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I don't know how to help my friend with his drug addiction anymore

I have a very close friend, let’s call him Adam, who has been battling an addiction with ketamine for as long as I can remember. What’s really messed up is that after looking back on my friendship with him, I’ve realized that the only reason our friendship has grown as close as it has is because of how much I’m constantly doing to help him when he finds himself in trouble.

I thought he had gotten over his addiction, so I invited him to my wedding, and he was on his best behavior the entire time. However, the following day, he met my husband and I plus a bunch of our friends out for brunch to celebrate, and I could tell he was messed up not only from the ring of white powder around his left nostril but also the way he basically stumbled all the way down the street with us. After we were seated, he got up to use the bathroom. After a few moments, I glanced over towards the bathrooms and the door to the men’s room was left wide open, which sent me into a panic because I knew this meant he had wandered off somewhere. I pulled out my phone to call him, and before it even rang, someone else picked up and informed me that they Adam was sitting there with him waiting for an ambulance to arrive. I abruptly had to leave the restaurant, thankfully with his car keys that he had left on the table, and drove to the hospital to go pick him up. I then drove him, in his own car, about an hour back home and met up with his parents. I had their phone number and was giving them updates on everything, and even let them know where Adam had his drugs hidden in his car so they could confiscate them as soon as possible.

This incidence occurred three weeks ago, and since then, he has had 4 additional overdoses that have landed him in the hospital. He keeps sending me these manipulative text messages and trying to make me feel guilty, but I’m not buying into them because I know how the mind of an addict works. His brother and I have put him in contact with a former state trooper who works with addicts a lot to give him some “tough love” and a perspective that isn’t from a family member. Adam texted me this morning (he OD’d TWICE yesterday) to boast that he has an appointment scheduled with a psychiatrist tomorrow, but I don’t see how outpatient is going to help him, especially knowing that it hasn’t helped in the past. He claims he wants help but there’s no way of believing him.

After speaking with my own therapist today, I know I need to take a step back from him, but I’m still staying in contact with his family to help in any way I can, I just want to make sure I’m offering the best support possible while also keeping my own needs and mental health in mind.

Thank you frands <3

SRivs,

Geez dude, what a heavy burden…to see this person that you love absolutely destroy themselves and try to take you down with them…it’s so hard to allow him to fall over and over and over and not want to dive head first and try to pull him out, but you are making a wise decision by staying firmly planted, because you can’t pull someone out if you’re off balance yourself…

I have a similar situation in my life where someone I love is ruining their life, and everything I try to do to help feels like I’m shouting into a vacuum. It’s such a brutally exhausting thing to give my heart and feel like it just bounces back to me, like a returned email or something.

I see your heart, and it is good, and I’m thankful he has someone like you in his life…well, specifically I’m thankful he has YOU! You are a good friend, and I hope you can continue to allow yourself to not take blame or guilt for “not doing enough” or anything like that.

Hoping the best for him.

-Nate

I am so sorry you and your friend are struggling with this. I also want to apologize in advance my grammar is not the best. I am and addict who had struggled with an opiate addiction for over 3 years. I ODed 7 times total maybe more I do not remember. So needless to say i can understand what your friend is suffering with. I have been clean for over a year and a half. But that being said addiction is the hardest thing ive ever had to overcome in my entire life and ive been through some things that I won’t be sharing. When an addict says they want help but they go back to using I know how much of a disappointment that can be. I promise that no one wants to be addicted its pure misery but they stay addicted because its familiar and comforting to them. Usually addiction stems from something traumatic that happened in their life and they are trying to numb the pain. I will be 100% completely honest with you and im sorry to put it this way but your friend will not quit until he is fully ready and realises that if he continues down the path of destruction that he will either end up dead or in jail. For me it would have been death which I knew I had to get help so I went to rehab. It was the best thing for me I found fellowship with people I could relate to and without judgment (not saying that your judging I know you care thats why you made this post). Addicts need that firm love sometimes even if its distant. It will take a mental shock or change to get him to realise that his addiction is not a way he wants to live his life. But he knows that he wants help and thats the first step to recovery is admitting that he knows he has a problem and he has to change. If you want maybe it will help taking him to a few Celebrate Recovery meetings. It may help him to listen and talk with people who have been through simular things. I know it helped me a lot and having friends and there with him at CR may make him more comfortable with the idea of going. I truly wish you and your friend the best and I will pray that your friend finds recovery before its too late.

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