It’s no secret that drugs can ruin lives. What may be less known is how to help a friend who seems to be headed down a path of self-destruction with drugs.
Drug addiction can cause serious health problems, social isolation, job loss, financial instability, and even death. If you think your friend has a drug addiction, don’t wait for them to hit rock bottom before you try to help. The earlier you intervene, the better chance your friend has of getting clean and staying clean.
Therefore, let’s explore ways to help a friend who is destroying their life with drugs.
Talk to your friend openly and honestly about their drug use. Ask questions like, “How often are you using it?” and “Do you think this is negatively impacting your life?”. Or, if your friend is hesitant to open up, try asking questions that allow them to share their thoughts and feelings.
Be prepared for the conversation to be difficult, but also let your friend know that you care about them and are there to help. This type of dialogue allows your friend to feel heard and build a sense of trust between the two of you.
Show your friend that you are there for them, even if they don’t take your advice or accept help right away. Listen without judgment, provide emotional comfort and understanding, and let them know that you will still be there no matter what.
Reach out to local support organizations and provide your friend with literature, contact numbers, and information about treatment centers. Additionally, stay aware of community activities and events related to addiction so that you can help connect your friend with other people who are dealing with similar issues.
On the other hand, if you want to offer support, but don’t know how or where to start, know that there are professional intervention services that are specially trained to help. In this case, an intervention means intervening on behalf of the addict, rather than confronting them head-on. It also includes having an honest and open discussion with the person about their addiction and discussing viable solutions to help them get back on track.
It’s important that you set clear and consistent boundaries with your friend when it comes to drug use, as well as any behavior that is associated with it. For example, let them know that you won’t be around if they are using drugs or involved in activities related to drugs. This is important because it shows your friend that you care for their well-being, but also sets expectations for their behavior.
Additionally, it’s important to establish boundaries for yourself as well. This means taking care of your own physical and mental health, understanding your limits, and not getting too deeply involved in your friend’s addiction.
If possible, encourage your friend to seek professional help. Addiction is a chronic illness that requires long-term treatment and support. Ask your friend to research treatment options and attend meetings with you for moral support if needed.
It is also important to remind your friend that recovery takes time, so it’s important to give them patience. Recovery from addiction is a long process, and it can take several attempts before someone can maintain sobriety.
You can also organize a group of friends and family who can provide ongoing support for your friend. This could include meeting regularly, attending 12-Step meetings, or simply being available to talk anytime they need it. Additionally, let them know that if they ever feel overwhelmed or tempted to use drugs again, there is always someone available to talk them through it.
Help them stay away from temptation
Finally, create a safe environment for your friend by avoiding places such as bars, clubs, and parties where drugs are easily accessible. If possible, suggest other activities like going to the movies, exercising together, or just spending time outdoors.
It’s also important to keep a distance from people who are actively using drugs and those associated with drug activity. Make sure your friend feels comfortable by distancing themselves from these environments and people so they can focus on recovery instead.
By providing emotional support, offering resources, setting boundaries, encouraging treatment, and helping them stay away from temptation, you can help your friend break free from the cycle of addiction and start living a healthier life. Remember to be patient and understanding as their recovery process may take time.
Ultimately, it is important to maintain communication with your friend so they know that they are not alone in this journey.