How to help a friend with addiction
How to Help Your Addicted Friend
Watching someone you love struggle with addiction is a very difficult experience to endure. Because addiction is an ongoing and chronic disorder, your friend will be enduring the accompanying ups and downs plus the constant risk of overdose, which in turn can put you in a state of unending stress.
As a friend and not a family member, you may feel that your hands are tied in terms of helping them overcome the problem. But it turns out the opposite is true. In fact, you could be the best person to help your addicted friend. So, can you help get a friend into addiction treatment or even help someone get sober? We review here. Then, we invite your questions or comments at the end.
1. Voice your concerns
You may not realize it but as an addicted person’s friend, you wield a great deal of influence that his or her family members may not. Though you may be saying the same things as the family, your assertion that her drug use is a cause for concern may be interpreted as more reliable. With a long history of good times and mutual support, and fewer of the problematic issues that often arise in a family, the fact that you are worried may push your friend to take a more objective view of her drug or alcohol use and its consequences.
2. Eye witness
Unlike many family members, from whom the darkest truths are often concealed, you may have been present to see the very worst consequences of your friend’s drug use and abuse. Even if you weren’t out with her on certain nights, you may have been the person she called and confided in or asked for help after she got into trouble, fought off an attacker, or ended up in jail or in the hospital after an accident. You know the truth behind the “cleaned-up” stories that she tells everyone else about what happened to her car, how she incurred a certain injury, or why she was unable to make her rent. And you can use your status as their confidante to remind her that if her drug use weren’t really a problem, then she wouldn’t have to lie about its consequences to everyone else.
3. Enlist the family’s support
In some cases, you may be the first, or the only person who loves your addicted friend enough to recognize the truth behind the problems she’s experiencing. Sometimes, family members just aren’t around enough to recognize the truth. As the addicted person’s friend, you may need to enlist the assistance of the family in getting her into rehab if she’s not listening to you. You might also help the addict’s family get help themselves. Some actions you may be able to take at this time include:
- Talk to your friend and “draw a line in the sand” in terms of what will happen to the support they receive from their family if they refuse treatment;
- Stage a formal intervention;
- Take legal action to get her treatment;
- Pay the cost of drug rehab.
Supporting Your Friend in Recovery
If your addicted friend agrees to get help, you can connect her with the information she needs to enroll in a comprehensive rehabilitation program. Here at Axis Recovery, we offer detoxification assistance as well as long-term therapeutic intervention and aftercare services to ensure that your friend will have everything they need to overcome addiction and remain drug-free for life. Call now for more information.
Photo credit: Sharky