly annihilated by addiction. After that, my spirituality took me in a different direction and I have a rich and deep spiritual connection that is nondescript.

Disclaimer: No disrespect to differing opinions on the matter, each is entitled to their own, and this is mine.

What follows is WAY harsher than what Becca wrote, so ;):) in advance.

She is right on this one, all the way down the line.

The person who needs to be removed from the home is not your dope dealing brother, but YOU. If you have been too much of a flake to establish your independence by 27, and still live at home--then you need to deal with the sitch as it is. It would be totally wrong and bad form to out your brother to your parents just so YOU are not tempted.

Your little brother will ultimately choose his path as well.

If you were younger, I wouldn't be so harsh, but it's time to grow up. Blaming your brother for your drug use is just totally lame and every addict in this joint (pun intended) and those who are not addicts but "just like their weed", like Becca, can see right through your bullshit facade. By the way, Becca is a full-time college student who, from what I can tell, gets good grades and is going to graduate soon, has goals, plans, motivation, humor, compassion and a solid reasoning ability that is--frankly--scary to me considering she's a few years younger THAN you.

It often starts with alcohol. When I was doing heinous crimes on the dark side, alcohol was always the first domino to roll. It's a no-brainer. Literally and figuratively. You loose your inhibitions to calling the coke man, this is me now, speaking for myself in the "I", I loose my inhibitions to NOT ferret out my stash of prescription pain medications, to go to bars and go home with strange men, to expose myself to death and disease through ALL kinds of risky behaviour, all while under the influence, and it always starts with drink. I come from a long line of Irish alcoholics and I can drink an inhuman amount of alcohol and take a truckload of drugs and still not get where I wanna be. Sound familiar? This is when death comes whispering in your ear.

Nobody ever held a gun to my head. Nobody ever threatened me, cajoled me, threw me down on the floor and stuck a needle in my arm. I did all those things willingly, freely and because I wanted to get fucking wasted beyond ALL recognition. Because I was in pain and that was the only way I could deal with it for sadly almost 20 years. I am now 45.

I know this is harsh, and it sucks, but dude if you can't handle it--you need to leave. To narc your brother out to your parents when he is at least fronting responsibly is just UNCOOL. Not only that, if he's doing so financially well, even if his income is supplemented "moonlighting", is he helping your parents out with cash? Are you?

The tough love needs to be applied to YOU. YOU need to change and if you feel like your little brother needs saving, then stop getting drunk, finish school get a good job and rent a place where you and your little brother can live together.

Take responsibility. Or be a loser, or die. When you're an addicted person, unfortunately those are about the only options.

I say this all in peace, but addicts have thick heads and we also recognize each other and guess what, bro?

You can't con a conman. Can't snow the snowman.

You posted on this thread the other day that you want to stop, so get the fuck out of there and don't rip your family apart.

<stepping soberly off soapbox>

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First off please edit your post so as not to incriminate people - I do care that much.

It would be totally wrong and bad form to out your brother to your parents just so YOU are not tempted.

I think I mentioned I'd come to this conclusion myself.

Your little brother will ultimately choose his path as well.

You don't know my little brother. Since being offered coke, pills and weed (not by me) he has become totally out of it, unreliable, turned to stealing weed and looks to be travelling down the same ultra-paranoid path as I did. I am very worried.

If you were younger, I wouldn't be so harsh, but it's time to grow up. Blaming your brother for your drug use is just totally lame and every addict in this joint (pun intended) and those who are not addicts but "just like their weed", like Becca, can see right through your bullshit facade.

I haven't phoned a dealer in years, even when nothing's been around. I do agree that there is obviously some impetus from me towards smoking the stuff but it is only 'cos it is there. Recently it has not been there so much at all and I have been glad of this, even after a few drinks - if that seems paradoxical to you, so be it. And I repeat I hate phoning dealers in any circumstance.

I never explicitly blamed my brother anyway - I was just pointing out a cause-and-effect chain that could be destroyed with drugs kept out of the house. And I never claimed to be blameless.

