Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Nephew Born Addicted Is Last Straw for Dad's Sibling

DEAR ABBY: My 30-plus-year-old brother struggles with substance abuse. It has been going on for years. After countless trips to rehab, inpatient, outpatient and all the step programs, he still uses. Periodically he'll be sober for a short time, but it never lasts. For a long time, I have been torn between total disassociation or the sporadic run-in at family events.

Seven months ago, his baby boy was born with narcotics in his system. Birds of a feather flock together, I guess. Since then he hasn't been invited to my home or any event I have hosted. My mother and the rest of my siblings still invite him into their homes and act as if his lifestyle choices are OK.

Am I supposed to boycott family functions (holiday gatherings, summer BBQs, birthday parties for my kids, nieces and nephews) because they all continue allowing him to attend? I honestly don't know what is right here. Please help. -- HAD ENOUGH IN NEW YORK

DEAR HAD ENOUGH: Your brother has an addiction he cannot seem to shake. It is a disease that, in spite of treatment, persists. If you prefer not to include him at events you host or invite him into your home, that is your right. But for you to forgo family events in an attempt to punish him is isolating only yourself, and I see nothing positive to be gained by it. Because your feelings about this situation are so strong, the ultimate decision is yours.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Addiction