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Ask TherapistMarryAnn Your Own Question

TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5798
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My beautiful 58 year old brother is a hopeless alcoholic....10

Customer Question

My beautiful 58 year old brother is a hopeless alcoholic....10 detoxes and 3- 30 day programs in 18 months have not stopped him...He's going to die and leave a wonderful family behind!
He wants help but insurance fought us all the way and we are now broke. He has not had any run ins with the law, so being accountable to the court or law is not an option. He is unemployed and we know he drinks and drives (we've taken the keys, hid the car ect.ect.) but so far the police have not caught him.
We're absolutely petrified that he will kill someone!!! Where can I get him the lengthy help he needs? PLEASE< PLEASE< PLEASE Help me, Melissa
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.


It sounds like you have done a lot to try and help your brother. Having a family member who uses alcohol can be very difficult, painful and frustrating all at the same time. You are doing everything you can think of to help, but they are not responding.


It sounds like your brother has tried treatment, but he is not following through and staying sober. One of the most important points to clarify is whether or not your brother is motivated to become sober or is he only motivated by others to become sober? If he is motivated himself, that is a very good sign. He will be willing to seek out help and at least try to follow through and stay sober. If he is motivated by others, however, then sobriety is extremely hard to obtain and continue. The motivation must be with him and him alone.


If he is motivated and wants help, then he needs to seek it himself. He can call a treatment center and talk with them about treatment options. If he cannot pay, he can talk with them about payment options. He needs to contact them himself. The motivation to become sober must be there for him. He is the only one that can stop his drinking.


As painful as it may be, you and the rest of his family need to let him seek his own help. Making him do it when he is not motivated only keeps him from being responsible. It also damages your family and cause pain. If he always has his family to take care of him, he will not learn to care for himself. There also will not be any motivation to change since he does not suffer consequences to his alcohol use. I understand that you are fearful of him driving while using and that is fine. He should not be allowed to drive. But it may be time for the police to become involved since he needs to understand his use of alcohol is dangerous and can harm others. It would also help him seek treatment since any judge that deals with him will most likely order treatment. This can only be a good thing for him.


When you do have contact with him, refuse to stay if he is drinking. Do not pretend that his alcohol use is not dangerous. Be open about the effects of his use and do not hide your pain or the consequences of his behavior on you and other family members when he drinks. The more you tip toe around him, the more he is protected from the consequences of his alcohol use. And that lessens the chance he will get help.


Consider joining Al Non to help your brother. They are there for families of alcohol users and they can help you find ways to help your brother. You can find them at


There are also some books that may help you. One is called How Al-Anon Works for Families & Friends of Alcoholics by Al-Anon Family Groups. Another is Sober Siblings: How to Help Your Alcoholic Brother or Sister-and Not Lose Yourself by Patricia Olsen and M.D. Petros Levounis M.D.. You can find these on or your local library may have them available.


I hope this has helped you,


Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I haven't heard from you. Do you have more questions or need clarification on anything?



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I just replied in need of clarification
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

What do you need clarification on?



Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Kate, I just responded in another box,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

This is not a man that does not want help or his life back. He gets the Vivatrol shot and goes to AA daily and still His brain and body are so saturated and ravaged by this disease that these rehabs and follow up are not enough. the last rehab the insurance cut him off after 10 days!!!!!!!!! Even the sponsor of this sight, Dr. Phil says that it requires a minimum of 90 days extensive therapy and sobriety for the brain to even start functioning and a true two years to repair the brain damage.


Again, is there anyone in the country that offers 90day in house rehab help, when the insurance and money are depleted?

Is there anyone that can save my brothers life?

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

It sounds like your brother in well into his addiction. But he is making some effort which is a positive sign.


In order to find a 90 day rehab that will accept him without insurance, you may need to call the agencies personally to find out what they have available. You can also try your local community mental health agency, which you may already have done. But they would know the resources better than anyone, especially the ones available near you.


Here is a link to some of the best facilities offering 60 to 90 day rehabs. Try contacting them and see what type of funding assistance is available for your brother. Here is the link:


My best to you and your brother,


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thanks for your help.......I'm sure all help will be beyond our means

Take care, Melissa

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

You are welcome. Give it a try; you never know what you may be able to find in terms of help.



Customer: replied 6 years ago.

It's all so time consuming, which is the enemy.

I'm only getting the one time charge of $29, correct?

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

I do not know how JA charges you. I do not get paid unless you accept the answer, so you may have to check with the moderator on your question.



TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

If you want to check with JA I'm sure they would be ok with that.



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