I Believe in Interventions

I had always aspired to be just like my big brother Brad as a child, but once he began to rely on marijuana to get through each day, my world turned upside down. A once lively and exuberant brother suddenly transformed into an insecure, desolate sixteen-year old who passed time by getting high. When Brad began smoking multiple times daily, I was robbed of my best friend and role model. I had always respected my older brother and expected him to be there for me no matter the circumstance. That respect and reliance vanished once my brother slipped into his three-year marijuana coma.

The unhealthy habit Brad discovered made me not want to be close to him and made me feel like we were slowly becoming strangers. Weed began to ruin the relationship my brother and I had always shared and cherished. Our family was disappointed with Brad’s decisions and wanted to help; we finally decided to take action so this dangerous addiction could end.

The first summer morning after Brad’s junior year, two large men abruptly awoke him and proceeded to tell him that he had no choice but to come with them to a rehabilitation facility. Brad was hesitant to comply because he had not yet come to terms with his addiction and assumed that the only people that truly loved him were brutally stabbing him in the back. Although he did not agree with our decision, we felt confident that rehab would save Brad from the downward spiral he had begun with his abuse of marijuana.

During my brother’s rehabilitation it tested our family’s strength and especially affected me for one main reason, I had temporarily lost my role model during the difficult transition from middle school to high school. However, I experienced comfort by knowing that Brad was receiving the support and treatment necessary to get better.

The only form of communication I was allowed with Brad during that summer was through letters. I felt like he was at war and I would never be able to see him again. I wrote to Brad every week to let him know how home was and how much we all loved and cared about him. I believe it was his experience in the harsh outdoors that changed Brad’s life for the better and helped him value family, friends, and the simple pleasures in life. Brad finally finished his 3-month treatment and returned home a new man: more responsible, grateful, and mature.

My family was so proud of my brother, and I could not have been happier to have my best friend and role model back in my life. Our family became unified once again. Brads a senior at the University of Colorado at Boulder and will graduate in May. He has been sober for four years from marijuana and is still going strong to this day. I’m so thrilled about the changes he has made in his life and the lessons he has learned from his experiences. I believe in interventions, because it saved the person I care about the most.

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