My brother started drinking at 13 years old. By 16, he was addicted to pain medication. Then he started doing heroin. I was 10 at the time. It had a profound effect on me. The person I knew, the sensitive, sweet boy who was my best friend and role model, was now angry and sickly. This went on for years, and I grieved him as much as I would have if he had been gone. Finally in his early twenties, he became very sick and was rushed to the hospital by ambulance after vomiting blood. The drugs had eroded his esophagus. We didn’t know if he’d make it through the night, but he did. And that was his wake-up call. He began treatment, and he never did it again. I’m so grateful that he’s still in my life. A few years after he started recovery, we moved in together, and I got to know him for what felt like the first time since he was a boy. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that I have my brother back. I know not everyone is so lucky.