My brother started smoking pot very young, and for the last few decades was a heroin addict. He managed, even with his addiction, to fulfill his dream of owning his own shop. His shop was called "Az Iz", located in Oakland PA, and was sort of a Goth head-shop. The temptation of having all that cash on hand was too much for him, and his addictions got the best of him. He wound-up living under bridges and doing whatever he could to earn $$ for drugs. He was in and out of rehabs and jail for many years. He resisted his doctor's idea to go on methadone for a long time, but eventually he did try it.
When he died in May of 2007, he was dead in his room for several days when one of his neighbors found him. We all assumed he died of a drug overdose. However, many months later, we got his autopsy report and he had no drugs in his system - he had gotten into a methadone program and was totally off drugs by the age of 44. He died of heart failure. He had a lot of organ damage due to his use of drugs and his terrible lifestyle, but it was so so sad for everyone in the family that he died when he was finally off drugs. He was trying so hard to get his life together yet the damage was done - he couldn't live long enough to enjoy his own success.
For the last 30 years I barely knew my brother. I'm sad that he will never know his niece or that the last time his parents saw him he was in jail. I cry a lot for the brother that could have been, rather than because I miss the brother I actually had.
My prayer is that you do not do this to your family members. They might seem like they don't know or don't care, but I am sad to this day about how my brother's life ended.
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