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Simple Ways to Help Out Friends in Need

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Friend' started by 4rainydays, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. 4rainydays

    4rainydays Member

    If anyone has any other useful tips, please don't hesitate to share.

    The number one way to help out your friend is to just let them know that you are there for them whenever they need support or helpful assistance. Rebounding during recovery happens very often so just having someone there to encourage and support them can mean all the difference.

    Help them realize that what they are doing is for themselves and not for others. If they are in the mindset that improving themselves is just to appease others, then it becomes a heavy burden. Once they realize its for themselves, they will will lighter and happier with each improvement that they make.

    Be patient with them and respect that its not easy to stop abusing substances. Old habits die hard. Try to encourage instead of berate when possible, pointing out their mistakes in a beneficial learning way.
  2. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Agree that these are nice tips. :)
    Even just simple listening to them like if they are telling their reasons on why they are getting into it can help them feel valued. Encouraging them to change is really a challenging thing cause they can do what they want even you do not agree on it.
  3. KNH

    KNH Active Contributor

    I have found that getting them out to do fun things, even if they're silly, can help. Sometimes just being present can help, even if they don't want to talk. If they do want to talk, sometimes it's just best to listen and not say anything in case whatever you may say is upsetting to them. Personally, I find it kind of difficult to know when I should encourage and when I should just be quiet. All of your tips are good too!
    amin021023 likes this.
  4. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Don't be judgmental. Addicts hate to have someone act like he's so superior to them [morally].

    Remember that no one is perfect. Advice but don't push the addict too hard to give up their addiction. Be there for them but don't enable them by lending them money should they ever ask you for financial support. Stand your ground, say no and maybe that will force them to quit using the drug if they can't buy it.
  5. OhioTom76

    OhioTom76 Senior Contributor

    Yeah I would never loan money to an addict to get more drugs - that money is as good as gone, and they will blow through it all on a high that will only last a few hours if that.

    I was just watching Real Time with Bill Maher and they had a guest on the show who was talking about a book he wrote on addiction, which pointed out how we are handling the treatment of it all wrong. I believe it was Portugal, who changed how they handled drug addicts, and instead of throwing them in jail, they started offering to cover portions of their salaries to companies who agreed to hire them - these types of things helped them regain their confidence and re-integrate back into society, instead of continuously being shamed and denied employment, and falling back on bad habits.

    If your friend relapses, try and look at it from a more positive point of view. Maybe they were drinking or doing drugs 5-6 days a week, and then were clean for several weeks but had a relapse. Going from 5-6 days a week to one time in two months is a huge accomplishment, that's a better way to look at it, because it emphasizes that they were able to go that long without it and can do it again and again.
    Zyni likes this.
  6. bbeverly

    bbeverly Member

    A positive outlook while going through this process is a must. No one wants the negativity while going through any recovery or rehab process especially if substance abuse is involved. Make your friend feel supported. That is also helpful if they have relapsed. Let me them that you're still there for them and not going anywhere. Relapse is part of the recovery process unfortunately.

    Also make goals during the recovery process. For example, say if your friend goes two weeks without the substance, then he/she gets a friend date. It could be anything, coffee, dinner and movie, picnic, etc. Basically as long as its enjoyable then turn it into a goal. Now if they relapse, then the timer starts over.

    Be a lending ear, if they want to talk, talk if them. If they just come to cry on your shoulder, allow them too. It speaks volumes when a person will just listen instead of criticize.
    Zyni likes this.
  7. goldenmaine

    goldenmaine Active Contributor

    Well you couldn't have put it in a better way in what you stated. I always thought family was the most important people that you could lean upon in times of trouble and be a support system but then there are your friends which you can also call extended family. Some grow up without families and they seek the help of friends for support. I have come to realize that they are as important as family and we should extend our hand to them anytime they need one.

