NEED REHAB HELP: Co-occuring drug abuse & mental health disorders
Hello, my brother-in-law has been having a real hard time these past couple of years. I don't know a lot about him, but he and my husband were/are closer than anyone in his family, and so this issue has really been affecting us. The problem is that my relative was diagnosed with BP over ten years ago. I also know that around that same time he started experimenting with psychotropic drugs (acid primarily). I don't know which came first, the BP diagnosis or the drugs (but I suspect it was drugs). He had been going through some stressful life situations at the time, his family recently told me (his long time girlfriend left him and his college roommate committed suicide). Anyway, he had been taking BP drugs for the last 10 years or so, going to college (for 10 years and finally graduated), and also continuing to abuse his prescriptions and also take hard drugs like DMT and smoke pot. Moving forward to this year, several months ago he had a falling out of some kind. I think he did some DMT and convinced himself he didnt need to take his BP medication (which he was abusing anyway). Soon thereafter he lost his job. He has been jobless for about 6 months now. His girlfriend started working two jobs to support them (she has an alcohol addiction and also uses). Around this time his parents (my in-laws) cut him off financially. He is 33 years old and they felt that he was doing nothing to help himself, and was just wasting everything on drugs and putting everyone through hell. So, he went into a rage about it. His girlfriend then broke up with him. I am not sure where he is living at the moment, but he is still around. His parents just recently gave him some money because he was telling everyone how he was starving, etc. My husband and I called him yesterday to check-in and he just yelled about how no one will help him, etc. Last time I really talked to him he told me he didnt want to see the psychiatrist but he did want to see a regular doctor about getting a full physical. I talked to my husband and his mother about getting our relative into a rehab program and seeing a doctor about a full physical and some holistic treatment. I am willing to help him find a job. So, I am trying to get an assessment scheduled for him to go see the wellness/rehab doctor, as well as the regular MD. I'm not sure if he will admit that he is a drug addict or if he will try to blame everything on his environment/ play the victim, etc. We really want to see him do better because he is so intelligent and has so much potential to be healthy and happy. So, I am wondering if anyone has any experience with co-occuring disorders like drug abuse and mental health (particularly bipolar), and how we should go about getting him to rehab, being honest with the doctors, and keeping him from relapsing. Yesterday, he said he is thinking about "going off the grid" - which I guess means he is going to run away, disappear, be homeless. Anytime we try to get him to stay with us, he ends up running away (he appears to have major social anxiety - I think its due to drug addiction). He says no one is helping him (ie. giving him money), but we need to convince him that we are trying to help him by getting him to the wellness program, helping find a job, etc.
Also, both my husband and I used alot when we were adolescent/emerging adults. We did coke, ecstacy, pot, psychedelics, and smoked a lot...but we grew out of it. So, he will talk to us because he knows we know about drug experiences. However, we also realized that we were addicted and we wanted to be healthy, so we moved on. We just want to help him get to that place too.
If he is bipolar and not on his meds that could be a HUGE part of his problem. I would tell his doctor everything you can and that he is not taking his meds. His doctor may listen to you and be willing to discuss more with you knowing that he is off his meds.
Thanks for your response. His doctor is aware because his mother told him. I think there was some kind of altercation at his last Appt. I'm not 100% but I think bc of the fight the doctor is not interested in helping anymore. I will try to get more info from his mom about that. In the mean time, I am not even sure if he is BP or if he was just diagnosed as a result of symptoms from his many years of drug abuse. I do know that if he does have BP, the recreational drugs aren't helping and he is clearly unable to take medication as prescribed.
What a nightmare. He needs help and a supportive doctor. It doesn't sound like you should even consider finding him a job until this is straightened out.
Rehab would be the best option for him so he can get proper supervision and doctors can find out what is going on.
Have you checked out rehabs for him? Maybe it's time for an intervention once you find one. He is still young and can have a very productive life.
Find a rehab that will take him, tell him this is your option and if he refuses to go, you have to back away and not help him until he gets clean.
He is so lucky to have such a caring sister in law.
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