Megan Rapinoe Talks about Addiction in the Family

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Megan Rapinoe, the soccer megastar, opens up about her brother’s relapse and drug abuse that has lasted for decades.

Her brother was once her hero. As she documents in her recent memoir, Rapinoe and her sister didn’t understand much of the situation at first. But they quickly began to recognize the signs of Brian’s addiction.

In the mid-1990’s Megan was 10 and Brian was 15. Her parents sat them down and told them her brother was going to be in the newspaper. He had been arrested for possession of meth.

He was sent to juvenile detention and things quickly went downhill from there. There were times though when everything seemed to be fine. Brian was as into soccer as Megan and her sister were, making drills for them, going to practice with them, and hanging out at half-time.

Signs of addiction began to emerge in the home. Brian would spend all his time in the bathroom in the mornings. He would take all the spoons from the kitchen – and eventually, the signs were unmistakable – drug paraphernalia.

Brian was 18 when he was sent to prison for the first time for stealing a car. He spent the next 20 years in and out of some of the most violent federal prisons in the country.

Rapinoe explains that their town was hit hard by the opioid crisis. In a rural former industrial area where many people were overprescribed opioids, they grew up “just people”.

While Megan isn’t sure where Brian is right now, she hopes her memoir will erase some of the stigmas of addiction. When she was winning the World Cup she says “her only sadness was Brain”.

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