Does anyone have a sibling with SUD?



There are many people in this community with children, partners, and spouses who struggle with Substance Use Disorder. Siblings have different relationships and different perspective and challenges when supporting their loved one.

If you are here because of a sibling, please let us know how you’re doing today and what kind of support you need.


I am here in this group because of a sibling. My brother, 11 yrs older than I am, and I’m up in years, 65 to be honest. So to have him going thru this at his age has been challenging to say the least. With age comes many concerns about ines health, mental state amount many other things that can happen. It was a shock to learn about his addiction. I was lost, didn’t know how to even try to help. But with patience and lots of love, a bit of nagging, he is now in recovery, it’s not been long but any time clean is great. Our relationship in the past and our age difference, made it hard for me to finally make headway with helping. Him. Like one said every person with SUD is different, stories differ, lifestyles, believes, and not the same thing works for everyone. I’m glad I’m here. Thanks


Hi @momentsandlight, Can we connect this question with the SIBLINGS on either side of the SUD in Early recovery>?


My sister traded alcohol addiction for a drug addiction, I think if she didn’t get that dui she probably wouldn’t have started doing drugs, she’s also bipolar and doesn’t want to take care of her mental health. I wish I could get group support for my mother. I think I tend not to want to feel any emotions because I have a family to take of and I need to be mentally well.


Yes! Here is another question relating to siblings - this one focused on how to be a parent to one sibling who has SUD and the other who does not:


@Betcu35-Great observations. Does your mom have any connections with the church or with social clubs? Does she have any hobbies or friends? I don’t want to sound glib, but maybe finding something fun to do would be a something she might enjoy MORE than doping and moping,etc. I wonder.

It’s a sign, to me, that your priorities are in order. Now, don’t get all hot and bothered, emotions are important, but when you’re trying to manage the whole circus it feels like it’s easier not to stop and process. I remember times in my life (I’m 60) when I was so afraid to cry because I truly felt like I would never stop. So I understand.
Still, I would take being a conscientious person over being mentally unwell.


Keep in mind @betcu35 - feeling emotions does not mean you’re not mentally well. Quite the opposite, in fact. Feeling a full range of emotions is completely mentally healthy and necessary in order to learn how to respond to them in a way that’s not destructive to you or others around you. Learning how to feel your emotions can be a really good way to take care of your family. And you and your feelings are worth being felt and addressed and cared for. :heartpulse:


I am here because my brother has been an addict for the past 13+ years. His addiction has escalated, starting with pills, turning to crushing them up, onto morphine, and then heroin and most likely fentanyl. It is absolutely heartbreaking to see him live the way he is living. Growing up we were always very close. He was my best friend. It is a struggle watching someone you love so much, drowning, not being able to help them without them wanting to help themselves. I find myself limiting the conversations I have with him, in an attempt to not be judgmental or harsh. Although I have certainly had my moments of begging him and expressing to him that his life could be so much more than this, that I can’t have my daughter around someone that is going to nod off standing in our kitchen. I know that has been hurtful for him. I started dating someone and nearly shut him out of my life for two years aside from holidays. I hate that I did that. and honestly don’t think he has forgiven me for it. Our relationship is building back to where it once was, and I am struggling on what the best way to be there for him is, without enabling his addiction. He talks to me about him panhandling and the things he sees while he does it, the awful withdrawal he goes through without the drugs, and he talks to me about the other addicts that panhandle in the community. I listen. But I don’t want to encourage his lifestyle. He tends to shut down if I mention anything about getting sober. He states he is not ready, but honestly I am afraid he will never be ready.


Hi @HopingForBetter - I am sorry to hear about the pain you’re experiencing with your brother. There are quite a few people who have siblings who have struggles. I can understand not wanting to help/enable him etc. I have some experience with that with my brother and I had to establish a complete “do not give money to this person” policy. We didn’t speak for about a year. Then, for the other siblings’ sakes, we sort of could be around one another. He didn’t change, but I didn’t give in and give him money either. We’re ok, it’s been 5 years and it’ll be something we much about with from time to time. It used to hurt a lot more. Now I let him be, and I am doing my life and it’s ok. We had a terrific childhood and a lot of fun as adults, but now we need to be on our own from one another, except for random functions and it’s not ice cold, but it’s just never going to be pally pally again. But, what do I know? We might- Life is unforecastable.