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Changing a person's environment

Discussion in 'Questions About Treatment' started by hoverman, Aug 25, 2015.

  1. hoverman

    hoverman Active Contributor

    We know removing a person from a particular environment can be of use when beating addiction, however, what about prevention?

    I have a relative who is fairly young, and we are concerned that the people he has contact with might lead him towards a path of drug and alcohol dependence. For example, his mother found a small bag with 3 methamphetamine pills behind the couch cushions after a party he threw over the weekend. As far as I am aware he is not addicted to any substance, but is everyone being overprotective - or is this legitimate cause to talk to him about trying to start cutting ties with his poorer choice of friends??
  2. LoyalServant

    LoyalServant Member

    I realize your good intentions, but there is a fine line between preventing, and being over protective. If you start telling him who he should be friends with your bound to encounter resistance. I think the trick here is to inform him on the effects of drugs and where they can lead and have him make the decision. Regardless of the decision he makes you must continue to be supportive.

    This ensures that you both keep an open and judgement free relationship and prevents him from closing down on you. Good luck!
  3. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    The first thing you should do is to make sure his friends really are negative influences. Maybe there's only one of them who is like that, and you could ruin some good friendships by not letting him hang out with those people anymore. You should tell him about the meth pills and try to find out which one of his friends is using, as I am sure they need some help as well!
  4. SLTE

    SLTE Community Champion

    Yeah, this is extremely important. You can't apply a blanket condition to all of his friends. I honestly don't know how to broach that subject, so you might have to do some snooping. It's entirely possible that his friends aren't even trying to get him in on the habit, as well - my wife has a druggie friend who she's known since high school, and the friend never pressured her to try drugs. I imagine the reverse is more likely, given how prevalent a problem peer pressure seems to be, but it's still better know this stuff for certain.

    Ether way, don't approach the situation with anger and stiff penalties. Trying to force him to give up his friends might have the opposite effect, driving him away from the family instead.
  5. LindaSuzanne

    LindaSuzanne Active Contributor

    I believe taking yourself out of a negative enviroment can have a positive effect but I think it has to be the addict's choice. Although you can guide him and suggest he move away from certain friends I don't think you can force him.

    I know a person who has beaten heroin addiction for good. I think he has been clean for almost 30 years and has a wife and children now. He told me he only succeeded because he took himself to the other end of the country away from all the people he had been associating himself with. When he came back years later everything was different. No one remembered him and his previous circle of friends were gone. It was entirely his decision though because he really wanted to be clean.
  6. rapido

    rapido Member

    Taking a person out of their environment may not necessarily work to prevent them from using drugs especially when that person is not convinced the environment has a negative impact in their life.In fact it can have the opposite effect as such a person can simply seek out drugs even in a new environment just to prove a point. With drugs, the best approach is providing information about what the person might be getting into, befriending that person and showing them that your respect and trust them.
  7. Coolkidhere

    Coolkidhere Community Champion

    Removing his friends from his life can have a big negative impact on him. It would make him view you as the enemy. You need to first educate him about drugs and its effects. Ask him if he has experimented with any or know of any friends who take drugs. From there on, you have to make sure that he knows that you are there to support him and not condemn him. It's important to remove him from the situation but he has to do so on his own will. If not, his friends can also be educated about drugs. Maybe ask their parents about the situation at hand.
  8. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    Changes such as this should not be too extreme. The reason being that there is such a thing as mental health disorders which can arise as a result of sudden or extreme changes in lifestyle, circumstances and environment. One such example is Adjustment Disorder in which people suffer with anxiety or have difficulty in dealing with significant changes in their life.
  9. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Change of environment can do a lot for any kind of situation. It certainly is a step in the right direction. New surroundings can have a huge impact on how happy an individual can instantly be.
  10. Environment has an enormous influence on a person's personality. It helps formulate these mannerisms and then goes ahead to nurture them into very strong behavioural patterns as the individual persist in that social or emotional environment. The psychological inducements by his friend's preferences will soon make him develop low resistance and increased curiosity to experiment. This will definitely slip him back into addiction. Make him see the benefits of staying off drugs and the greater benefits of severing ties with friends who will lure him into substance abuse.
  11. knitmehere

    knitmehere Community Champion

    If someone is going to use, they are going to do it whether you cut those people out of their life or not. I hung out with a lot of addicts when I was younger, but I actually didn't start up until all of those people were out of my life. They didn't open me up to the idea and there was no peer pressure or anything of that sort. If you're going to do it, you're going to do it no matter what.
  12. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    For now, as your relative does not seem to have much discernment, you're making the right choice for him. He's currently at a stage where he's easy to influence and because of the need to be accepted into a group, he doesn't question the morality of what he and his friends are doing. As adults, it's your responsibility to guide him.
  13. knitmehere

    knitmehere Community Champion

    Though it is true that teens need guidance, they won't be able to live their lives if someone else makes all of their choices for them. You have to give a teen the ability to do right, and trust them in their choices if they haven't given you a reason not to do so. Just because their friends are into bad things, doesn't mean that they are, too.
  14. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Community Champion

    The environment and those one spends their time with plays an important role. Especially when one is young, it's incredibly easy to be influenced by others. A change of environment and friends should do this person some good, if that is possible. If that's not the case, then the parents will need to be more vigilant.
  15. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    This is soooo true.
  16. knitmehere

    knitmehere Community Champion

    My little brothers got that type of resistance from my parents. They were both really good kids, they just decided to hang out with some kids who weren't as good. They never even tried to get my brothers to do those same things. When my parents found out about their friend's and forced them to stop hanging out, that's when my brothers started acting out
  17. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    A small bag with 3 methamphetamine pills behind the couch cushions after a party he threw over the weekend is a serious matter. I think there should be a conversation with him one on one and heart to heart. Just to let him know that he should be careful on choosing friends, know his limits and know which is bad and which is not.
  18. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    OP, your relatives have all the right to fee worried about this kid, it's definitely not a good sign they found those meth pills in there, that is a huge reason to be concerned. In my opinion there is not much they can do though, other than talking about the dangers of using drugs and so on, specially this one. That is all they can do and hope for the best, because well if this fairly young person is old enough to throw parties... odds are parents can no longer forbid him or her to see certain friends.
  19. danjon

    danjon Senior Contributor

    You're definitely not overreacting or being overprotective - if there's any chance your relative is on the road to becoming a meth addict, then intervening now is crucial.

    Often the best thing to do in the short-term is just to bring up the matter with him. He might have some issues going on and this will give him a chance to air them. I don't think you've anything to lose. Good luck.
  20. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    Well, I think the best thing for that teenager's parents to do is to talk to their son regarding the said discovery of those pills. I believe that having open, and good communication between family members is really ideal. Parents should gain the loyalty of their kids, and by achieving that, they shouldn't be too strict nor too lenient.