An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

Be strong and supportive at the same time

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Friend' started by tasha, Nov 28, 2014.

  1. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    People who are addicts have two problems; They have underlying issues that have caused them to become addicts and they are unaware of the problem because they are high.
    For some it is that they are aware of the problem and are embarresed or too weak to get help. By weak I mean that they fear the loss of the addiction might make them insecure as the addiction is their sense of security.
  2. Charles P.

    Charles P. Community Advocate

    Are you sure that there always needs to be underlying issues with addiction? Meaning, do you think that it is possible that sometimes people use a substance just because they like the way that they feel after using whatever substance they are abusing. I was just wondering your thoughts.
  3. primalclaws1974

    primalclaws1974 Senior Contributor

    I am uncertain how important the underlying problem is, and more so what is currently going on. As a friend I am not a psychiatrist. I am just trying to help a friend. I am trying to decide if there's a problem (addiction) at present, and I am not trying to find the root cause.
  4. leahcim132

    leahcim132 Member

    I have a friend that is addicted to smoking cigarettes. His addiction started this year (normally he doesn't smoke that much but he just suddenly started smoking 24/7). I always encourage him to stop but I know deep down that he has a problem that he won't open up to.It is sad but everyday is getting better (fortunately).

    So yes, be strong and be supportive. The addiction will end eventually.
  5. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I also think that not all got addicted because they have problems, some just got addicted out of curiosity or wanting to be part of a group and other reasons.
    I think it is really important that those who are addicted will accept or admit that there is a problem already with their addiction. That could lead to getting of help and better if he or she will exert effort too to help themselves.
  6. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I agree. I think most, if not all addicts have underlying problems. There might be some that were just unlucky enough to have bitten off more than they can chew, but most probably have some issues to begin with and it's why they turned to substances for comfort. People who are more well adjusted, I think, even when they use alcohol and drugs, are able to regulate themselves a bit easier because they know they don't need to depend on it as much as others.
    CpXi7z1 likes this.
  7. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    I find that a strong will does not allow someone to test a substance in the first place and it doesnt necessarily mean that there are underlying issues but nine out of ten cases, there are. Many people try something because of peer pressure or a lack of self confidence and then it escalates into something bigger because it makes them feel good but it is an escape from a reality.
  8. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    Once you can establish that there is a problem, then the next step would be to rehab and recovery where they will deal with issues and sorts if there are any. It is important as a friend to just be able to establish that there is a problem and then ensure that your friend is aware of the problem.
  9. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    It is up to the individual to be able to stop the addiction at some stage, hopefully sooner than later.
  10. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    A problem could be how you were raised, if you are insecure and buckle under peer pressure, lack of confidence and many other reasons, people dont continue on to be addicts unless there was a problem to help them escape in the first place.
  11. tasha

    tasha Community Listener Community Listener

    Absolutely spot on! We all have choices that we make and some of us can say no while others will say yes for many reasons, yes people are curious but for most the mindset tells you not to and you dont. for others its an escape that makes them forget for a little while.
  12. CpXi7z1

    CpXi7z1 Member

    An alcoholic friend told me he'll always be an alcoholic even if he's sober fifteen years. Mindset is a huge problem. I agree there are underlying factors that contribute to addiction--home life, trauma or abuse, stress, etc. Unfortunately an addict's mentality includes denial and excuses. Addicts often convince themselves they don't have a problem or that it's under control, but their loved ones see a destructive pattern. Giving up anything a person knows, whether good or bad, is scary, and that's one thing that makes ending an addiction less than desirable.
  13. kevinkimers

    kevinkimers Community Champion

    That is a very good question and I think you may be right. There is also the "seeing" issue. If the person is surrounded by it (friends and family doing it) then they may pick up the habit also. So there may not always be a underlying issue involved to lead the person to the addiction. After the addiction occurs, however, mental issues can be developed.
  14. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    Yeah, and it's why I'm against blaming the substances instead of the people because adults shouldn't be treated as kids who we should protect from eating too much candy. As much as I am for people who choose sobriety I think eliminating the choice is too dictatorial and unjust.
  15. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    This is a fact, we need to be firm because we need to tell the people that need help what's the right way, but to be supportive at the same time.
  16. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    It's definitely draining to constantly keep up a strong and supportive appearance. I think it's often a really good idea to just be yourself when you are trying to help another with their substance abuse issues. Be honest and say it when you've had enough. You have to protect yourself as well, as you'll be of no use to anyone, including yourself, when you feel that a big chunk of your life force has been sucked out of you.
  17. JessiFox

    JessiFox Active Contributor

    It can be a hard line to cross, some people are so used to people just passively (or even actively) supporting their bad habits and bad behaviors, that if you try to support them as a person or their efforts to get better, they don't really appreciate it for what it is. It's a shame.
  18. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    I think that one thing is someone losing control and reaching out for help, other thing is someone that doesn't want to be helped, the second case is way more complicated.
  19. geegee

    geegee Active Contributor

    Well you got me at the title of your thread. That's how friends should be. Ideally. We're all human though. Sometimes we fail at being both supportive and strong. I know I myself have said some words to my friend that I can't ever take back. I'm glad he's still around, but still, I know those words I told him when I was frustrated with him and ready to give up must've hurt.
    Joseph likes this.
  20. Peninha

    Peninha Community Champion

    I think we have all said words like that geegee, that is why we should keep our head cool and never says things we know we will regret later...