    OGRICHBOI Member

    Nice guide for helping out friends. Another suggestion is to just listen to what they have to say. Sometime all a person needs is an ear to rant to. Now I know this may become tiresome, but having someone to vent your problems to releases lots of stress. Just make sure you are actually and genuinely listening, or you could mess up your chance of helping your friend.
  9. bombshell

    bombshell Member

    A simple phone call, text or visit will remind them that they have a friend in you. Ask about what their struggles have been and don't judge them if they let you know they are struggling. Giving a friend a change of scenery is often good too. Take them out for a hike or walk, to the beach or somewhere to let them get out of their heads for a while.
  10. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I think the most important phrase you've mentioned is the part about helping them realize. Some people just think they can drill a concept into someone else' stead, and in my opinion, it's that the of mindset that drives people to depression and addiction to begin with. People who allow better communication and discussion are almost always going to be able to raise much mentally healthier people, regardless of the bumps in the road they might experience.
  11. Kee

    Kee Member

    Spending quality time, especially the time they would most likely abuse a substance, can help them quit addiction. During such a time, you can engage in other activities of mutual interest. When you spend more time with them, you have higher chances of influencing their decisions than when you are far way.

    Also, you can seek advice from specialists on their behalf so that any time they need to confide in you, you have something transformative to say to them.
  12. Friends

    Friends Member

    Being close to them during their struggle helps them to be strong during their struggle instead of giving up cause of the trouble. We should let them know that we are there for them and if they need anything we will try our level best to help them as far as possible.

    Instead of filling their heads with ideas and advises and concepts, you should try and sought out ways to solve their problems. Judging them at that time is the worst thing to do to them because they might feel down which will build up more tension and more troubles in their mind.

    We should just try be there for them and listen to them and support them :)

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  13. chanelskii

    chanelskii Member

    Appreciate the effort that your friend does. It's not easy to stop an addiction, yet he's trying. So do your part to pat him in the back and say that you're proud of what he's doing. Because if no one notices your small ways of stopping your addiction, why stop at all? Also be present as much as you can when your friend needs you, and if you can't be physically present at least make him feel like you're still with him, via text or call, that way he would do a double-take whenever he thinks of relapsing because he knows you'd be disappointed. Be his voice of reason, but not in a nagging way. As a friend, you should tell him straight to the point what you think he's doing with his life. An addicted person needs tough love too, so don't forget to give him that on a daily basis.
  14. 6up

    6up Community Champion

    It is true that we have to show them love and give support whenever needed. Addiction is like any other disease and we must help them to get out of that. We must not force them but we are supposed to be seen as encouraging and suggesting the way forward. We should not avoid addicts in different community projects but involve them so that they spend their time doing something useful. We can invite them for prayers or singing lessons. All they need to understand is that they are supposed to change to a better life without being forced.
  15. peter021

    peter021 Member

    i concur with you, the vast majority of them simply happened to be similar to that in light of dejection, or being discouraged particularly if the case is they're fits in with broken family, so that is for them to realize that you are there as a companion for them to share there problems.
  16. jamesf1184

    jamesf1184 Member

    One thing that I find immensely helpful with those around me, natural conversation.
    It might sound counterproductive, but depending on the relationship between you and your friend it might be best to hold important conversations in a familiar way, weave in inside jokes, relate conversation to things going on between you two, things like that. I'm not suggesting making the topic light, but just trying to make the conversation accessible.
    I hope this has helped!
  17. Pendulum

    Pendulum Member

    Charli, you are spot on about this. Pressuring someone and trying to force them to quit only makes things worse, in spite of the good intentions we may have. From experience, I reckon that the best help you can give to a loved one in need is to always be there for them and talk to that person, obviously. The first time a friend confessed to me that he was toxicodependent, I was very rough and tried to talk him out of it, basically by yelling at him, and I recognize that it was despicable of me.
  18. smartmom

    smartmom Senior Contributor

    This is all good information. I think that being supportative but at the same time not allowing their problems to intefere with a persons life is key. I mean I feel that these people need to hear the truth from friends by not pacifying them. I would be a listening ear and try not to judge them. At the same time I would ask them if they needed me to help them finding treatment options.
  19. mercshe

    mercshe Member

    Thank you so much for these tips. I also did what you've just told and it helped my friend's recovery after cocaine withdrawal. She was so moody and irritable that time. I felt that I had been a great help even if I am just sitting beside her and listening. She told me, she was very thankful that I didn't surrender helping her out. I also talked about of tons of inspirational quotes a day.I memorized at least 3 each day and I just have to expound them.
  20. Winterybella

    Winterybella Community Champion

    I am not really here to add anything. The title of the thread caught my attention and I felt it was worth the read. I was not disappointed and hope that others would get to see it and take advantage of some of thing mentioned. I think the thread is filled with great suggestions. Don't know how I missed this one.