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cathy, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1436
Experience:  MS., MS.Ed., 30 years clinical and administrative experience in psychiatry and mental health
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My Mom and I are financially supporting my 22 YO brother, who

Customer Question

My Mom and I are financially supporting my 22 YO brother, who is a recovering drug addict (opiates), clean for 7 months. We paid for legal fees, detox,rehab, and the halfway house, plus spending money. He has had part-time and day labor jobs, but is a convicted felon and says it is difficult to find regular employment. When we ask about him supporting himself, he becomes defensive. We do not want to kick him while he is down, but we are not a wealthy family, plus we don't want to enable him. How long is being clean enough without expecting more progress? Thanks, Kathleen
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  cathy replied 6 years ago.

Hi Kathleen and thanks for using


I am sorry to hear your story but so glad your brother has found recovery. In reading your post it sounds as if you live in the UK? If so let me know so I can release this question to another expert. If you live in the US, there is a wonderful recovery program for families of addicts that addresses all of your concerns. It is called ARISE and is currently in use in many states. The program can be very helpful to you.

Let me know where you live so I can better provide you with some help and resources.

Thank you


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Hi Cathy,


We are in Florida. Thanks for any ideas you can provide, rather than another website, although I will take that too. We have done so much research but still have no answers!




Expert:  cathy replied 6 years ago.

Yes Kathleen and I am sorry if it feels cold to be referred to another website, but in a forum such as this it is sometimes the best we can do.

A few things before I do that.

First off, Florida is one the hardest states hit by the recession (I am not telling you anything you do not know) so unemployment is at its worst. On top of that your brother now has a CORI that lists a felony so he is at the bottom of the employment fish bowl. Potential employers, when many people are out of work, will hire someone with a clean record before they will someone with a record.

Edited by cathy on 1/2/2010 at 5:30 PM EST
Expert:  cathy replied 6 years ago.

Sorry Kathleen my answer cut off before I finished answering.


Recovery is not easy (as you well know and I am not tellling you much that you dont already know). In our culture, despite all scienfic evidence and multiple scientific studies in support, we have a way of making addicts feel as if it is their fault that they developed addiction and have a hard time getting well.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Addiction is not an illness people choose, it chooses them.

Your brother, while actively addicted, probably did unthinkable things to you and others. That does not mean he is a bad person or an incurablely awful human, it means he was desperate and scared.

The website I want you to see and to contact is ARISE which is a family recovery program for families in the exact same situation as you find yourself in.

I admire your courage and compassion as I do that of your brother.

Give me a moment to post the link to ARISE and take it from there.

In the interim Kathleen, you have all my best on this.


Edited by cathy on 1/2/2010 at 5:35 PM EST
Expert:  cathy replied 6 years ago.

Okay Kathleen I am hoping I am sending you the right link for Florida. If not please google ARISE family recovery programs for families and florida.

Here is the link I found in your state.


I wish you and your family hope and healing. I dont know if it helps you very much but after 30 years in mental health and addictions I am finding these times and the new programs out there to be the most effective and caring in treatment not just for addicts but their families as well. If your brother ever had a chance to recover the time is certainly now.

Good Luck Kathleen and do drop us a note and let us know how you made out.


cathy and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks Cathy. You make Mom and I feel like we need to spend some more time thinking about how best to help David. We will check out the program. Kathleen
Expert:  cathy replied 6 years ago.

Thanks Kathleen I wish all the family members of the addicts I treat had your care and compassion. You inspire.


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