What To Do If a Friend Is Involved With Drugs

It might happen to you a few times in your life and for some this never really happens. When a person is losing control in their battle against drugs, it can be difficult for you and others around the person. Having a friend who is involved with drugs might be hard but being friends means more than just being around in the good times. The following are some things to do if a family member or adult friend starts abusing drugs.


Don’t Drop Off The Face of The Earth

If a person cannot depend on their friends when they are about to hit rock bottom or are having a hard time then when can they? Although having an addict as a friend can be a chore, it is important to not shun them because you don’t agree with their life choices. Distancing yourself might allow a person to worsen extensively without anyone knowing as many people do not want a drug addict in their life. With this being said, do not enable this friend by allowing them to use around you or anything of that nature.

Support Their Recovery

It can be difficult for a recovering addict to be in certain situations especially at the beginning. This could be a friend who has a drinking problem not able to go out to a bar and just have waters. They will have to face this eventually but make sure that you leave the situation if they are having too hard of a time. Having a drug free home for a friend to stay while they get on their feet isn’t for everyone. If you are single with an extra bedroom then you should offer it. Having a situation where substance abuse isn’t prevalent can help in the beginning of recovery.

Don’t Support Their Habit

If a friend is spending a large portion of their money on drugs or alcohol then the chances are they will ask you for a loan at some point or another. What you can do is pay the bill they say the loan is for and not directly support their habit. Do not routinely loan them money especially if they are not paying it back. It shouldn’t be something that you bring up each time you see them because this can lead to them distancing themselves from you. Mentioning that you are worried could eventually lead them to ask you to help them or find them help.

Let Their Family Know

This can cause your friend to go crazy on you as the people they try to hide their problem from the most in some cases is their family. There are times when the family will already know that there is a problem but there are others where it might come as a shock. The family has the most leverage in helping a person get help as they are the closest. Do not let their family know by surprise when your friend is around because this might get confrontational.

Help Them With Recovery

Being the bad guy and enforcer of the sobriety of your friend is never an easy task as it can feel like a constant battle. Whether you have to buy drug tests in bulk to make sure they are staying clean or you have to change your lifestyle to help keep them sober, it is well worth it to have a healthy friend. You can help them work on being a happy and healthy friend as many people are depressed at the beginning of their recovery.

Having a friend going through a substance abuse problem isn’t easy for you or them. Remember that as they could be hurting and that is the reason they turned to drugs or alcohol. When in doubt call a professional to see what they would recommend doing it. You don’t have to help your friend alone, others can help you.

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Posted by on December 12, 2015. Filed under Advice,COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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3 Responses to What To Do If a Friend Is Involved With Drugs

  1. Bill Formby Reply

    December 12, 2015 at 11:24 am

    I have to disagree with the point of paying their bills and helping them avoid “rock bottom’. Rock bottom is where most addicts have to be before they will figure out whether or not they want to get clean and stay clean. Addicts are the best manipulators and liars there are. Their socio-pathic type behavior is well practiced in meeting their drug needs. If you want to help the best thing is to help them get into rehab when they acknowledge they want that type help. Addicts will lie incessantly to you, to themselves, to anyone to get their fix because they cannot help it. It is a disease that, regardless of their D.O.C. (drug of choice), their mind is focused on it and only when the hit rock bottom can they see themselves honestly needing help. Even then, with all good intentions to get clean, they will likely relapse numerous time trying to stay clean. Again, they need to know you care about them enough to not empower their addiction monetarily in any way. Don’t give them money, rides, a place to stay, or even food to eaten when they are using. It is all about consequences of their actions and decisions.

  2. Neil Bamforth Reply

    December 12, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Had a pal in this position. Got him with a ‘friendly’ Doc I knew who prescribed him methadone to wean him off. Eventually he was clean. Took about 2 years total.

    He was at rock bottom. Now he’s married with a kid and a good job.

    Got another pal who is an alcoholic. Still a work in progress.

    Great article! (Although Bill is right about the ‘bill paying’ bit)

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