An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the DrugAbuse.com Forums?Join or

Successfully helping a friend

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Friend' started by gmckee1985, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. gmckee1985

    gmckee1985 Senior Contributor

    Has anyone here actually ever had success convincing someone to turn away from an addiction? I know I have tried multiple times, and only succeeded a small fraction of the time. It's really, really hard. It can be taxing both mentally and physically. At the end of the day, I think it ultimately comes down to the addict. When they are ready to change, they will. Otherwise, it can be a lost cause a majority of the time.
  2. jess7077

    jess7077 Member

    I agree with you. My husband was addicted to pain medication. We would constantly fight because there was a lack of everything in our relationship. I knew he had a problem and constantly brought up the issue of him stopping, or getting help. He would get angry with me and say he didn't have a problem, that he NEEDED the pills because his back hurt. It was a lose lose battle and took all my energy to even get up each day and deal with him. Eventually, when he noticed I had given up and just didn't care about our relationship anymore and that I was falling into a depression because of him, he took the initiative and got help. He entered a rehab program and came out feeling 1000x better! I truly believe that you cannot help someone unless they admit they need the help. I know it hurts to hear that, but no matter how much you put into trying to "change" them, it won't happen until they want to change themselves.
  3. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I have a friend who successfully got off crack, and as much as I'd like to think I had something to do with it I really do believe that he was able to do it almost all by himself, and I'm very proud of him for it. I think the most we can do as friends is just to be there for them and to help them realize that we are there for them, but I agree with you that it really is entirely their decision on whether or not to lose total control.
  4. juliaintheclouds

    juliaintheclouds Active Contributor

    I've supported friends while they were quitting but I don't think I have ever convinced someone to quit an addiction. You are right it is very mentally taxing and stressful to watch someone hurt themselves. The best you can do is offer your support and be non-judgmental about the path they choose.
  5. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    I have a friend of mine who's addicted to khat but he's probably in denial and won't accept that he has a problem. We're childhood friends and sometimes i feel dejected and hopeless because despite his assurances that he'll quit the habit,it's all just talk. I guess it will be up to him to make the final decision, it's his life after all.
  6. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    I have a friend who used to smoke a lot. It took years of arguing with him trying to convince him to quit smoking. Out of the blue, late in 2008, he made a resolution to stop smoking in 2009. That was on 30th December and as he told me that, he was lighting up a cigar. But in January 2009, he quit smoking cold turkey. It was hard for him but I stood by him and encouraged him to keep fighting. It's been a number of years now and he hasn't touched a cigar.
  7. BPBWessel

    BPBWessel Member

    I have one friend who was addicted to several drugs after coming back to his home country. I won't say which country he visited though. When he returned home, the exchange rate worked out really well for him, so he had a few years to spend as he pleased. Unfortunately this also meant that he could continue his drug use.

    The process I used to help get him off some of his "meds" was to withdraw every time he either used or the topic came up while also trying to spend a lot of time with him. A very difficult conundrum indeed. Eventually enough other friends and myself made the problem clear and he slowly weened himself off the drugs.
  8. notodrugs

    notodrugs Community Listener Community Listener

    Well, I am just starting to but my friend is an emotional eater. Does that count? I just think that it is still a problem because she just eats and eats whenever she is burnt out. She has marital issues, problems with her child and it is a way for her to de-stress.

    I started with her yesterday because I noticed she has put on a lot of weight when she had already lost them. We were both monitoring her success with weight loss. But few weeks ago, I saw some junk food in her drawer and cupboard. I only had a word with her when I saw her sucking something out of a tube. I found out it was condensed milk! Of all food to eat, she is eating something that can really make her balloon up so fast. She admitted she was an emotional eater but she said she couldn't stop because it soothes her. She said she's just so tired and seems to have given up with her husband and child. So I will see from there how we'll get on with it because she's one stubborn person.
  9. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    My uncle's a success story as far as overcoming drug addiction goes (he's an occasional alcoholic, by the way). I wasn't the one who successfully helped him. It was my mom. She didn't wait for him to "be ready" because by the time she forcefully sent him to rehab, he was already past the point of consciousness. When he was able to return to normal, my uncle was grateful to my mom for making the decision on his behalf. She was the one who strongly lobbied for his rehabilitation while the rest of the family thought it wasn't the right choice.
  10. kima

    kima Member

    Right now, I'm in the same boat as you. Trying to help a friend, but with little success. I've been attempting to keep my friend busy by inviting him to different activities, but his family does not really know how to deal with him. They don't understand that lecturing and yelling at him will only make things worse. I've tried to tell them that, but they believe making him fear them is the best way to keep him from using drugs. There are times when I feel like my help does little. It's like trying to put out a house that's on fire using only a glass of water. However, our friendship means a lot to me and I still won't give up because I don't want him to think that he's alone.
  11. YellowTrain

    YellowTrain Member

    To all of you who are having trouble: Know that whoever you are trying to help, needs help. The reason they don't listen to you is because they're so caught up in whatever it is they're doing. You helping them is what they need and secretly want. Keep at it, even if it seems like it destroys your relationship. Your relationship will continue to deteriorate the longer they are on their drug anyway, and you have to pull them out before it is too late. Keep at it. You're doing the right thing.