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[ Personal Narratives ]

I Refuse To Accept That My Brother Is Lost to Heroin Addiction

Heroin has taken my family.

5 years ago my mother started using. My mother also got my brother using. My brother had a decent life, before he got introduced to this horrible monster, heroin. He had his own place, he was paying off his dream car, he was happily engaged, and had two beautiful baby girls. The oldest was 2, the youngest was a newborn. My brother used to be full of life, so much fun to be around. He was so smart. He loved to read, play the guitar. He was a great daddy. Heroin took my brother away. All he thinks about is getting a fix and chasing the high he got the first time he did H. He don’t think about the pain, stress, worrisome days, and sleepless nights he puts his family through.

His girls are very well taken care of, but they miss their parents. They probably wonder why they only see their parents once a week. Why their parents never call them, or what they did wrong.

I lost my mother December of 2015. She overdosed. I am so angry at her for choosing that high over my daughter, my nieces, my brothers, sisters, and I. I am pissed at her for introducing heroin to my brother. I know he is his own person: he could have said no. I have a child, and there is no chance in hell I would talk her into drinking alcohol, smoking, or shooting up. I have already lost my mother to this horrible monster. I can’t deal with completely losing my brother.


I pray a lot, and I contact him once a day, sometimes more. I let him know there is still hope, it’s not to late to take your life back. Start living again, eating, showering, feeling something other than numbness and worrying about getting heroin so his body doesn’t ache. I wish he would be strong and get clean. I need my brother back. I have terrible nightmares, I’m scared to go to sleep because of it. It’s taking a toll on me. Everyone says don’t stress or worry, since I can’t change his addiction problem. So just accept it. I can’t do that, it’s impossible. I refuse to give up hope. I need someone to talk to, someone who understands the pain I feel. If I could change places with my brother I would. I have strong willpower. I would rather hurt than put my kids, family, old friends through hell. I know heroin changes the chemicals in your brain, but people get clean all the time. I know he will more than likely relapse but that’s expected.

Can someone tell me what made you finally decide enough is enough? What was your strength to get clean?

Note from Claire: Addiction really is a family disease. It affects everyone it touches. If your family member is in active addiction, you can find support in the community. There are also free 12 Step meetings for family and friends of addicts, such as Al-Anon and Nar-Anon. Reach out for help. There are people who want to help you, and resources to help you cope. You are not alone.