By the way, Becca is a full-time college student who, from what I can tell, gets good grades and is going to graduate soon, has goals, plans, motivation, humor, compassion and a solid reasoning ability that is--frankly--scary to me considering she's a few years younger THAN you.

No need for that. Plenty of people are more sorted than me, many of them younger. Insulting me like that is unnecessary - I have not deliberately put up any facade and want to do the right thing here, even if I don't acheive it.

For what it's worth at the age of 20 I had a scholarship at Cambridge university and some of the best high school grades in the country, lots of friends and I was going places. What ended it was full blown psychosis which, again for what it's worth, started a good few months before any drug use.

It often starts with alcohol. When I was doing heinous crimes on the dark side, alcohol was always the first domino to roll. It's a no-brainer. Literally and figuratively. You loose your inhibitions to calling the coke man

I don't call dealers anymore and haven't for a long time and I have never paid money for coke. I hate coke.

I know this is harsh, and it sucks, but dude if you can't handle it--you need to leave.

Agreed, and I've had the money to in the past when off drugs and working. But my parents hated the idea of me renting and that got to me. I am immature, agreed - just please don't insult me over it.. - next time I have that deposit on a rent I will go for it and not look back. But there are problems with my parents you know nothing about.

To narc your brother out to your parents when he is at least fronting responsibly is just UNCOOL. Not only that, if he's doing so financially well, even if his income is supplemented "moonlighting", is he helping your parents out with cash? Are you?

Again I thought I mentioned before that I had come to this conclusion. As to the financial thing - no I am not at all solvent or in a position to help out my parents - but I do 70% of the housework around here when he does next to none. Away from his work he is either asleep or drunk/coked up and hardly tidies his room without my mother yelling at him. Although he is way the favorite due to the job and the fact that he pays (a tiny amount of) rent. I

f my parents needed the money I would be a lot keener to find it. I am in the fortunate position of having very wealthy parents but on the flipside they exert a lot of pressure to "take this accounts job","stay at home for the next four years finishing your degree" etc. (they have said both these things - they actually would rather have me home right now for various reasons).

Take responsibility.

I fully agree. It's been a week without any drugs, just alcohol, which I repeat on it's own does not present a great problem (from some other posts you might think otherwise and I do binge from time to time, but it doesn't adversely twist my mind and make me depressed like other things), I feel a lot more positive and have been getting back into applying for jobs and being a lot more pro-active. So long as I don't smoke weed/do other drugs I should be fine. I always feel strong away from drugs.

Can't snow the snowman.

What? Is that some obscure drug reference? Seeing as you have been quite out of order several times here I'll come back at you and say a lot of what you posted seems to be you glorifying your own experience and possibly venting something. Maybe you've just decided not to like me. That "come in peace" bit didn't ring true. Your post seems full of insults. I'm not sure why I've just sat here for 15mins replying. I hate internet messageboards. Maybe it's the internet that's the addiction..

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One thing is I should state is I have  a 5 year + history with my brother and it has informed my thinking. i am saturated by psychedelic drugs and can never avoid it. i will always be tripping forever and do mot not begrudge anyone about it at all. it is my make up. trip trip trip. whoohooo!!!!!!! (but let's be careful eh?) whatever... i will always be tripping from now on... for  better or for worse... make your own decisision....

i am very drunik right now so have a go at me Alk anon americans...boooyakaaa.... i don't rellay mean to stereotype americans that way but if it gets a message accross then, hey i'm drinkin hooch.... whatever... love john the first of the official stone circle lovers in accordance with http://www.headheritage.co.uk/ julian cope and everything thing that is going on. far out. let's go. peace to the peace makers!!!! yes!!!!!!!

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First off please edit your post so as not to incriminate people - I do care that much.
If the incriminated or offended parties, I could not identify them on 2 sober re-reads, will PM me, I will happily remove you and apologize in advance. But I didn't see it.

