When a friend becomes addicted, it affects more than just them. You, as a friend, will experience sadness, stress, and fear, so you’ll need to make a very important decision: will you stay friends or will you cut it off?
You have two choices:
1. Distance yourself from that person and cut yourself off:
This may be the best option if you aren’t the best of friends with that person, or you feel that their negativity isn’t worth being around. Also, if you feel like you are prone to giving into peer pressure, this may be the best option for your sake.
2. Stay friends while supporting them and keeping yourself safe:
This is the best choice if you’ve been friends with this person forever and can’t imagine letting them go. If you want to see this person succeed, it is possible for you to help them out of their addiction. You just have to be sure that you keep yourself safe!
Many people will cut off their friendship with an addict because they feel that they will become one too. But, there are many ways in which you can still remain friends while helping them in the process. Here are some ways that you can do so:
Research and understand
Once you’ve decided that you’re going to stay friends with this person, you’re going to need to research addiction so that you can understand what they are going through. If you don’t do this, you’ll find yourself blaming the person, getting mad at them, or not wanting to help them in their recovery process. Understanding is key, especially with drug addiction.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Once you’ve researched addiction and have a basic understanding of it, you need to realize that it’s not the same for everybody. Don’t be afraid to ask your friend questions about their addiction personally so that you can help them more effectively. Ask them about why they think they do what they do, or simply talk to them about their problem.
Persuade them to seek help
Your friend obviously needs to get help, but most likely they won’t want to seek help on their own. You need to persuade them to seek out the treatment they need, but don’t be disappointed when that conversation doesn’t go as planned. The way you go about bringing it up can either help your friend or ruin your relationship, so be careful with your words.
Tell them that you genuinely care about them and that you want to see them recover. By telling them off or getting mad, they will become defensive. Realize that they will be in denial with their responses; they will most likely make excuses and not accept what you’re saying. Make sure you tell them how much you care about them, and that is why you want them to get help.
Don’t give into peer pressure
You’ve heard before — you become like the people that you spend the most time with. By being strong and not giving in, you’ll be able to stay friends with this person without joining in on their habits. Here’s what not to do…
- Say you’ll just have one of something.
- Rationalize their behaviors — this will make them think that it’s okay to continue.
- Judge them or make harsh comments.
- Give in if they tease you for not doing something.
If one of your friends is suffering from addiction, help is available to them. For more information on addiction treatment and prevention, call Safe Prevention at 1-877-503-2608.