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Old 09-02-2008, 08:32 AM   #3
Casablanca gal Casablanca gal is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Canada
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Casablanca gal HB User
Re: Brother in a Downward Spiral, Don't Know What to Do...

Hi cmpgirl,

I'll caution you about doing an "intervention". Real interventions can take weeks of planning with professional support. However, if you do want to help him, sharing your concerns with him is a great idea.

I'd recommend that if you are going to talk to him about concerns, stick to the facts of what is apparent. ie he is drinking more, behavioural changes, won't tell therapist about new relationship, etc. Don't talk about what you suspect.

Let him know that you're really concerned about him and that you're there to help. Acknowledge that he probably doesn't want to hear any of this and you need to be prepared for the fact that he may not even let you say all of this - he may leave the room or ask you to leave. If he weren't already getting help, I'd suggest leaving a help number with him. As it is, he knows where to get the help he needs I assume?

Remember, when someone has a substance abuse problem, they will likely be in denial about it. That's the only way that an addiction can develop - it's too painful for people to see what they are doing to themselves. And, to admit a problem usually means they have to do something about it. So, be prepared for a possible angry reaction or also an overly agreeable reaction to get you to leave him alone.

If he's gone to AA, there's nothing you can tell him that he doesn't already know. The thing to remember is that people will only stop drinking when it becomes the best option. But, also remember that sometimes people drink themselves to death even when we know that it would be best for them to stop.

So, if family members can let him know what they are seeing and how they are being affected by it, that may make a difference.

So, here are the things to remember:
- Stick to the facts. (Write them down if you need to.)
- Talk about how you have been affected. (He needs to know the pain he is causing others.)
- Let him know you're there to help him. (Of course, many family members get to a point where they can no longer provide support because of their own well being. If you get to that point, let him know.)
- Talk about how / where he can get help again.

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Good luck.

Last edited by mod-anon; 09-02-2008 at 09:04 AM. Reason: do not instruct members to do outside searches