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Knowing Someone with a Drug Problem, but Not Knowing Them Well Enough to Interfere.

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Friend' started by hellonamesdana, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. hellonamesdana

    hellonamesdana Senior Contributor

    Have you ever known someone, maybe a coworker or an acquaintence, that you weren't super close with but saw and talked to on a regular basis, whom you knew had some sort of drug or alcohol problem, but you just didn't feel comfortable enough with them to interfere and try to help them?

    As I look back on my time in middle school and high school, I was a naive kid who hung out with a lot of kids during the school day who did hard drugs. We never hung out outside of the school hours, which is why I never actually saw them doing these activities, only really heard stories. Like in eighth grade, a girl I sat with at lunch and her other friend came into school completely drunk, and I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to get them into any trouble, and I sure didn't want to get into any trouble myself, and I didn't want to make either of them mad at me in case they would hurt me or something. So I just let it be, and told our teacher later on that day that she went home early because of the stomach virus, even though I was sure that wasn't it.
  2. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I think at that age, people rarely listen to advice, especially one coming from someone of the same age, so I wouldn't beat myself up too much about it if it were me. If anything, your teachers should have felt much more of the responsibility and if they failed to notice then I'd say they just weren't attentive enough and I'd probably even go as far as to say they failed their tasks. You were just there to study like all other students, while they were getting paid to watch over all of you. As an adult I think it is much easier to approach people even if you don't know them that well but of course people in that state are still often not that easy to talk to or convince, but as long as you can avoid condescending tones then the chances will often be good.
  3. gmckee1985

    gmckee1985 Senior Contributor

    Its best not to get involved. I understand a sincere desire to help but if you dont know the individual its really not your place to get involved. Saying something will likely offend them and resent you. May also prevent you from getting to know them enough to help.
  4. 3030

    3030 Member

    I never liked sitting my friends down and saying, "You have a problem." I would usually slip things into conversation. Things such as, "I know it can be fun, but in the long run it will be a self-destructive lifestyle." Most people don't think ahead, and realize the potential harm it can cause in the long run. My friends were older, and were doing IV drugs, but it can all turn into a problem. Younger people are really oblivious to this. Even if they are doing it recreationally, they don't ever think about the consequences, or realize that things can get out of hand really quick. It's a dangerous thing. A childhood friend of mine just passed away from an overdose a few months ago.

    I would casually slip something into daily conversation. Try and give them enlightening suggestions. Just remember, when they are young, they will likely be headstrong and say you don't understand. When they get older, they are more open to advice.
    Winterybella and MrsJones like this.
  5. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    Normally when i sense that any of my co-workers is into drugs say alcohol,and it's affecting his/her performance,i usually point it out to them in a manner that won't make them feel offended. I kind of joke about it when we are alone by ourselves so as not to make them feel uncomfortable. I believe that if my co-worker has a drug problem,one way or the other it will affect me in the end.
  6. 003

    003 Community Champion

    I know a few as I don't know a lot of people who have drug problems. And often these people whom I know to have drug problems are the ones I couldn't talk directly and discuss with them their addiction to help them as much as I could. I think that instead they see it as something of my concern. They's instead misunderstand it and think that I'm prying on their life. Despite my concern, I just shut up and pretend that nothing's at all is bothering me.
  7. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    The last thing you want to do is meddle with someone who may not take kindly your interest in his life. Unless you know such a person well, you can't for that reason know what shackles them to drugs [because people do drugs for different reasons]. The best thing to do would be to let such a person be. Ain't no point in creating new enemies.
  8. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Yes, I do know a few and some are even my childhood friends. But I am not that close to them anymore and it is really hard to discuss about them their problem and addiction since I do not feel comfortable and have the rights to do that.
  9. Zyni

    Zyni Community Champion

    It's a touchy situation, to be sure, but I don't think it's about having the right to do it or not. If you're seriously concerned, maybe you can find a way to gently broach the subject. Do you have the right to tell someone to watch out if they're about to be hit by a truck? Whether they are about to die quickly or killing themselves slowly, I think anyone has the right to say something.

    They may not like it, but at least you tried.
  10. irishrose

    irishrose Community Champion

    What if something had happened to one of those girls, after you did not say anything? Would it affect you? How would it make you feel, to know you thought of doing/saying something, but didn't? I suppose it may be better to act in someone's best interest. Who knows, your actions could save a life.
  11. Mims

    Mims Active Contributor

    This thread is a summary of my current roommate. She is an absolute angel and as sweet as can be, but she has a marijuana problem. Every day the house will reek of weed, and she stays in her room for hours at a time just laying around and smoking. She does not realize it is a problem for her, but she does notice the impact it has on her studies and income. She's frequently sad about failing grades and barely scraping by on rent, but she refuses to attest the problem with her weed addiction.

    I want to tell her that it's an addiction and that it's negatively affecting her life, but I'm a nicotine smoker, so I might as well call myself a hypocrite for even trying. I hope that another friend will step in and try to get her to solve her problem, but I don't see it happening anytime soon.