I could use a little advice from anyone with experience. It seems as though my 19-year-old brother is suffering from addiction and/or depression. I am far away and neither of my parents are very good emotional support.

This time last year, my brother was trying to fail high school. He was not showing up to class and lying and basically through a lot of negotiating my mom got his ass graduated. I understand where she was coming from; he has been a pretty good student his whole life and she felt like this was just a weird moment.

He was always drunk, alone, and constantly smoking weed. I have suffered from depression and he acted exactly like me - he wouldn’t leave his room, wouldn’t do anything, wouldn’t bathe, wouldn’t eat. I don’t want to project myself onto him, but that describes depressed me exactly.

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They pushed his ass into college. I am not his parent so I try not to act like it, but I objected to this because I saw so many people crash and burn who were not ready for college but were sent there. He went to college in the town my parents live in and lived in the dorm and everything.

He failed his first semester, lying the whole way through.He always pulled money out as cash and was constantly out of money. My dad gave him some money to buy family members Christmas presents and he just didn’t do it. When he comes home to my mom’s house, he steals money out of her and my stepdad’s wallets, and he steals all the alcohol in the house (they never have much) and then lies about it. My mom’s older brother suffered from addiction and I think this is the behavior that has gotten her attention.

My parents are divorced. My dad is supporting him financially but my mom is on the front lines. She’s the one he comes to when he needs something. She has a tendency to over-talk about everything and say stupid shit like, “you just gotta have a positive attitude when you get out of bed and everything will be fine.” My dad has not believed, up until this point that there was an issue. He fiercely blames my mother for this and has told my brother the counselors she wants him to see are witch doctor bullshit.

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It’s worth noting that about 5 years ago my parents had a messy divorce and my brother was left behind with this mess as the youngest child. I don’t blame him for his anger and struggles.

Yesterday they pulled him out of school. Last week he was caught by the university with weed and they started making him go to counselors and get drug tested and everything. I was relieved because this sounds like a great solution, but I guess now that he’s no longer a student there, that’s not going to be the case. My dad is now fully believing this is a drug problem.

I don’t know how to help from afar. My mom is very much receptive to the idea that this is more complicated than some personal failings. But my brother doesn’t listen to her at all because they fight too much. There is no chance my dad will treat the situation gently and there’s nothing I can say to convince him to.

I want to make up where my parents fail. I think he thinks I’m a narc and won’t talk to me. But I haven’t tried very hard because I don’t know how to start without it being like, “Mom told me XYZ” and him feeling gossiped about. I have this urge to kidnap him and fly him to visit me or to go there and just take him out of town so I can get a couple days of one on one with him but I think that’s just a fantasy.

Any insight would be much appreciated.