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Helping an online friend beat addiction

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by Starlight, Nov 1, 2015.

  1. Starlight

    Starlight Member

    I have a friend who resides in America. I've known him for a very long time, close to six years.

    We used to be very close. He had a lot of issues with his family. His mom got pregnant with him in her teens and was coerced into dropping out of high school. She always blamed him for ruining her life.

    His dad felt trapped with a woman he was forced to marry because he got her pregnant. When I met him, his dad was having an affair with another woman and that led to a divorce soon after.

    I watched while all this happened and tried to help/support him as much as I could, but in the end, he turned to alcohol and started drinking heavily to cope with the emptiness. It spiraled out of control, but no matter how hard I tried to get him to quit, he never listened. I think he blamed me for not being able to stop him from being an addict before it happened.

    We're still friends today, however, he still does not listen. I fear he will never lead a good life, until he learns to beat his addiction.

    Does anyone any tips? Please help him...
  2. irishrose

    irishrose Community Champion

    Simply being there to listen to him and his problems may help. It may be difficult to have a conversation regarding his addiction via a long distance relationship, however I think it is possible. If you let him know that you care about him, you want what is best for him, and let him know that you're there to help in any way you can, I think that is a start. Also, consistently checking in to see how he's doing, and recommending he focus on other things that make him happy besides his addiction may help.
    deanokat likes this.
  3. hellonamesdana

    hellonamesdana Senior Contributor

    As it's a long distance friendship, the only thing that you can really do is be there for your friend as much as you possibly can. That means listen to them talk about their problems, try to give them advice even if they won't listen to it, and try to get them to stop from afar. If they don't listen to you then that is not your fault and you should not blame yourself for it, but at least you're trying very hard. Though if you feel that they are a real danger to themselves you can always call a hotline, give them hotline numbers to call, or call the police if you think it's serious.
    deanokat likes this.
  4. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Since he's using drugs to deal with issues he can't change he'll only stop using drugs when he no longer needs them to escape reality. Try to convince him to get counseling or even try a free online counseling session here:( because unless the underlying issue is addressed it will be close to impossible for him to beat the addiction.
  5. Tallyho

    Tallyho Active Contributor

    It sounds like you're a very attentive friend, and that's wonderful. Being there for someone who has little other support is commendable, and good friends are more valuable than just about anything else in life, especially for those struggling with titanic battles like addiction. Like the others have said, just being there and listening probably helps more than you're aware. 7cupsoftea is also a good resource, as Rainman suggested, for issues your friend might want to talk about that are out of your depth at any point (I used to volunteer for them actually, they are a good group of people who really do care).

    If you can help him find resources in his area, that could be great too. Of course, he has to be open to that idea. Sometimes just finding people to help in person is too hard for someone whose energy is sapped by addiction or depression, and having someone to assist in digging through all the information can really be awesome.

    I wish you and your friend the best of luck. You're a great friend for seeking advice, and for sticking around for them.
    Starlight likes this.
  6. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    Just always try to encourage him to quit drinking for good now. Tell him that alcohol will not do any good to him, but it would just bring harm to him. Don't give up on him. This is the time when he needs you the most. Who knows, in time, he'll be able to realize these things too.
  7. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    He needs to feel the need to change and help himself. You can try your best to make him feel you cares for him and will be there for him although it may not be physically since it is a long distance friendship. Try to motivate him more and be able to realize that being addicted will just make his situation worst.
  8. Starlight

    Starlight Member

    I feel like he'll never talk to me again if I call the hotline, but if it ever gets to be that serious, I'll definitely do that. He's extremely self-defensive and sees advice as criticism. :(

    Thank you very much. The main problem I'm having now is that he gets extremely snappish when I try to bring it up. He's often told me that people are entitled to their own lifestyle choices. He won't admit to anything and promptly leaves, if I try to talk about it.

    I do think my my influence has helped a little though. Lately, he's tried to avoid drinking too much by sipping coffee. However, it's just a "phase". It normally goes back when he's having personal troubles in his life.

    Thank you very much for responding and helping me out. I truly, truly appreciate it.:)
  9. Dwayneu

    Dwayneu Community Champion

    Even if online, it is great that you are there to support and listen to him. If you truly care about him, do not give up on him. With an addict, or someone down the path of addiction, you have to be firm, even tough at times, but caring.
    Even if he's snappy to criticism, giving in and telling him "yes it's alright, drink all you want" is never correct. You have to be strong for HIM, because he lacks that strength, and is acting with avoidance to the issue.
  10. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    I am glad that he had a friend like you through all of his life problems. True friends are really hard to find. Even though you are at a distance you are supportive and he knows that you are there for him no matter what. You have proven that to him. There is not a lot you can do if he refuses to listen but you can just keep being there for him when he needs to vent or when he is struggling. You sound like you are getting to him and he knows he needs help but maybe he just doesn't know where to turn to get the help that he needs. Some people can't just stop drinking on their own. He has underlying problems that need to be addressed also.
    deanokat likes this.
  11. This is a strange circumstance. Regarding the support area of assisting recovery, the most you can do is just be there for him no matter what. Let him know that you will be there when you are needed to serve as either a distraction, supporter, or comforter.
  12. jazzyjazz

    jazzyjazz Member

    I think your friend can only beat this thing if he himself identifies this as a problem and has determination to get rid of it. All you can do is that you can make him realize the problem and will him to beat this thing. I hope your friend musters up enough courage to get out of this.
  13. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    I'm sorry, but I can't stand those poor excuse of women/mothers who often blame their children for being born. It was their decision to open their legs, it was HER decision to have unprotected sex. Jesus... if anyone should be blaming anyone for anything its that poor guy blaming her for being such a moron and so emotionally abusive towards him.

    She practically ruined this guy's life actually.... the power of an emotionally abusive mother cn do that in one way or another. I should know! I've been thinking a lot lately, and it's no coincidence I became an addict... I'm now pretty sure my mom's toxic influence had a lot to do with it. That and the fact she was an alcoholic who gave me alcohol and let me smoke at age 8...
  14. 6up

    6up Community Champion

    Please suggest to him any relevant materials that can help him quit his addiction. Talk to him about the dangers associated with his addiction. Give him live examples on how addicts in your area are struggling with their addiction and how it has affected them. He should know that most addicts never succeed in life. Always continue to motivate him and I am sure that he will one day beat his addiction.
  15. jazzyjazz

    jazzyjazz Member

    Well though I think talking to the addict might be the right thing to do but it almost never works. Drug addiction crushes your ability to think and reasoning with an addict is like banging your head against a wall. I am pretty sure that people who get addicted to drugs know that drug addiction is not good for them and telling them that would not really make any difference at all.