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Is there a proper way to warn a substance abuser of the possibility of death?

Discussion in 'Questions About Treatment' started by Damien Lee, May 16, 2015.

  1. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Community Champion

    This is a bit of a sticky issue for me. I've been trying to get a close friend of mine to stop doing meth, unfortunately I've had little success. Since his abusing such a highly dangerous substance, and the negative effects on his health are already showing up. Honestly, I don't see him staying alive 6 months from now.

    However, we live in a society that has gone a little soft. There are some taboos and you can't outright tell someone they are going to die straight of the bat. I do plan on telling my friend that he won't be alive much longer if he continues this path, I'm just trying to come up with a tactful way of expressing this.

    What are your thoughts on this, is there a good way to tell someone that they will die from their substance abuse?
  2. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I think if you really think there's only 6 months for him to live if he continues then you might not have the luxury to be tactful. I think meth is probably one of the more powerful ones too so it might be difficult to talk him into recovery but if you could find a way to wake him up from denial that would be a good start.
    Damien Lee likes this.
  3. Matthodge1

    Matthodge1 Community Champion

    Honestly, being straight up and blunt with him is the way to go. I agree with you whenever you say that we live in a soft and watered down society, but honesty and bluntness is really something that helps people realize what it is that they are dealing with.
    Damien Lee likes this.
  4. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    If things are that bad, then bluntness is the only way forwrd. There is little point in sugar coating things, the best you can hope for is to shock him out of it. This will only happen if he's ready to admit he has a problem though. If he isn't, you may well find that your advice is falling on deaf ears.
    Damien Lee likes this.
  5. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    I don't think there's any wrong or right way but I agree with missbishi, sometimes being blunt is necessary. Your friend may not even realize the dangers of taking meth. What he really needs to be aware of is that the consequences on his physical health may not show until after he stops taking the meth and gives his body a break, the reason being that the meth will be fueling his body whilst depriving him of nutrients and causing dehydration. Taking meth causes the internal organs to shrivel up, it also causes constriction in the arteries and can lead to some very serious complications which can cause death. It's also neurotoxic so it causes brain damage and can cause hallucinations, delusions, psychosis and schizophrenia.
    Damien Lee likes this.
  6. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    I think you should worry less about him not giving up his addiction once you tell him about his imminent death. Your duty as a friend is to let him know that if he proceeds along the same path then . . .

    As for the approach, I agree with what the rest of the guys say. Tact may not be necessary in this case. Spill the facts and afterwards think about ways you can convince him to stop using Meth.
    Damien Lee likes this.
  7. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Community Champion

    I appreciate all of your answers to this particular problem. I'm generally not a blunt person but it would seem that this is the best course of action. Time, is certainly not a luxury and it's better I set the record straight. It will be a matter of managing bluntness with tactfulness, hopefully I will be able to convince him this way.
  8. JohnBeaulieu

    JohnBeaulieu Community Champion

    Tact is a waste of time. You need to be blunt. Be descriptive. Hopefully you will get your friends attention.
  9. princepts

    princepts Member

    You can preach to them until you are huffing and puffing. You must realize what you are going up against. He is ingesting methamphetamine daily. This, in turn, makes him go 1,000 miles per hour. It creates voids where problems once stood. His cares once erect and real, become invisible when the substance invades and courses his body. I am not trying to infer not to plea. Do whatever it takes, but prepare yourself for disappointment. Be strong. You know this person better than any of us. If you believe that getting on your knees and begging will have an impact; please, do this. Unfortunately, warnings, plights, repercussions, consequences and stories are often like firing blanks. He is most likely going to have to hit the proverbial "brick wall". Then, he will be able to more clearly identify the elements in life's scaled balance, to make a choice. Let's all pray that the brick wall is not death itself.
  10. JohnBeaulieu

    JohnBeaulieu Community Champion

    While it may be true that pulling out your soap box and saying your piece could fall on deaf ears, I still think you should do it. If anything for your own peace of mind knowing you tried. This is just my personal opinion though. Other people make strong points for why this might make things worse so maybe you should try and weigh the pros and cons of this approach carefully.
  11. smartmom

    smartmom Senior Contributor

    I really feel that they already know the consequences but yes there is a proper way. I think that a person should show that they have a genuine concern about the person that has an addiction. I would simply tell a loved one that I have a concern that they are doing some potentially dangerous harm to themselves.
  12. JohnBeaulieu

    JohnBeaulieu Community Champion

    I think that not saying anything is worse. Even if you do it wrong at least you tried.
  13. kjonesm1

    kjonesm1 Community Champion

    I am 90% sure your friend knows he is dying. The thing about addiction is that the addict puts it above everything, even his/her own life. You can tell him, but unfortunately there is nothing you can do. The only person who can make the decision is the addict himself.
    JohnBeaulieu likes this.
  14. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    I think he knows it, just as any other substance abuser, but just forgets about it because meth feels so good. Drug users take risks, really big ones to fulfill their cravings. They shouldn't be warned about death while taking the drug, but before doing so.
  15. juno

    juno Community Champion

    I think the best thing you can do is be informative. Provide the data on the matter of drugs and death rates. Inform the user about risks and side effects and hope that they take the information to heart.
  16. JohnBeaulieu

    JohnBeaulieu Community Champion

    I can't help but think there is a moral and or ethical obligation to say something. Even if it falls on deaf ears. Even if the person already knows but isn't changing the behavior.