Me [35 M] with my [37 M] brother, he’s addicted to alcohol and we want to help — intervention? other?
Using a throwaway account.
My brother has always been a kind hearted person. All through high school he was a pretty good kid. Didn't get the best of grades, but didn't get involved with bad stuff like drugs, excessive partying, etc. Was bullied a bit due to him being born severely premature so he was always smaller in size but you wouldn't know it today. He has a paralyzed vocal cord so his voice is raspy and he's self conscious about it.
After high school he got a job and all of a sudden he just started drinking and smoking all the time. And it got pretty bad. Around that time he may have had a relationship with a girl that ended suddenly but he's very closed about these things and won't talk to anyone about things that may have happened to him. Around this time he started dabbling in drugs too, for sure marijuana and possibly a couple other harder drugs but not sure.
Finally he stopped doing that stuff and in his early 20's got a service job in the oilfield making decent money and moved back home with the parents farm. Kind of stabilized. Then he moved to a nearby city and for a time things seemed to be looking up with a new job and good group of friends.
He developed a major crush on this girl (he would be approx. 28 years old around this part of the story) but she did not return the feelings. He never gave details, but from what I could gather he finally worked up the courage to approach her and express his feelings / ask her on a date and she shot him down. That's when the REAL bad drinking began…
He would go to a bar and just start hammering down drinks. Like, at times grab a bottle of hard liquor, didn't matter what kind, and chug a bit. He comes with one clear purpose — to get drunk as quick as possible. For two years he was drinking heavily, finally the police caught him driving drunk and put him in jail for the night. He came and talked to me the next day and was quite shook up, said he was done. A few weeks later he was back at it. The police caught him again, took away his license, and sent him to forced rehab for 3 months.
He came out of rehab with new hope and looked like a different person. We all thought he was going to change. Said he was going to the bar to say hi to his old friends but was "just going to drink a pepsi". We told him he shouldn't even go near it but he said don't worry, won't be an issue. Within 8 weeks he was back into his old habits.
You get the picture. For the last few years he has been going to the bar every opportunity he gets. He shares a house with my younger sister, and she says many nights he comes stumbling home, slurring intelligibly. We live in Canada and when it's winter it's so cold he could literally freeze to death if he fell asleep outside while walking home. Cab drivers have recognized him stumbling home in freezing -30C weather and given him rides home. He doesn't remember any details the next day of what he did.
Last year he said he needed to talk to me. Highly unusual. I went to his house and he said "I'm a dad". I was like…"What?! Like you are going to be a dad?!" "No no bro…I am already a dad. My daughter was born 4 days ago." He got a girl pregnant (while he was extremely drunk) and now he's a father. Tried to hide it from the family as long as he could.
His drinking has now got worse than ever before. It's amazing that he is able to hold down a job as a security guard, he works night shift and sometimes day shift, but every day off and many evenings he is at the bar and drinking EXTREME amounts of alcohol.
He doesn't come from a bad family. My father was an alcoholic but has slowed down alot in the last 5 years. The rest of us don't drink, mainly because we saw how adversely it affected our parents relationship growing up (whole different story). So my mom and dad, younger brother, younger sister and me have all talked with him one and one over the years expressing concern, and have talked with him recently. I have spoke with him gently but firmly expressing concern over his drunk driving, responsibility to his child, the path he's on etc. He laughs and says "Don't worry about it, I'm fine".
He does occasionally go see his daughter, he doesn't have any interest in a relationship with the mother but does give some money to them once in a while. When he's not drinking he plays video games and watches some TV and hangs out with his cat. Dear God does he ever love his cat. More than anything in the world.
It has gotten to the point where my family is trying to take action to help him break out of the addiction. It's sad to see his life wasting away. But more seriously, he has begun to drive drunk again and there is a serious risk of him hurting or killing himself or someone else.
So Reddit — any suggestions? We are thinking about talking to an intervention specialist and setting up an intervention. Would like to hear people's thoughts on that. My sister is also going to record him one night when he comes home drunk out of his mind and we plan to play it back to him when he's sober so he can actually see what he's like drunk — he's a COMPLETELY different person.
We all love him so much and he's such a caring, giving person when he's not drinking, but alcohol is destroying his life. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks for reading through this long post. Happy to give more details as needed. Next couple days are super busy so I will try to respond to people but if this post takes off I probably won't be able to reply quickly. Thanks in advance to everyone who shares advice. 😀
tl;dr: My 37 year old brother is an extreme alcoholic but refuses to acknowledge the problem. He now has a 1 year old girl. He is driving drunk and could hurt or kill himself and others.