Lost: I know this was going to come across to you as unduly harsh, and undoubtedly you felt like I was picking on you. All I can say, is regardless of what you think, my motives are pure--and I know, as a recovering addict, that when I was actively using there were a few things that characterized my behavior as class addict: blaming, denial, defensiveness and justification for my behavior while intoxicated.

This is not a pissing contest, you asked for help, input whatever. I gave you my opinion, if you found it objectionable, that's your hassle. The only thing I will apologize for is calling you a flake. That was wrong, and slipped out, I'm sorry. Otherwise, I feel strongly about everything I said, and stand by it. This is all I will say on the public board. If you wish to continue a sober dialogue via PM, I would be happy to do so. Please, no flames, I don't read them anyway. But I'm always willing to discuss items of disagreement rationally and intelligently, soberly. I am not above admitting I am an asshole at times, that I more than I care to admit shoot my mouth off when I don't know all the aspects of a situation, etc. So, with that in mind...

Be well, stay alive and good luck.

S9

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Just a little idea to add.  Are you in any kind of position to get your own place?  Even if you were to just rent a room in someone else's house or a crappy basement apt for awhile.

You seem determined to quit the drugs and feel that you are able to do it if it were not so accessible.  Perhaps time away from your brothers and the friends involved could be a way you could rehab yourself. 

You can't really protect your little brother.  He will do what he wants.  You can only give advice and support.

BTW, in my opinion acid and coke and even alcohol fuck you up worse than weed.  I think weed in moderation is no big deal, but I know many disagree and if it is a problem for you by all means try to quit.

Best of luck.

Dee

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Sorry about my reactionary reply Sat. You were right on a lot of points and I am a bit of a flake.

Trouble is posting here is not going to help with my drug-abuse problems, it's just going to make me depressed. I've only just been able to look at this site again and I have smoked some cannabis in the interim.. foolish foolish me.

It does start with alcohol, and I get too drunk too often. But this site is not going to help me. Looks like I'll have a job soon and I'm fairly confident I won't be binging before a work-day. But I could be kidding myself. Whatever, I am going to carry on drinking and hoping I can stick a job.

My main focus is just avoiding cannabis. If I start smoking again when I'm working it will be disasterous. And I can't afford to lose another job so I can't afford to smoke weed. Just got to convince my mind.

Dee - that's true for a lot of peopele. I visited some friends this week who are weed fiends. They get through ounces a week and yet they are both happy, successful teachers responsible for getting kids through school. Other people get paranoid, lazy and depressed, like me. Still love the stuff though. Why? It's weird - I don't really enjoy getting stoned anymore but I still have this impetus to do it when it's around.

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Sorry about my reactionary reply Sat. You were right on a lot of points and I am a bit of a flake.
We all are lost...and flakey, otherwise we wouldn't be here! Like I say to my family, "you say crazy like it's a bad thing..."

Don't give up!

Hugs,

S9

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props to sat and becca for their replies to this. 

lost, maybe you could try setting some more reasonable goals such as avoiding coke and x?  as an amateur psychopharmacologist (haha right) i am aware that these drugs have a much greater potential for psychotic breaks than pot, as well as potential for brain damage.  some of my friends don't even consider pot a drug, but most would disapprove of doing coke and x, especially in combination with alcohol.

i personally think something about the pot making you feel kinda shitty (lazy, unmotivated, etc.) will reinforce itself and motivate you to stop, but you should keep in mind that these other drugs are very dangerous!  i agree with the others that i think it would be good if you think of moving out of your place to somewhere new.  good luck

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Well I can definitely identify with your problem as a psychotic who was derailed initially and multiple times over by cannabis. When I was an undergraduate all my flat mates smoked like bejaysus. I went to do my post-grad degree in Dublin to try and get away from Weedland... all my new flatmates smoked like bejaysus too! I think the only thing you can do is to remove yourself from the situation entirely. I have been weed-free now for 18 months and I was a total addict - smoking all day every day for 4 years so it can definitely be done. Good luck and commiserations, I know how evil the stuff is....

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