Friend In Need: Helping Someone You Know In Addiction

If you think about it, human beings live both a normal and abnormal life. It works because otherwise, we wouldn’t be here living in advanced civilization that have been born from mud huts. Yet, with the pressures of life now amplified more than ever working 8-10 hours a day and then taking care of your own personal responsibilities is simply too much for some people. On top of that working hours are increasing all the time because nowadays, everyone wants to work for longer and earn more money. Regardless of a daily routine regarding work, what about all the other things in life that get too much? A bad childhood, having anxiety issues as well as trouble connecting with people all have a huge impact on us psychologically. Sometimes these things can be sorted out by ourselves and we learn different philosophies and teachings that allow our minds to understand the world. Yet, we’re not all the same and some people just don’t have the mental fortitude to cope on their own. Therefore in all of these scenarios and life in general, we all try to find our escape. For some it’s sports, movies, video games or literature. On the other hand for some, it’s addiction and abusing their bodies continually. What if you have a friend like this, and you want to help them; what can you do for them?


Spend more time with them

They say misery loves company and when someone is suffering from addiction, they reach for a different kind of companion. When someone in this state of mind is left alone, they will want to have a release or rather an escape and this can lead to substance abuse. It’s quite common for someone who is addicted, to want to just stay in their room or apartment and just continually use. Pretty soon they won’t want to talk to friends or family, they will begin to lose weight since they don’t even bother to cook themselves a meal at regular intervals. They can begin to not clean as they are not self-conscious that someone else will see how they live and be appalled. It can lead to that person not showering either and not keeping good personal hygiene. This accelerates when they don’t have human contact regularly so one thing you can do is to spend more time with them.

Don’t try to make it too obvious that you want to spend more time with them so they might stop using. This will allow them to think they are being pressured into behaving how they don’t want to. It’s very possible that they make excuses as to why they can’t spend some time at their home or your home on a weekend just to chat and eat. You can say something like you’re bored, or just want to catch up with them to ease the door open. When you do spend time with them, try not to bring up their addiction every conversation because then it will just feel like you’re spending time with them to lecture them and judge them. The objective is to get them used to being around people, being sociable and seeing how others live. It could inspire them to seek help and open up about their problems among friends they trust.

Stumbling across an emergency

It’s something that friends and family fear the most. When and if your addicted friend is having a medical emergency, knowing what to do will save their life. Yet for many people who are trying to help their friend, of all the areas of help they rarely know what to do if their friend is having a disturbing and very serious physical issue. So, what should you do if you see an overdose? Normally when this occurs, it’s in the form of a seizure. Seeing someone in a fit for the first time can be very unnerving but you must not panic. The first thing you should do is move the person to the floor. This allow them to be on a stable flat surface, without the danger of them falling off it. Move all nearby objects out of the way so they can’t hurt themselves if or when they are having muscle spasms. They might also be going in and out of consciousness which can lead to them thrashing around trying to get up or figure out what is going on. So moving all the things around them out of the way will stop them from injuring themselves.

Immediately after doing this, call the emergency services. When you are on the phone with the emergency services, be ready to tell the truth of what has happened. Tell them that your friend is an addict and if you know, for how long this has been true. The dispatcher on the phone may ask you what kind of substances your friend has been abusing just to get a better picture for the medical team that is on their way. If they know what is in their bloodstream, they can work quicker to help your friend. If your friend does come to, and becomes conscious it’s important that you keep yourself safe too. When some people who have just been through a psychological trip that is terrifying and been close to death, they can be disoriented and become violent to anyone close. If this does happen, leave the room immediately and close the door. Keep it shut if you can and wait until the emergency services arrive. You should also call the emergency services again and this time request for police instead of an ambulance. Your friend may need to be calmed down first and stopped from hurting anyone else.


Staging an intervention

This can sometimes work and other times it can not. Staging a surprise intervention with friends and family all invited into one room with the addicted individual might just wake them up. Each person has their say while the others are completely silent. It’s important to write down what you’re going to say so you have more clarity of thought. It gives everyone involved a chance to speak and have their say. Each person should say openly to the addicted, how their relationship with them has been affected due to their substance abuse. It could be that friends see less and less of that person and feel like they have abandoned the group. It might be that family members are worried that the addicted doesn’t turn up to events with the rest of the people gathered such as on holidays. There are all sorts of ways this can help the person realize that there are people around them that care about them and want them to break free of this self-harm. It’s important to not sound too judgmental but also, to be honest with how things have changed because of their behavior.

It’s awful to see a friend that you really care about go through some terrible times as an addict. Many people want to stop doing what they are doing but can’t seem to break off the substances they are using. Get them active and out of the house so they can get their mind off of the next escape. Take them to a sporting event and maybe this could allow them to seek reliefs in other areas too.

Last updated on March 29, 2023


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