The Day I Knew He Was An Addict

My brother and I no longer speak.  I don’t call him and the only time he calls me is when he’s in jail.  I hear what is going on in his life through my father although I wish I didn’t.  One can only hear that someone you love is using heavily again so many times…

The day I guessed my brother was using heroin was a day I will never forget.  It was Thanksgiving.  He walked into the house and I didn’t recognize him.  No one did.  A collective gasp was heard throughout the family as he strolled through the kitchen door.  In moments we noticed a tiny girl following him.  Her hair ragged, her bones protruding, I knew immediately they were on drugs.  My brother announced that they were flying to Florida that day and he needed a ride.  He needed to get away and his new friend needed to visit her ‘boyfriend’ who just happened to be an army Sergent stationed in the same town our mother lives in.

I smelled bullshit and watched as they disappeared into the basement.  I looked at my husband and then my father.  They smelled the bullshit too.

I followed my brother downstairs and found them whispering behind the bathroom door.  They emerged out of the tiny bathroom and I just knew he was on heroin.  His eyes rolled back into his head as I confronted him about being on drugs.  He denied it and said he was tired.  I knew he had been using Oxycontin for an old shoulder injury and he assured me that’s all it was.  At that moment I made a vital mistake.  I believed him.

I let him leave.

My dad drove him and his new friend to the airport knowing something was very wrong.  My stepbrother and I discussed what he was on and I immediately said heroin.  I knew my brother had become dependent on heroin.

Today my dad called me to inform me that once again my brother is using.

I wasn’t shocked but I can say that I was very sad.  I had seen being in jail as his last hope.  His inspiration to get clean.  I wanted jail to scare him.  I wanted his need for heroin to be consumed by his fear of spending the rest of his life in jail.

Unfortunately I’m just a silly girl with silly hopes.

And he’s an addict.


6 thoughts on “The Day I Knew He Was An Addict”

  1. I’m sorry to hear about your brother. I’ve been clean for about a hundred days from opiates myself. I know that the word “heroin” is scary to a non-addict-hell, it still scares the shit out of me. But, its been my experience that Oxycontin is much, much stronger than your average packet of heroin. Chemically, they are nearly identical. The maker of Oxycontin, the huge, global drug giant Lily made sure that they were creating a substance that would get people very addicted, very quickly. They even suppressed documents about how addictive a substance it was so that Medicaid would continue to cover its cost to users for various maladies, some of which are pretty questionable when you consider the price of addiction to users and family alike. I’ve watched Oxy’s lay waste to a lot of otherwise good people. Maybe you could write your brother and remind him how much you love him and how much you’ve seen him deteriorate from the drugs. Try to suspend judgment. I know it’s hard but it might help him. Its hard to get better in jail. You’re surrounded by other addicts between runs and few of them will act as counselors to one another among a jail population. Most will just sit around and recount stories from the good ole’ days. What you need to understand is that anyone could become addicted to opiates. There was a time when fully seventy percent of the population of Persia was strung out on opium. Why? Access. Just try to be supportive and pray for the best. Send him some literature about opiate addiction. Visit him and try to talk some sense to him. Remind him how far he’s fallen and that he can get himself back. And try to get him to go to some kind of sober living facilty when he gets out. Good luck and I’ll pray for your brother and you.


  2. the day i found out..

    july 31 2008
    my parents are divorced. my father lives in the house of the youth. that house carries many painful memories. my father left town for a weekend and i agreed to watch the dog. first time in the house in years. july 31 is the day before i start my new job. i wake to find my 22yo brother’s needle and spoon lying on the living room floor and him comfortably asleep. i was horrified. my brother had been a druggie for years but never did i think he was shooting up. just another traumatic event inside the walls i’ve known for too too long.


  3. i’m 15 years old, my brother is 23 years old.. i just saw my brother shooting up, again.. i have known for about 4 years now.. i searched the internet on purpose so i could find a blog like yours, thank you, i feel the same way. he’s always been on and off drugs, ruined our family, now i don’t know if i should tell my parents i saw him on drugs, it will crush them. this blows, i feel like it all depends on me now. i just wish he would get arrested.


    1. TELL THEM. You must tell them. Getting arrested is never a solution either. Jail brings more contacts, more paths to the drugs.

      Tell your parents they need to know.



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