Difficult brother abuses drugs


New Member
So my 22 year old brother just had another fit today. This isn’t the first time this has happened but lets start from the top. Im 16 and I live with my Mom and my brother. Roughly a year ago my brother started smoking weed in the house. But one night he did some really bad drug and it ruined him. He went insane and broke his iPhone, iPad and laptop. Every time we would try to talk to him we would end up arguing and fighting. He is very ignorant and all his life he’s been ‘right’. He always gets his way in other words.

This went on for months and when my sister (who left the house already aged 19) heard about whats been going on she took action. He had a fit and was yelling and swinging so she called the cops. They took him away and he returned 2 days later. I remember those 2 days beng very calm and peaceful. He became ‘normal’ again and didnt cause any trouble.

Fast forward to now where his habits have returned; smoking weed and now drinking. Mind you he went to college and hasnt had a real job for around 2 years. He had a fit about wanting to go out and ‘buy something’. My mom didn’t buy what he was saying and didn’t give him the keys. He went on and started taking all the food from the fridge and throwing it out. He kept arguing and retorting until 1am. This was terrible to deal with. My parents divorced and my Dad was the one who kept us in order; we would always listen to him as kids and he would discipline us. Now that he’s gone, my Mom doesn’t really discipline us and my brother shows no respect to her. He constantly says threats and crude things to his own mother. My mom won’t kick him out due to personal reasons and guilt even though hes 22 and does nothing. He pays for nothing, smokes weed all day, doesnt have a job, and eats all our food. I understand its very difficult for a parent to let go of their child but for me, this is painful to go through.

I hate seeing my parents fight or my siblings fight and it really is ruining my childhood. What I need is support and ideas to convince my Mom to kick him out the house. Enough is enough and he is just a burden to us at this point.


Well-Known Member
You sound like a very mature young person sam. I know this is very difficult for you. My younger sons went through it with their brother. As a mom i didn't realize what i was putting them through while trying to help their brother. You said your parents split up would it be possible to get your dad involved and if need be stay with him for a while? Have you tried talking to your mom about how you feel? Can you talk to a councelor at school? Good luck to you. Others will respond soon.


Well-Known Member
I like the idea of a school counselor There are no magic words to force anyone, even beloved family members to do anything they don't want to do. You can only control one person in the world... Yourself. Never forget this. You can't change, fix or help anyone unless they want to do what you suggest. But you CAN and should help and fix and change your reaction to bad situations. You can take the pressure off of yourself to fix anything and you can try to change your situation. You will probably need to do it yourself.

Talk to that school counselor who may turn out to be a real friend. And can you live with your father? That is one way out of this horrible situation that you can't fix. Yes Mom may not like it or be hurt but she is living in a toxic environment and SHE won't make it better or safer for you. Call your Dad. Yes, maybe he left and you are mad and maybe he even has a new partner that you can live without but his space is safer than Mom's. In two years you will be 18 and can go to college or work full time and rent your own place. You do not need to forever live with this brother. Have you talked about this to your older sister? Can she help you? Grandma? Anyone?

You should not be on your own for two years, but sadly your mom is not taking care of you well. She is focused on fixing your unfixable brother at an age when most are adulting. But she won't let him learn his own lessons and make him leave so all this focus on him leaves you out. It's common in homes where one child is a drug abuser or just not on a good path. But that doesn't make it right. YOU MATTER!

You sound mature. All you can do is step up for yourself and get out of the situation if you can. If not counseling alone can make it more bearable. Focus on that magic 18.

If Mom will post here we will sure talk to her.

I wish you love and light. Stay with us.
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New Member
At this point I’m just trying to convince her to kick him out because if she doesnt she’ll have to deal with this burden for a long time. I’ll see what I can do with my father for now. Thanks for the kind words.


Well-Known Member
You can't. She has to decide to do it. Your mom is supposed to take care of you at your age, not the other way around. She is making a choice to let your brother abuse her. Nobody can talk her out of it. She will do it until she has had enough. Not a day before that. No matter what you say.

Please do not risk the rest of your childhood.

