Aside from my 23 year old Difficult Child who is addicted to pot, I thought I'd share my experience with my older brother who was addicted to alcohol. He worked at my cities largest newspaper for years, was a pre-press supervisor. Got laid off when they stopped using the large mechanical presses and went digital. He had no computer skills and the younger more tech savvy 20 year olds took over. He was 55 when he was laid off. Divorced, no kids, homeowner. He always had a drinking problem (beer) and on weekends would begin drinking early in the morning and continue until he was incoherent, stumbling, ready to pass out. He was married and divorced in his 20's, came home one day and found wife in bed with best friend. He never remarried after that - always held a grudge. After his job loss he cashed in his 401K and lived off that and unemployment for a year. Then tried a few menial jobs but he felt they were so demeaning (sports retail store, worked at small airport fueling private planes, did carpentry). He sank further into his drinking to the point he just gave up. His utilities were cut off so he lived in a dark house with no water for months. Foreclosure did't happen for about a year so he lived amongst his neighbors who enabled him (gave him small amounts of cash, food, etc.). They all felt sorry for him until he started getting on their nerves with his begging. Then they called me saying "Your brother is walking the streets panhandling and is telling people he has a terminal illness..." I said "Sorry, I can't help you, call the police and report him". Finally the foreclosure came and he basically packed a bag and took off on foot with very little belongings. He pawned and sold everything to his neighbors (who came in like vultures and cleaned him out). I never heard from him again after the bank took his home. He survived on the streets and was arrested several times for trespassing. He had made his way back to his old neighborhood to the house he and his exwife shared YEARS ago. That house was up for sale and vacant so he was camping out in it. That had to of been tough to walk into that empty house and remember back to the days he was married and lived there. He lived homeless for about 3 years then one day while I was at work I got a call from the county medical examiner that he was found dead on the streets behind a dumpster. Autopsy showed alcohol poisoning so he drank himself to death. He was found close to downtown where a lot of vagrants go after being released from jail. I think he crawled behind this dumpster to sleep as it was a nice clean dumpster with a new fence built around it behind a fancy restaurant. He probably sought shelter there as it would have been a safe place at night. There he died with nothing on him but a tiny cross in his pocket and an empty package of cigarettes. No wallet or ID. Amazing how they found out who he was and found my phone number. I asked them how and they said they have ways of accessing records in the event of having to notify next of kin. After that I had to sign papers then find a funeral home who would go pick his body up and cremate him. I could not afford a burial and he always said he wanted to be cremated. This is an instance of someone who hit rock bottom and never came back up. My brother gave up on life too easily. He was a good person when sober but a MEAN drunk. What scares me is my Difficult Child has similar traits. When my son is high and spewing lies and foul language - I see my brother. My brother didn't make it after he was kicked out of his house. I'm worried my son will follow this exact same route. Their personalities are identical except my son is a pot head. My son has started showing anger issues too which is scary. My point is, I never enabled my brother. I followed all the rules. Tried to get him to seek help, even had our church speak to him and offer help. He refused. He just wanted to wallow in misery and pity until the end. So this is why I worry myself sick over my son. He is weak like my brother was. He blames everyone else, won't get off his *** and work (at any job even if it's low pay) and expects to be rescued but until then the mentality is let's forget our problems, get high/drunk and avoid responsibility.