Is It Possible to Talk to My Brother About His Addiction Without Making Him Defensive?

Drug abuse affects people of all ages, races, and ethnicities. It does not discriminate, and it can be torture for the families of an addict. Addiction can be a very hard, if not impossible, thing for some people to admit. Many addicts believe that they can control their drinking or drug use or that they could quit whenever they wanted to.

Are you dealing with a member of your family, such as your brother, who is an addict? Are you tired of watching him destroy his life with drugs or alcohol? If so, you may be wary of how to approach the subject. You probably already know that it will be hard to talk to him about it.

Is it possible to talk to my brother about his addiction without making him defensive, you may be asking? How your loved one responds will greatly depend on his personality, but there are ways you can make the talk go a lot easier. Read on to learn more.

1. Begin on a positive note

Your brother will immediately get defensive if you bring up his addiction in a negative way. Instead, start by telling him how much you love and care for him and that you only have his best interests at heart. Avoid beginning the conversation on a negative note that will immediately put him on the defensive.

2. Don’t use blame language

Don’t start out a sentence with words like “You never listen” or “You don’t want to change.” These types of sentences sound very critical from the start, and your brother will feel like you are immediately blaming him for the way you feel.

3. Be kind to him

Your brother likely already hates that he has become an addict. He may have underlying mental health issues that his addiction is exacerbating. He already feels bad enough, so don’t use language that will make him feel worse. You may be upset and angry, but remember that he is family and you care about him. Be kind when you speak, and choose your words carefully.

4. Accept that you may not get through to him this time

As much as you want your brother to get the help he needs, he may not want to accept it at this time. He may not even wish to admit that he has a problem. If he begins to get upset and defensive, it may be a good idea to quit while you are ahead and try again later. You will have at least made him aware of how much you care and want him to get help.

5. Don’t begin the conversation while they are using

It may be hard to find the time if your brother is often altered in some way, but do your best to talk to him while he is sober. A person who is drunk or high will immediately get defensive and angry if you bring up the problem. Wait until he is as sober as possible to talk to him about your worries and concerns.

6. Let him know he can count on you

It can be difficult supporting an addict, especially if you are dealing with someone who has resorted to lying and stealing to support their addiction. But remember how much you love and care for your brother. Let him know right off the bat that you love him despite the addiction and will support him through his recovery efforts.

7. Offer to help him find a rehab

Your brother may get defensive about his addiction because he doesn’t know how to change his circumstances. Finding the right rehab can be overwhelming for the most responsible person; for an addict, it can seem downright impossible. Tell him that you are willing to do some of the legwork when it comes to finding the right rehab. Of course, your brother has to make the final decision when it comes to admitting himself, and you cannot make an addict get clean. But if he wants to get help and is unsure of how to go about it, your assistance could be just the thing he needs to take that giant leap to a sober existence.

When you’re brother is ready to fight his addiction, let us help. Call today to learn more about our program and how we can get him on the path to success. You can reach us at 833-610-1174.

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