The best way to deal with addicts? Advice please?!

starryeyedtiger

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Hi guys,
I'm wondering if any of you have any tips or advice on how to handle/help a loved one that has a drinking/pill problem? Without going into too much detail, one of my very good friends has an addiction problem that has really escilated and become much worse over the past few months. I'm really concerned that she is going to overdose and kill herself one of these days if she doesn't stop. (I've expressed that concern to her as have many others, and she just doesn't care.) I want to help her, but I'm really not sure of the proper way to go about things? I definitely don't want to enable or encourage her habits. (I don't give money to her, drink around her, let her stay at my place, or anything of that nature). At the same time, I don't want to push her away and not speak to her either. I'm pretty much at my wits end though! I've talked with her parents and her (her parents and I have all encouraged her to go to meetings and offered to go with her, but she refuses.) After reading about different kinds of interventions on several websites, I'm pretty sure that she would be the type to respond very negatively to a group intervention, so her family and I have tried to talk with her one on one about our concerns. I know from dealing with family members in the past, that most people have to hit "rock bottom" on their own before they make a decision to get help. I undersand that some people go through their entire lives and never want to change or get help and there might be nothing that I can do about that. (I'm hoping that doesn't wind up being the case in this situation). I've visited a few websites that relate to substance abuse/alcoholism and have tried to take some of that advice. I've also thought about going to one of the al-anon meetings that they hold for family/friends to see if they have any suggestions as well. I really hate to see her go down such a destructive path; I don't want to (and won't allow her) to drag myself down with her addiction. But, I do want to do everything that I can to help her before she harms herself...

Any advice? :sigh:
 

natalie_ca

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Hi guys,
I want to help her, but I'm really not sure of the proper way to go about things? I definitely don't want to enable or encourage her habits.
Nothing you can do!  She has to come to the realization on her own that she has a problem and then take the steps on her own to deal with it.

All you can do is be there as a friend. Harping on her isn't going to do anything except alienate her.

Look up "Alanon".  It's a support group for friends and family of those with an addiction.

Sometimes losing everything.... friends, family, job.... and truly hitting rock bottom is what it takes.  So if you have to abandon the friendship because it's too stressful for you, then do it!  Don't let her problem become your problem.
 
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rosiemac

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Nothing you can do!  She has to come to the realization on her own that she has a problem and then take the steps on her own to deal with it.

All you can do is be there as a friend. Harping on her isn't going to do anything except alienate her.

Look up "Alanon".  It's a support group for friends and family of those with an addiction.

Sometimes losing everything.... friends, family, job.... and truly hitting rock bottom is what it takes.  So if you have to abandon the friendship because it's too stressful for you, then do it!  Don't let her problem become your problem.
I can only echo what Linda's said.

She's a consenting adult so there's nothing much you can do really. She probably knows deep down that she's killing herself, and she's not stupid because she'll know that there's help out there, but she has to want to do it herself.

If you keep on at her you could lose her friendship
 

jennyr

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Sadly, there is nothing you can do, yet. I had a friend years ago, in the same situation. He almost died twice, being taken into hospital and rehab both times, before he actually decided to do something. Only then did he look for help from friends and family. And the first time he tried he failed, falling back into drink after 8 weeks of being let out. It is the scariest thing to see someone in that state, but there really is nothing you can do but be there in case. My friend turned up at my door early one morning hallucinating and claiming the hospital were trying to clone him and demanding I do something, and I had to ring the police to get him back into care. But he trusted me and eventually he went back. He has now had a job as a counsellor for over ten years, helping others with the same problems. So be tough when you need to be, be there, but don't get emotionally involved in your friend's life as it will lead to terrible heartbreak for you, and hopefully, when the time is right, she will come to someone she knows and loves for help. Good luck, and thank you for caring.
 

stephanietx

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The only thing you can do to help her is to help yourself set boundaries.  You can't fix her and you can't force her into rehab.  She's got to get to the end of herself and admit she's got a problem before anything else can happen.  Don't get caught up in the drama and theatrics.  Remain a calm, safe person, but don't let her manipulate you.
 
 

-_aj_-

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I agree with what everyone else has said, there's nothing you can do, my mother is a recovering alcoholic sober for two years, but she wouldn't listen to any of us when we tried to help her it didn't sink in until she had a fit and ended up in hospital and my grandad's funeral to make her realise what she was doing to herself and everyone around her.

All you can do is be there for her until she deals with whatever it is she's trying to escape, and be there for her.
 

catmom5

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You've gotten good advice. It's hard to be there watching this happen and not be able to do anything to stop it. I come from a family of alcoholics and my brother is the only one who went through rehab and got himself cleaned up. My suggestion is Alanon - it will give you support as well as practical suggestions that will be best for your friend and for you.

Oh, and prayer . . .  lots of prayer.

catmom5
 
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starryeyedtiger

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Thank you everyone who has taken the time to give advice and comment. I really appreciate it; I know it's not an easy topic. :hugs:
 

sk_pacer

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Al-Anon for you, let the addict flounder until s/he is sick and tired of being sick and tired. You can only help yourself and learn to dissassociate from the problem and still deal with the person. The reading materieals and the meetings will help you fix yourself. Remember, addiction affects the whole family, not just the user. Here is a place to find a group close to you: http://www.al-anonfamilygroups.org/meetings/meeting.html  and further exploration will get you reading material, and even on-;line groups. 
 
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