When it comes to substance abuse my family has a long history of addictive behavior .When choosing someone to interview, I immediately thought of one person. My older brother; he just turned thirty, four years older than me. He married his high school sweetheart and had two children over the course of their twelve year relationship. If there was only one thing I could have said about him; it would be how much he loved his children and everyone knew how much they loved him in return. It has been over a year and a half since his wife and he ended things. Brian walked out one day, and that was the last time we saw Brian, well the Brian we all knew and loved anyway. Within days he met Laurie, ever since then it has been an unbearable, heartbreaking, living, walking, nightmare for our family.
My brother is an active drug user. Ironically when I started this class was about the time my family and I realized how bad things really were. We allowed him and his girlfriend to stay with us because they were living in her car and dirty hotel rooms were they had been infested with bugs. We have a back room where they were able to stay until they got rid of the bugs. They said they were going to the hospital and so we gave him $ten for gas. We stayed home and decided to debug their belongings. This is when we realized that they were shooting up Crack, Heroin, Ritalin, Adderall, and any other opiates they could get. They were not allowed to return to our home and we had no other choice but to cut him off completely. Weeks went by and I finally got a phone call saying he wanted help, so my husband and I spent the day at the hospital with him and his girlfriend. Off they went, separately in ambulances on their way to sobriety. They only kept Brian there for five days, but I picked him up anyway. I knew it was not long enough; but his head was on a little bit straighter. I asked him if he would answer a few questions for this project, he agreed.
The first thing I asked him was; what does the word drug mean to you? He replied “DEATH”. I asked him, Why that word? He said, “Because drugs almost killed me and my life”. I asked him, how he feels about drugs in general? He said, “Laura, in general I see no difference in drugs then playing Russian Route”. When I asked him “why he thinks people might start using drugs”? His answer was, “People want to numb their pain, could be human curiosity, or peers”. I continued with this question by asking about why he started using? He said” life is hard and I was tired of feeling or caring about the hand I was given; the more I used the less I felt, I still had problems but they were just different”. I said, “Well Brian you have a nine year old son that really misses you, what would you tell him if he wanted to experiment with a drug”? He didn’t answer that because he didn’t know what to say. We had to take a break because he was not feeling good .I asked him if he would talk with me later and he said, “Sure”. I knew that he was not yet ready to stay clean even though I believe that his answers were real and true. I think he got scared of the questions because he knew he had to live life sober.
This was during the hurricane we had lost our power and my family and I were struggling to eat and stay clean by taking cold showers. I knew that this was going to make this extra hard for Brian and even harder for us to give him the complete support and attention a person in his situation needed. The next day, I asked him, “What he thinks he put his family through”. I knew that question was a mistake because he still was not ready to face things. He only had five short days in rehab. However, I asked anyway; if not for the interview but for my own curiosity. He said “I know I put stress on you all but all of you treated me like I was a nothing”. Of course this made me angry, sad, and wanting to just scream. I just looked at him, silently thinking, how selfish are you, how can you…