Crack Addiction – Please Help My Brother

Readers Question Readers Question: (Name changed for privacy)
Stanton Peele Response by: Dr. Stanton Peele
Posted on December 2nd, 2013 - Last updated: June 28th, 2019
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Hi Dr. Peele!

I’m trying to help my brother to fight his crack addiction.

I’d really like to receive some tips about what to do, cause I don’t know if I’m really helping him.

Does he have to stop smoking right now? Or can he reduce the quantity of the drug until he stops?

I promised him we would try together before telling my parents about it. Is this good or do I have to tell them everything right now?

I’d like to believe in him, but I don’t know.  Yesterday he come to my room asking me for money for a small quantity of the drug (about $25).  He said he usually takes at least $50 worth, and that he will quit by reducing how much he smokes (he said he hadn’t smoked for about 2 days).

I gave him money, I wanted to believe in him. Was it the right thing?

Is there something else I can do? Please — any tip is welcome.

Sorry for my imperfect English, I’m Italian.

Have a nice day.

Thank u for u,


(the writer indicates that he and his brother are both over 20)

Hi Renaldo,

Your relationship with your brother is very important – for you and for him.  He relies on and confides in you.  Relationships are probably the most important reasons for people to quit addictions, as we teach people in the Life Process Program.

Some would say that you are “enabling” your brother.  But to turn him in and quit your relationship with him would possibly deprive him of his greatest help in quitting.

But, if he is going to ask you to participate in helping him quit, you are right to receive reassurances that this is true.  In other words, he is no longer a free agent in this matter.

Rather than asking me if – and how – he can quit, ask him.  Ask him to write out a plan for use that will end up with him no longer taking the drug.  Tell him this, “If you are going to ask me for money, and tell me you are going to quit, I can only help you if you tell me your plan, and prove to me that you are following it.  You know that I love you.  But I can’t just give you money when this may hurt you and our family.”

Of course, this is placing a lot of responsibility on you – making you his therapist as well as his brother.  If you don’t want this job, or fear it, tell him that and that you must inform your parents.  You can tell him this at any time, starting now.  This is really a matter that is entirely up to you.

But if you want the answers to the questions: Can people quit addictions the way your brother says he is, and are you able to play a positive role in helping someone you love quit an addiction, the answers are YES.  But to reassure yourself you must insist on full information and hold your brother to his plans.

Otherwise, you have the obligations and consequences of his problems, but with no ability to influence him and the situation.  That situation would make you as much of an addict as is he.

Of course, for the amount of money he is spending on his addiction, you can enroll him in the Life Process Program on this page.  Then you could say, “If you want to get over addiction, and I want you to get over your addiction, then this is the best way to do it.”


Dr. Peele

Stanton Peele

Dr. Stanton Peele, recognized as one of the world's leading addiction experts, developed the Life Process Program after decades of research, writing, and treatment about and for people with addictions. Dr. Peele is the author of 14 books. His work has been published in leading professional journals and popular publications around the globe.


  • Recovery says:

    It is not advisable to give money, buy him items he needs which will support him in being healthy,
    He has to be accountable for all his actions. HE also has to become totally honest to himself and everyone involved.
    Actions speak louder than words.

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