Making A Decision To Help
When finally making up your mind to speak with your friend, you may have certain concerns on how to speak with them. In that case, the following suggestion might help you.
- You might fear or have mixed feelings about indulging yourself in something related to addiction. However, you mustnt forget addiction is a life-threatening disease if not treated today, you must lose your friend.
- You might wait for someone else to say something. But, what if no one does? So, instead of waiting, you step up yourself.
- Finally, you may find that you two are no longer friends because of what has happened in the past. So, you must take responsibility for your feelings.
Now that you have found the motivation to confront your friend, it is time to dig some soil to see just how deep their addiction goes.
Signs My Friend Is Addiction To Drugs
Step 1 is just to be a careful observer and look for the signs of addiction. Drugs affect the whole of a person so the symptoms stretch across the physical, behavioral and psychological.
While signs may start as barely noticeable, they can morph into impossible to miss red flags quickly:
Physical Signs of Drug Addiction
- Poor coordination
- Significantly changed sleeping patterns, either getting too much or too little
- A general lack of attention for personal hygiene and a broad worsening of physical appearance
- Bizarre smells on body and breath
- A shift in eating habits and sudden weight fluctuation up or down
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms after stopping
Behavioral Signs of Drug Addiction
- Increasingly absent from responsibilities related to school, family, work, etc.
- Diminishing performance at work or school
- Borrowing or even stealing to fund their addiction
- Financial and legal troubles
- A complete inability to cut back on using
- Overly secretive about activities and whereabouts
- Mysterious absences and withdrawing from society
- A change in habits/priorities and increasingly riskier behavior
- Starting to hang with new friends
- Continuing to use drugs despite the troubles theyre obviously creating
Psychological Signs of Drug Addiction
- And overall lack of motivation
- A noticeable change in personality
Legal Drugs Vs Illegal Drugs
People can become addicted to illegal drugs, legal drugs, and prescription medications used in an unhealthy way, such as:
Nicotine, including cigarettes and vaping
Misusing prescription medicines like opioids, or over-the-counter medicines by taking them in a different way than intended, such as:
Taking medicine prescribed for someone else
Taking a larger dose than prescribed
Using the medicine in a different way than directed, such as crushing and snorting or injecting
Using the medicine to get high on purpose
The risks and speed of developing an addiction depend on the drug. Some drugs, like opioid painkillers, cause addiction very quickly. Drugs have a strong effect on the brains reward system, by filling the brain with a chemical called dopamine which produces the feeling of being high. Over time, the brain gets used to the larger amount of dopamine so it needs larger doses of the drug to get high. Some people might feel like they need the drug to just feel normal. When drugs are used for a long time, they damage the areas of the brain responsible for judgment, decision-making, memory, and learning.
No matter the type of addiction, if you recognize symptoms, it is important to seek the necessary help. Contact us today to take the first step.
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They Discourage You From Getting Help
Whether its checking into an inpatient rehab program or just casually attending 12-step meetings, if you bring up the mere possibility of getting help, how do your friends react? Do they automatically respond with negativity and sarcasm? Do they mock you and discourage you from getting the help you may need?
Educate Yourself About Signs Of Addiction
People with addiction can exhibit a range of symptoms. Behavior, physical appearance, and social interactions can provide clues as to whether one might be addicted to drugs or alcohol. Although specific symptoms can vary according to the individual and the substance being abused, if you suspect a friend is battling addiction, some common signs to look out for include:1
- Loss of interest in school, work, or hobbies
- Poor performance in school or work
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Lack of concern for appearance and hygiene
- Stealing or selling possessions to buy drugs
- Risky behavior
- Preoccupation with obtaining drugs
- Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
- Sleeping problems
- Pupils that are smaller or larger than normal
- Bloody or runny nose
Social Symptoms and Other Clues:
- Legal issues
- Socializing with others who abuse drugs
- Drug paraphernalia
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What To Do If Your Friend Is Using Drugs
Here are some ways you can help support your friend, with several tips adapted from the National Institute on Drug Abuse :
What Causes Addiction To A Person
Since this form of addiction is so centered on seeking external validation, it is closely related to early childhood attachment experiences.
In a study titled, Psychological Correlates of Codependency in Women, they state:
An association was demonstrated between codependency and parental alcoholism, or history of childhood abuse, or both.