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New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Hi Sam and welcome, I am so sorry for your need to be here.
I spent years trying to help my two, and was not aware of how this was affecting my young son. It sounds absurd, how could a mother not know? My answer is that we get stuck. It is heartbreaking to see any of our kids grow up and make the wrong decisions, and I think we become sad and desperate, just wishing things would get better, thinking we can save them. Not trying to excuse what you are living through, just offering perspective from a parents side.
My son came to me respectfully and asked why we would put up with living with someone we cannot trust.
This made me think.
It still took an outburst of crazy, for me to open my eyes to what was happening, how my two daughters choices were affecting the peace in my home, and how my son was suffering through it.
First off, you sound like a very mature and intelligent teenager. Please keep working through this, stay strong and even keeled. It is very easy to get discouraged and act out, but this won't help your future.
Can you let your mom know how this is affecting you, that you would like to seek counseling? High school counselors may be able to help with this, but in my experience, they are geared more towards directing teens in education. I asked for help for my son when his father passed, and the answer was that they would not intervene unless there was a crisis. Plus, school is out in most places for the summer. It would be helpful for you to be able to talk with someone face to face, a person versed in family counseling and addiction would be able to give you support, and possibly some solutions. There is also Alanon, I searched the web and found Alateen, perhaps there is something in your area for you.
I am sorry for the challenges in your home. Home is supposed to be our sanctuary.
I regret the time lost with my son, trying so desperately to help my two older daughters. I can't make up for that. When we are so close to a situation, sometimes it is hard to see what is really going on. I became zeroed in on my daughters and my grandchildren. I didn't see how this was unfair to my son. I am sure your mom loves you very much. She is stuck, and probably doesn't see a way out right now. That doesn't mean this is the end of the story, but for you, it is miserable to watch unfold.
I hope you are able to get help from your dad, or resources available in your area.
Keep posting and let us know how you are doing. I am glad you found us.
Stay focused dear and do good things that help you.
I am so sorry for your troubles with your brother.
You matter, your peace at home matters.


New Member
Thank you all for the quick feedback honestly. I needed this. My grandmother doesn't live in the U.S and school where I live is out so school counseling isn't really an option. I want to go live with my Dad but my Mom is super against it and won't let me. I feel trapped. I just want to move out at 18 but I know it's so much easier said than done. I really hope my family can just fix itself.


Well-Known Member
Thank you all for the quick feedback honestly. I needed this. My grandmother doesn't live in the U.S and school where I live is out so school counseling isn't really an option. I want to go live with my Dad but my Mom is super against it and won't let me. I feel trapped. I just want to move out at 18 but I know it's so much easier said than done. I really hope my family can just fix itself.
Hi Sam,

I doubt your mom has the right to determine whether you can stay with your dad or not. At sixteen, you have a say in most states (if you are in the US). If dad has to go back to court, you can tell the judge you can’t live at your mom’s house because of the out-of-control adult brother who lives in the house and terrorizes you and everyone else. I’m sure the judge would like to hear of the realities of your home life.

You need to stay strong and stand up to your mom. This is a case of taking care of yourself and doing what is best for yourself. It’s not your job to take care of your mother, or fix the family. It’s not your job to make sure your mom gets her way so that she isn’t mad at you. If she doesn’t like it, so be it.

Look, your mother can’t simultaneously insist that you live with her, yet allow your brother to wreak havoc upon the household. She must choose one or the other, and maybe you moving out will give the push to make her realize that life as it is now isn’t working.

As we say here, nothing changes if nothing changes.

Talk to your dad.

Don’t continue living this way.

You have a right not to live in chaos and fear.

Others can make a different choice, but they shouldn’t get to make that choice for your life.

Stay with us and let us know how it goes.



Well-Known Member
Staff member
Welcome. I'm so sorry you have to struggle with your brothers addiction. At 16 years old you should be enjoying your childhood not dealing with substance abuse. There is an article at the bottom of my post here on detachment, at some point if it feels right, you may want to print it out and give it to your mother.

You may want to check in your state what the age is for a child to choose which parent they want to live with. Legally you may have options if you want to live with your Dad and he is in agreement. I live in California and the age here is 14. You can google it and find out what your options are.

Substance abuse is a family affair, everyone in the family system suffers. Unfortunately it's usually the parents who must change and repair the situation thru strong, unbreakable boundaries, saying no and taking the power away from the person using. It's not unusual for parents to put their time into the troubled kid and not be able to see the reality of what that does to the other kids in the family. I'm sorry that this is happening to you. Your mother is caught in what we call the FOG, fear, obligation and guilt. It's very difficult to be able to see out of that FOG. Unfortunately though, you are really suffering in it.

Check into the legalities of you being able to choose which parent you can live with at your age.
Here's a link to start with for some basic info:
When Can a Child Decide to Live With the Other Divorced Parent by Washington State Law?

Talk to your Dad about what you're going thru and if he agrees with you living with him, look into the legalities of it. You matter. This is not a healthy way for you to live. Hang in there, we'll do our best to offer you support and options. You're not alone.
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Well-Known Member
I don't think your mom can stop you. Call your dad. I'm sure that at 16 you can live where you like. Call your Clerk of Courts to ask what your rights are.

I think your mom has a lot of nerve to try to keep you into the situation she is making you live in. I would search for alternative solutions. If your brother hurts anyone or uses drugs meanwhile, call the police, whether your mom would not like it or not. You deserve to be safe.