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How to help someone that doesn't want help

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Friend' started by bellahpereira, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. bellahpereira

    bellahpereira Member

    I have a friend (he's really more my boyfriend's friend, as they have been friends since they were 14, but he has become my friend over the years as well) who I think is addicted to cocaine. I can't prove it, and I don't have any hard evidence to confront him with, which is why this is so difficult. I know that a few months ago, he got some coke from a friend at a bar, and then he got a dealer, wasted $2,000 in one week on it and now he claims he's clean. He has been telling me he's clean for about 3 months now. A few weeks ago, he told us that a few months back, he had some and did it. I'm pretty sure he's still on it because every time he comes over, he looks really high, his nose is drippy and he makes frequent trips to the bathroom. I remember once, he was driving us to a party and he started swerving on the street and when I told him to be more careful he told me 'I'm a great driver, I know what I'm doing'. I have never done coke but I have been told that confidence is one of the signs.

    Should I be concerned about him? And how should I go about approaching him? I'm really concerned for him, our mutual friends and his wife. I'm not sure what I can do considering I don't have any hard evidence and every time I bring it up, he tells me he hasn't done it in a while.

    Any help/advice is appreciated :)
    Jatelo2 likes this.
  2. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    There's no right way to confront someone who is in denial. The one thing about addictions and actually overcoming them is that the addict must have got to the stage where they've had enough, have made a firm decision not to use the drug [though that in itself won't keep them from having relapse] and are committed to staying clean no matter what it takes.

    So since your friend still uses the drug and doesn't want to admit that he does, it would be best to not push him too much in to confessing that he's using coke but you should let him know that when he wants help, you'll be willing to stand by him then.
  3. Sprezza

    Sprezza Member

    The person you are trying to help wants to believe they can live a normal life, just like they assume everyone else is. They want to believe they don’t have to sacrifice, that they don’t have special circumstances, and they don’t have tendencies other people don’t. You want to help them. You want to be there for them and see what you can do to make their problems go away. Maybe at first you do help them, gently making suggestions, then more adamantly pushing them to admit they have a problem. But then they harden. They turn stubborn and think you’re trying to sabotage them or that you’re overreacting or that you don’t care about them, when all you’re doing is caring. You can not help someone who doesn’t want help. I know it’s frustrating.
  4. stariie

    stariie Community Champion

    First things first, I would say tread very lightly seeing that--that is your boyfriend's friend. Even though it is your friend as well, this friend might mistake your attention and concern for something else.

    A person has to really want to stop using, no one can want it for them. No matter how worried you may be, that is not going to help. But you can help yourself by not putting yourself in positions like riding in cars with him, and things of that nature. Be careful.

    2,000 in one week is a huge "tell."

    What does your boyfriend say or think about his friend's cocaine use?
  5. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I agree with stariie. I think he is very lucky to have a friend like you, but it might be best to just let your boyfriend handle it since he would probably know much better how to communicate with him. Though, if you are really concerned and you think you are the best person for the job then I think it would be a good effort to try as well. From the supposed signs you've stated it does seem like he is on the substance, and if you want to bring it up I think it's best to just let him know that you are there for support and you won't judge him or force him to stop but you're just concerned for his life. I think a lot of addicts tend to shut off from the conversation when they hear a sermon coming so it's best to let him know you are trying to bridge the gap.
  6. Jatelo2

    Jatelo2 Member

    Like you said, confidence (a lot of it for that matter) may be one of the signs of coke abuse. So, the individual may only feel comfortable discussing his condition to someone 'equal'. I mean, they have been friends with your boyfriend since childhood and that means they trust each. It also means your boyfriend is the right person to talk to him.

    I think if you have some ideas then run them via your man and let him deliver the help. About whether you should be concerned, Yes you should worry for that family because it will fail unless immediate help is met.
  7. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    If you also friend with his wife, maybe try telling your concern to her and she might be able to help her husband about it. Or what are your thoughts about it to your boyfriend and your boyfriend might know how to approach him since they are long time friends. Hard to really help someone who is in denial state.
  8. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    It's going to be difficult to convince someone that they have a problem when they are in complete denial. If you feel that you are in danger around them (car crash), then it's best if you stay clear of them. The sad part is because of their denial it might take something really bad for them to realize that it is a problem.
  9. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    I think your boyfriend should be the one to talk to him. It isn't a good idea for a woman to confront a man on something like this, especially when your boyfriend has known him much longer it sounds like. He has already revealed his addiction it seems, maybe not hard evidence, but good enough clues to warrant a conversation. If he persists in denial all you can really do is make sure you stay safe. Don't get in the car with him or let yourself get into dangerous situations. He has to decide he wants to get off the drugs before treatment will be really effective.
  10. Onionman

    Onionman Active Contributor

    At the end of the day, it's the age old cliche - they must want to change. You can't force them to do something they don't want them to do. You can present them with what you see, give them the facts and provide them with the support, but at the end of the day it's for them to do the hard work. All you can really do is be there for them.
  11. light

    light Active Contributor

    He refuses to accept his addiction and this is the worst thing for him. You mentioned that your boyfriend and his friend know each other since they were fourteen…it would be great if you ask your boyfriend to help his friend, explaining all the features that lead you to think he is a drug addict. Don’t neglect his situation but don’t confront him too. We know that he must come to terms with his mind, body and soul to accept his situation and start a recovery trip with the help of his best friends. All what you and your friend can do is to make him feel loved and appreciated. Do you really believe he will be a successful man in the future?
  12. sonia11

    sonia11 Senior Contributor

    Unfortunately, you're probably not the one who can fix this situation. Firstly, he's your boyfriend's friend, so you may not be close enough to him. If there are other people around him condoning his addiction, you probably won't be able to intervene. Most importantly, though, an addict needs to want to change and actually be motivated to do so - you can't force that to happen. If he's still claiming he's clean, and denies that he's putting his and other people's lives in danger, he just hasn't hit rock bottom yet.
  13. shellybean808

    shellybean808 Member

    I was just in another forum for diabetics who use alcohol and drugs which informed someone could actually lose a limb if they didn't stop their alcohol intake. I knew a diabetic wasn't supposed to drink but I didn't know why. I just thought drinking affected the insulin and the diabetic wouldn't get enough of their medication. I didn't know it went as far as losing a limb. The friend who is a diabetic and drinking knew that it wasn't smart for them to drink while being a diabetic; I confronted her but she refuses to quit. I'm at my wits end and she has a family that would be at a lost without her. I guess all I can do is let her know that I'm here for her, that's all I can do.
  14. mailen

    mailen Member

    I think it hard to help someone who doesn't admit that he's on to something. Friends can help but not force people to get help. I must admit that your intentions are good and I admire you for that. But trying to help someone without even knowing that what you are trying to prove is true might end you up being on a bad situation. So as long as you don't have the evidence then I probably suggest that you give him space. But I think it's alright to let him know that you're always there to help no matter what.'s