Should I tell my teenage brother the truth about my husband's overdose?



I do not have kids, but I have 2 siblings (m16 and f11). My brother does not do drugs or drink, but he understands how drugs work and does his “research.” My family lives in another country, so I cannot watch them. I do talk to my brother often on the phone, and we have honest conversations. The only thing is that I have never told him that my husband overdosed. He thinks it was an accident. Really, nobody in my family except my mom knows about it.

I am worried about my brother. he is at that age when curiosity can get him in trouble. Even though I trust him, I feel like I have to be honest with him about my husband’s death. Should I tell him the truth? Should I have an honest conversation with him about drugs?


@nastya.s - that’s a really great question. I think honest communication about drug use and mental health is really important, and it would open up the door for your brother to trust you and talk to you about drugs if anything ever comes up with him. Maybe it’s something you should talk to your mom about too, and you could all have the conversation together?

If you are worried about your brother, setting up safe space to have hard conversations with no judgment, or even just regular check-ins to keep up with how he’s doing, can be a good way to improve your relationship and possibly lessen the chances of him turning to substances in the future.


Hi @nastya.s - I hope you don’t mind, I pulled this comment from the original topic and made it into its own topic. I think it’s a really important question, so didn’t want it lost in the comments.

How are you doing today? Have you put any more thought into talking with your brother?


You know the ins and outs of your family dynamics and patterns from the inside. Like, how much this teen identifies with your husband and how he is doing in school, socially, and otherwise in his life. Does he seem to be struggling? Teens can be sensitized already and may not need the extra burden. But talking about substance abuse and the consequences is still a conversation that is critical. Saying that you know people who have died could be enough if you feel maturity may help him process more constructively later on.

I raised five. Having that information will impact differently. There’s no one size fits all I’m afraid. I do know that my 25-year old daughter was deeply impacted when her childhood friend at 23 years old passed from overdose. It inspired her to stop using.