These early childhood experiences may increase a persons likelihood of developing codependent relationships. Early turmoil can instill a deep sense of distrust and relational insecurity.
Psychologists refer to this relational style as anxious attachment. Inconsistent displays of affection in childhood may result in a child being generally anxious, fearing potential abandonment. In adulthood, this results in distrusting others while simultaneously craving intimacy.
The lack of secure attachment can result in persons being highly dependent on relationships, often concerned about abandonment from a romantic partner. Rather than getting to the root of the issue, persons with this type of relational addiction seek short-term reassurance at the expense of long-term relational health and security.
Some of these short-term behaviors include the following:
- Trying to impress others to get their approval
- Trying to fix others
- Doing things to be perceived as the hero
- Excessive gift-giving
- Constantly adapting to fit in
Bring A Responsible Adult Into The Situation
The authority figure can be any trusted adult: your school counselor, teacher, mentor, parents, or even your friends parents if you feel that they will take the situation seriously. By placing the matter into an adults hands, you are giving your friend all the professional resources they need to get sober.
But arent we supposed to be there for our friends? Isnt it a good thing to help them?
Not in this case, when the stakes are so high. If you take your friends recovery into your own hands, you run the risk of becoming codependent. Codependency occurs when two people become enmeshed in the others dysfunction. For example, you can attempt to change the direction of your addicted peers behavior while enjoying the feeling of being needed. Even if you dont realize it. Meanwhile, your addicted friend can enjoy the feeling of being cared for . He can feel secure knowing that he has such an understanding, compassionate and helpful friend.
They Help You Justify Bad Behavior
Are your friends cheering for you when you try to take 25 shots on your 25th birthday, even if you puke up the last few in front of everyone? Was the blackout you experienced last weekend no big deal, or even celebrated as epic by your crew?
If your friends arent calling you out when your behavior becomes dangerous, they are probably making your addiction worse.
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Encourage Them To Get Help
It is important to talk with your friend about substance use. While you decide to start a conversation with them, ensure that they are not under the influence of substance use. This is to ensure that they are sober at the time you are talking with them.
While communicating with the friend, you must create a two-way dialogue to not feel like being lectured. Be sure to list out all the dangerous behavior you have noticed in them. Always frame your words around the concept you are there for them.
Set Boundaries With A Friend Addicted To Drugs
One of the most difficult things to avoid if you have a friend or loved one addicted to drugs is enabling them. Enabling means that you inadvertently give them ways and means to continue in their addiction without getting consequences. For example, your friend may ask you for money and you give it to them. If they are heavy in their addiction, they may tell you the money is for something like a car repair or food, when in fact they are spending all the money they can get on drugs.
Another example would be allowing them to stay with you so that they dont have to go home high. When you let them, you are showing them that their behavior is ok and that they can keep getting away with things. As hard as it might be, it is important to set boundaries so that your friend doesnt continue to take advantage of you and have you cover for them when they are doing something that is harming them.
As tough as it may be, you need to have a talk with your friend explaining that while you care about them, you cant continue to cover for them or support their habit. You have to be tough and explain that you want what is best for them, and drugs arent it. It may be difficult and they may get angry, but in the long run, they will understand and thank you once they get sober.
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Helping A Friend With Drug Addiction
When a friend shows signs of a substance use disorder, it is hard to know what to say. Once your friend falls victim to drug and alcohol addiction, it affects their normal brain functioning.
Researchers have shown that addiction is a brain disorder. You can even consider it similar to that of diabetes or heart disease. In fact, addiction can be more life-threatening than these medical conditions.
Furthermore, the behavior and social symptoms of the patients can affect the people around them.
My Friend Is Addicted To Heroin: What Do I Do
- Posted on
Sometimes I wonder why I didnt see the signs that Henry, my best friend, was addicted to heroin. Looking back now, it could have been because we were in college. Although the wildness of freshman year had passed us by, Henry was still going strong with the weekend benders so much that I didnt notice that something had changed.
In the months to come, he would go through almost all the heroin addiction symptoms until the night I found him lying on the floor ODd on heroin.
