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How do I help?

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Friend' started by kbroder9, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. kbroder9

    kbroder9 Member

    I've seen several friends and a family member go through the hard process of addiction and then recovery. The thing that always goes through my mind is, how do I help them? I want to be caring and compassionate but don't want to say or do something that I accidentally make them feel bad somehow. I'm not a professional and just want the best for them, but constantly feel like I'm on edge and don't know what to say, then it just becomes uncomfortable for everyone. Does anyone else have this issue? What's your advice in this situation?
  2. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    If someone is already taking steps to recover from their addiction, I would not bring it up. Let them bring up the subject when and if they feel like it. That way they will not feel like you are judging them, you are actually letting them be a normal person. You can ask them how they are doing in a general way, then they know you care about them and their life but they are still in control of the conversation and can share as many or as few details as possible. When someone has a real sore spot in their life, it can be easy for them to feel cornered by questions. I've had that happen in my own life with some issues (not substance related) and it's a really scary place to be because you feel like the person, who actually means well, is digging for information you don't want them to know.

    Anyway, bottom line, be a friend and don't treat them differently because they have an addiction. We all have problems, this just happens to be the type of problem they currently have.
    JessiFox likes this.
  3. wowtgp

    wowtgp Member

    The thing is, you can't help someone if they don't want to be helped. You should know if they are drinking because they are having some issues or because they just love dong it. If it's the former, you can help them out in a lot of ways, but n one s going to listen is it's the latter.
  4. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    Let me give you this quote from Edmund Burke: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Will you watch them suffer through their addiction? Will you wait for them to say "yes" not knowing how long they'll last? Will you watch others slowly but surely destroy themselves? The reason why substance abuse continues to be such a pressing problem is because hardly anyone makes a proactive stance. You have to be proactive especially when it comes to friends and family.
  5. Allen24

    Allen24 Active Contributor

    I agree with dancinglady. Just be a good friend or family member to them. If they want to discuss their recovery journey with you, they will bring it up. Everyone is different...some people want to discuss it and some don't.
  6. jade870

    jade870 Active Contributor

    What would be the best way to tell a friend that they need help? I have someone that is dear to me and I fear if something is not done they will lose themselves . This person lost a mother to addiction only last year, so yes she knows what could happen to her. I think what troubles me the most is that she has no love for life, Should she be put in rehab even if she says no to it?
  7. mdaudali

    mdaudali Member

    Try getting together at some point, and bringing it up. Don't let the conversation flow into the topic of drugs, otherwise they will just ignore your help. I think rehab would definitely be a good option for your friend, but don't force her, since that won't help her at all. Perhaps you could try introducing her to other people, people that care a lot about her (apart from yourself obviously) and maybe she could get into a strong relationship which will get rid of her worries if done right.
  8. notodrugs

    notodrugs Community Listener Community Listener

    I believe treating them casually will not be so uncomfortable for everybody. Also they are really encouraged to turn to their family and friends for support. So your support, just don't make it overbearing, will mean a lot to them. Perhaps make them feel that you are happy about their recovery without mentioning their addiction issues. Or I don't think there's anything wrong with telling them that you're happy to see them recovering and to carry on with it.
  9. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I think the best way is to just speak out of sincerity. Often, people won't react negatively if they feel you are being sincere and not just confronting them because you assume that addiction is easy because you don't have it. If the addict feels like you are genuinely trying to understand and are trying to see what it must be like for them, then you have a higher chance of starting a genuine conversation.
  10. jobenvy

    jobenvy Member

    Let them know how much you love them be easy take it slow offer alternatives to going out. Maybe take a trip to the beach or church even just walking around a local mall and talking helps.
  11. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Actions speak louder than words, right? The important thing is if someone is trying to overcome an addiction sometimes the best thing to do is not be around to give unwanted advice. Just be there as a friend. Be there as someone they can talk to when they feel like it. Help only people who reach out for help or else you'd be wasting your time.
    There's no need to feel guilty for doing nothing.
  12. muthoni

    muthoni Active Contributor

    I have a dear friend who drinks so much. His mom died and now he does not worry about anything. He is practically drunk all the time. There was a time he left me in a restaurant to go upstairs to the bar to drink more alcohol. He speaks profanities when he gets drunk. Anytime I get a chance to meet with him, I propose we go to areas that do not sell alcohol. I guess that the only thing we can do is be there for the affected persons. Do not worry about what to say, just be you and they will not be offended.
  13. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    A good friend should be able to point out one's mistake without making you feel offended.If my friend does or engages in anything negative, i should be able to talk to him confidently and share my feelings with him one on one.If i don't then i guess am not doing what a true friend is supposed to.
  14. JessiFox

    JessiFox Active Contributor

    I tend to agree, though sometimes I do think it warrants being brought it up- it all depends on the person, the friendship and the situation itself. However, in general, I think just being there and offering your support without enabling their behavior is a great foundation for being a good, helpful friend. It can be hard, but you don't have to know all the answers or exactly what to say to offer your support.
  15. CpXi7z1

    CpXi7z1 Member

    Being too careful in what you say can lead to stiff, ineffectual comments. Emphasize that you care, but state how the addiction affects your life and feelings. Often the person you care about won't want to hear that he or she has an addiction or how it harms someone else. Expect hurtful words from that person. When someone doesn't want help, the best thing you can do is distance yourself and continue with your life. If you can stick with the commitment, tell that person when he or she is ready to quit the addiction and live a sober life, you will be there to offer support and strength.