Have you ever found yourself coping with drug addicted friend? Drugs are used by millions of people every day, but the unfortunate reality for some people is that it can become an addiction. First, you need to know what you’re dealing with and how to cope with it. There are many ways that drugs affect the user, depending on the drug they are using. It’s important to understand these effects because if your friend starts using harder drugs or more frequently, their behavior could escalate rapidly. Below are some of the ways to identify what you and your friend may be facing:
Find Out What Drugs They Are Using
The first step is to find out if it’s an addiction or just a phase that they’re going through. You can do this by looking at the type of drug they have started using. For example, Marijuana use has very little addictive qualities, but if they start using cocaine or heroin, you will need to take immediate action. These types of drugs are much harder on your friend’s body and can cause a variety of health problems including:
- Respiratory Problems
- Weight Loss/Gain depending on usage
- Loss of Appetite
- Memory Loss
- Social Problems etc.
Find Out What Their Problem Is
If you find out that your friend is struggling with an addiction, you will need to find ways to cope. Many things may be causing the addiction, so it’s important to know their problem before attempting to help them. You can use these questions as a guide:
- What drugs are they taking?
- How often are they using them and for how long?
- How did they start using?
- What is their life like outside of drugs (work, family, friends)?
Once you’ve figured out the problem, you can find ways to cope with it at your end. Remember that helping an addict recover isn’t just about getting rid of the drug but also stabilizing their lives outside of the addiction.
So How Do You Cope?
Here are some tips on helping your friend through their problem:
- Don’t try to shame or punish them because it will only push them further away from you and any help that you’re trying to provide.
- Find out what their triggers are for using drugs. For example, you can find out if they use it when they’re bored or after a bad day at work. Knowing what triggers them is important because you will avoid the situation and maybe find something to do with them that keeps them busy before it gets too late.
- Don’t keep their secret from other people in their life such as family and friends. They will be so grateful for your support that they will open to you and maybe even realize on their own how bad it’s gotten.
- Don’t enable them. Instead, force them to do things that don’t involve drugs or alcohol. You can require that they show up for work on time every morning or that they buy groceries with you at the end of the week. This way, their addiction won’t interfere with their daily lives and motivate them to get better.
- Let them know that you care so much about them and their recovery. They need to know that you are there for them no matter what.
Finding an Approach That Works For
There are many ways you can approach helping your friend with an addiction. It’s important to understand that most addicts don’t want their friends and family to know about their problem because it is such a massive source of shame for them. Therefore, you need to handle this with care and make sure that the addict knows that you are there for them no matter what. It’s also important to remember that this issue will be ongoing, so you can’t just get rid of it overnight. Below are some approaches that have been found to work with an addict:
Therapy is a great way to get your friend into recovery because they are forced to open about their addiction. They will have a supportive person to talk to who they don’t have to be afraid of being judged because that’s the whole point of therapy. However, therapists will not help your friend on their own if they don’t want it, so you may need to convince them through love and support. If all else fails, you can use the phrase “It’s not about you” to help get them into therapy.
Try Relapse Prevention
Addicts are very aware of the triggers that cause them to use drugs. They may not be able to overcome their addiction on their own, but if you can give them strategies for avoiding relapse, they will have a much better chance of overcoming it. It’s important to remember that addicts are capable of great change. If your friend is trying their best, you need to have patience with them. For more information on how to deal with a drug addicted friend, call us today at 833-497-3808. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day.