I still feel a lot of guilt that it took Henry overdosing to open my eyes to the truth that had been staring me in the face for far too long. Like most friends to heroin addicts, I did two things I wish I could go back and change. First, I gave excuses for Henrys behaviors. He is only stressed about lectures he just liked to party he isnt addicted he just used occasionally.
Second, I accepted his excuses, especially when I knew that they didnt add up. I guess a big part of me didnt want to believe that Henry was a heroin addict.
To a lot of people in the world, this example of a story sounds very similar. At Enlight Treatment Center, we want to let you know if you are a concerned friend, and want to know how to help someone addicted to heroin, keep reading to know the signs and symptoms to look out for.
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Denial Is A Form Of Self
People with addictions may seemingly live in denial but it usually runs on a spectrum. For example, if youre shooting up heroin every day just to prevent withdrawal symptoms and youve lost your job and house, youre probably aware your drug use isnt normal. On the other hand, if youre a high-functioning alcoholic and youre managing to keep your life together, for the most part, you can convince yourself that youve got everything under control. An addicted person may be operating under some form of self-deception or outward denial to loved ones, even if they know they have a problem.
In either case, addiction denial is often a defense mechanism because youre terrified of life without substances. This occurs for a few reasons:
Offer Healthy Support To A Friend Addicted To Drugs Or Alcohol
Once you have set your boundaries, there are things you can do to offer healthy support to your friend. Offer to go with them to the doctor or a therapist to help sort out their problem. If they talk about quitting, listen to them and offer your support and help. You can even suggest drug-free activities you can partake in together, like going to see a movie, catching a cooking class, or going to the gym. They may not take you up on it, but at least the offer is there.
If you see that your friend is struggling and their life is in danger, additional steps are necessary. You may want to speak to their family and the people closest to them to discuss a plan to help get them into treatment. A great option is to coordinate an intervention, where all of you come together and confront the addict in a friendly manner about your concerns. Having a number of people who love them in one room all expressing the same concerns might be the tipping point that opens the addicts eyes to how serious things have become.
In the end, no one can force a friend addicted to drugs or alcohol to get help, unless they are in imminent danger of hurting themselves or someone else. Do your best to support them but dont put yourself into situations that can endanger you. Also, dont let them take advantage of you, as unfortunately, many drug addicts tend to do. Stay strong and keep setting a positive example, and hopefully, they will follow.
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Dont: Enable Your Loved One
There can be a fine line between helping someone with an addiction and enabling them. Sometimes when we think were protecting a loved one from the consequences of their addiction, we are actually enabling them to continue with potentially destructive behavior.
For example, if youre trying to figure out how to help an alcoholic, keeping them from drinking and driving is helpful, since that could put them and others in danger. However, consistently offering to drive them home whenever they get too intoxicated is enabling their actions, because its setting up a formula in which you are constantly available to rescue them.
Studies show that people with addictions are more likely to proactively seek treatment when they are forced to face the consequences of their actions. So, if you want to know how to help someone with an addiction, allow them to make mistakes without the promise of your rescue.
Its important to set up boundaries and rules, both for your well-being and the well-being of your loved one and its important to enforce those rules and boundaries. This is the only part of Recovery in which tough love is beneficial, since its done for both you and your loved ones protection.
What Advice Can I Give A Friend Who Is Addicted To Drugs
ByJames Handforth | Submitted On November 02, 2009
If someone is a drug addict, the chances are that he will either hang out with other addicts or nobody at all. Drug addicts are socially alienated because they are supposed to be a kind of social stigma. If you have a friend who has got into addiction then instead of running away from him you should help him out with your advice and moral support. He might have lost all his friends and maybe the sympathies of his family too. The most valuable thing that you can give to your friend, if he is addicted to a drugs, is your advice based on goodwill.
If your friend has acquired this habit recently, it would not be so difficult to dissuade him from taking drugs. You should inform him about the harmful effects of taking drugs on our minds and bodies. Some people get addicted to drugs because they find themselves in complicated situations in their life regarding their finances, relationships, careers, studies etc. If you, as a friend, can sort out the problems and help him in overcoming the troubles that he is facing, you might convince him to stop taking drugs. Drug addiction is not that hard to give up, if someone has the brains to foresee the terrible consequences of taking drugs in the long run.
James Handforth is a health expert. You can get rid of drug additions by taking his help and get complete checkup at rehab London and for more information visit his recommended website at .
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