Off topic… prescription drug addiction killing my brother…

This is SO far off-topic it’s not even funny but I have to get this off my chest.  I have an early 30 something brother who has a history of drug and alcohol abuse since he was a teen.  His abuse caused a major car accident that nearly killed him a few years ago.  Then more recently his continued abuse caused several heart attack, several ER trips for stent placements, Hepatitis, a double bypass this past February and several more car accidents, one of which totaled the car that I helped pay for so his wife could go to work (another long story).

Since his heart surgery, he’s been on Oxycontin and/or Hydrocodone along with Xanax and some sort of pain patches.  I understood why he needed pain meds in the first couple of months following the surgery but we are 8 months out and he swears he’s in excruciating pain.  His doctors say there is no reason he should be in pain at this point yet they still keep giving him meds.  He’s also learned how to shop different pharmacies to get what he needs and I imagine, but don’t know this for sure, he’s doctor shopping too.  In his mind, all the prescriptions are from doctors so there’s nothing wrong with what he’s doing… he has a prescription.  He totally doesn’t believe that when he takes 10 hydrocodone in a day when his doctor says no more than 2 a day… along with wearing up to 4 pain patches at one time… indicates that he’s got a problem.

He can’t talk clearly, he sounds worse than any drunk I’ve ever known and being in the military… I knew one or two drunk people!  His speech is slurred, he falls out of chairs, puts food in weird places, puts metal in the microwave, falls asleep with food in his mouth, and just does crazy things.  Then he yells when you tell him any of these things.  He thinks he’s fine.  What really concerns me is his 4-year-old son seeing this type of behavior and growing up thinking it’s normal. Fortunately, he only sees his son on weekends since his little boy lives elsewhere during the week.  My brother’s wife and son live with her family since there isn’t room at my parents house for their whole family (which is where my brother is) and my brother is not welcome at her family’s house because of his behavior and refusal to work.

What really makes this frustrating for both sides of the family is that my brother hasn’t worked a day in two years ostensibly because he’s too sick and in too much pain to work.  He’s trying to get social security benefits which really makes me mad.  I wish someone would help him get treatment for these drugs rather than apply for social security benefits.  If you ask me, his social security “lawyer” (or ambulance chaser if you ask me) is just trying to make a buck “helping” him argue for these benefits.  There’s absolutely no reason he can’t work except he hooked on drugs, he’s lazy and he just wants a hand out. The sad thing, his sense of entitlement for these benefits when he’s not a productive member of society is just one symptom of what is wrong with our country today.  He’s like so many other people in this country that think the government should just take care of them and they don’t have to give anything back or do anything productive to earn these benefits.

There’s a whole lot more to the story and I will probably occasionally digress into those stories since the saga rears its ugly head nearly every week!


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