Dealing With an Addict
Make sure that you’re using effective tactics when learning how to
deal with an alcoholic brother or drug addict sister. This is because
trying to help your sibling with a substance addiction achieve sobriety
in the wrong way could do more harm than good for both you and your sibling.
Therefore, instead of confronting your sibling who’s acting recklessly,
make sure that you have a plan in place first.
How to Deal With an Alcoholic Brother
Men and women differ in many ways. As a result, the reasons for why men
and women abuse substances often differ. Even the way that substances
affect men and women can differ due to the genetic differences between
the two genders. Therefore, some of the ways that you would deal with
a brother with a substance use issue may differ from some of the ways
that you would deal with a sister with a substance use issue.
How Men Experience Alcohol Use Disorder
It’s important to remember that the male body can consume more alcohol
than the female body can before getting drunk. One reason for this is
that male bodies contain more water in them to filter out the alcohol.
It also helps that men have a lower proportion of body fat in their bodies
that can absorb alcohol.
Men also have a smaller liver volume per unit of lean body mass than women
do. Because the liver is the bodily organ that metabolizes alcohol, male
bodies can’t metabolize alcohol and send it to the bloodstream and
brain as quickly and directly as female bodies can.
Even though male bodies don’t metabolize alcohol as quickly as their
female counterparts, they do break alcohol down more efficiently. This
is because male bodies contain more alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH). ADH is
the enzyme in livers and stomachs that break down alcohol.
1. Confirm Whether or Not Your Brother is Truly an Alcoholic
With all the ways that the male body is able to process and handle alcohol
more effectively than the female body, it’s important to double-check
if your brother truly suffers from a drinking problem before confronting
him. If your brother simply gets too drunk occasionally when out with
friends or he is always having one or two beers after work each day, he
likely is not an alcoholic. He may just be a little reckless with his
drinking. This is especially true since men tend to take more risks and
give in to peer pressure more often than women do.
To make sure that your brother is truly an alcoholic that needs help, first
check to see if he is dependent on alcohol. By this we mean does he experience
withdrawal symptoms whenever he minimizes or discontinues his use of the
substance. If he does and he struggles to stop drinking, then he likely
suffers from an
alcohol addiction and needs help.
2. Come Up With a Script for What You’re Going to Say When Confronting
Your Alcoholic Brother About His Addiction
Once you’ve confirmed that your brother suffers from a drinking problem,
you need to come up with a detailed plan and script that tells you what
to do and say when you confront him about it. That way you don’t
accidentally say the wrong thing while confronting your brother that may
3. Confront Him Directly, With the Assistance of an Interventionist If Necessary
You then need to confront your brother directly about his drinking problem.
Just make sure that when doing so, you come across like you aren’t
judging or attacking him. This is important because siblings are supposed
to be on the same team. Therefore, confront your alcoholic brother about
his drinking from a place of compassion and understanding.
Siblings of addicts that need help confronting their alcoholic brothers
should enlist the help of professional interventionists. Professional
interventionists will work with you to create an effective intervention
plan. Professional interventionists will even take the lead during interventions
so that everything goes smoothly.
4. Refer Him to Alcohol Addiction Treatment Centers
As siblings of addicts, it’s important to be part of the solution—not
part of the problem. This means referring your alcoholic brothers to rehab
centers with high-quality alcohol addiction treatment programs. This step
is important because it makes it easier for siblings with substance addictions
to receive the help that they need.
How to Deal With a Drug Addict Sister
As we mentioned earlier, men and women often develop substance use issues
for different reasons. Therefore, while the foundational steps for helping
a sister who’s an addict may be the same as those when helping a
brother who’s an addict, the tactics by which you conduct these
steps may differ slightly.
1. Figure Out What Type of Drug Addiction Your Sister Has and How Intense
That Drug Addiction Is
The first step to learning how to deal with a drug addict sister is to
figure out what type of drug that your sister is abusing. This is important
because the ways that you would confront, or deal with, a person who’s
addicted to a milder and legal substance,
such as marijuana, may differ from the ways that you would confront or deal with a person
addicted to a highly addictive and/or illegal substance,
such as heroin.
Make sure that you aren’t comparing how intense your sister’s
addiction is with a man’s substance use habits. This is because
men and women often differ in their substance habits.
2. Come Up With an Individualized Plan and Script That Tells You How to
Confront Your Drug Addict Sister
Women can be complicated. Therefore, there are a wide variety of reasons
why your sister may have developed a drug addiction.
Make sure that you confront your drug addict sister in a way that caters
to her specific reasons for abusing substances. Also, make sure that you
confront your drug addict sister in a way that caters to her level of
This means coming up with a highly individualized plan and script for any
possible intervention. For assistance with coming up with an effective
and individualized plan for confronting your sister who’s a drug
addict, consult a professional interventionist.
3. Directly Confront Your Drug Addict Sister
Siblings of addicts should confront their drug addict sisters directly,
but with compassion and understanding. By confronting a drug addict sister
with some compassion and empathy, she will more likely consider the advice
that you give her during interventions.
4. Refer Her to Drug Addiction Treatment Centers Nearby
Like when confronting alcoholic brothers, it’s important to refer
drug addict sisters to high-quality addiction treatment centers during
interventions. That way, your drug addict sisters can easily receive the
help that they need.
Refer Your Siblings With Addictions to Grace Land Recovery
Grace Land Recovery is a
dual diagnosis treatment center located in the Memphis, Tennessee area. Here at Grace Land Recovery, we
understand how much addiction impacts families, including sibling relationships.
That’s why we encourage siblings of addicts to retain their bonds
with their brothers and sisters by attending family therapy for addiction.
Here at Grace Land, we also understand that family often has the most impact
on people’s habits, good or bad. That’s why we encourage all
siblings of addicts to learn how to curb their behaviors. So siblings
don’t contribute to their brothers’ or sisters’ addictions.
That’s even why we encourage siblings of addicts to help stage interventions
for their brothers or sisters that suffer from addiction.
Grace Land offers a wide variety of high-quality addiction treatment programs,
therapies, and services. These addiction treatment programs, therapies, and services
are specialized by substance and individualized by person. That way each
Grace Land patient can receive the exact help that he or she needs to
achieve sobriety and maintain it long-term. Thus, siblings of addicts
can confidently refer their brothers or sisters with substance addictions
to our treatment center.
To learn more about Grace Land Recovery and all the different addiction
treatment programs, therapies, and services that we offer,
contact us anytime. Our phone lines are open 24/7 and our offices are open Monday
– Friday, from 9 am – 5 pm.