Addiction takes a toll on everyone in the family, but it can be particularly difficult for the siblings of the young man. Prior to the addiction, when circumstances spiraled out of control, you were close with your brother and shared that unique relationship only siblings enjoy. The healing process isn’t just limited to your brother – it extends to you as well. Siblings of Young Men Fighting Addiction Need Support, Too Meet Chelsea Laliberte of Buffalo Grove, IL. Her brother Alex became addicted to alcohol and pot, but Chelsea feared that the situation was worse than it appeared. Chelsea warned her parents that Alex had moved on to harder drugs, but no one believed her. Alex was later found dead from an overdose, and the aftermath of guilt and grief was difficult on the entire family. Chelsea’s story is not an uncommon one. There’s been increasing national and local dialogue about the importance of emotional support for non-addicted siblings. From formal programs to meeting with a therapist, there are more solutions targeting the emotional needs of the family. A young man in drug rehab will rediscover a balanced and healthy lifestyle, and it’s equally important for his loved ones to grow as well. Siblings of a drug addict face unique challenges, but it’s important to remember that:
- You’re not alone. Addiction is an insidious situation. Its damage goes beyond the obvious damage on physical health. Its emotional toll makes everyone feel separated and detached from those around them. For brothers and sisters of addicts, the emotions of guilt and grief can be so profound that some degree of emotional trauma is to be expected. It’s important for families and siblings to provide support and encouragement for one another instead of sharing shame or guilt.
- Addiction isn’t the end. Drug rehab isn’t the end of the road – it’s just the beginning. But many people make the accident of putting on blinders and forgetting to look past the addiction. In other words, when your brother successfully completes drug rehab, you still have the rest of your lives to live. This was just a pit stop on your journey, not the destination itself. Remember to always keep your focus positive and towards the future.
- It’s important to talk. Bottling emotions is the last thing you want to do as your brother fights with addiction. Instead, be open about your emotional needs and the thoughts flowing through your mind. Simply being vocal about your thoughts can release stress and make it easier for your consciousness to process everything. Plus, sharing your thoughts allows others to provide the support you need as well.
By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to face the unique challenge that being a sibling of a drug addict brings. Soon you could be celebrating your brother’s emergence into recovery. Remember, there’s much more in life to look forward to, so keep your head up! Image Source