Four Responses to the Addiction of a Friend



There can be few experiences more fraught with worry, anxiety, and sadness than dealing with a friend slipping into addiction. Its recognized in the medical world as a disease, and as such, its a life-changing event that can happen to anyone. The question is, will you have the tools at your disposal to adequately help your friend emerge out the other side a stronger person?


This article walks you through four of the most compassionate and wise responses you can make to the addiction of a friend – though each, of course, are context-specific.



  • A Frank Discussion



If youve got a serious reason to believe that your friend is suffering from an addiction, and this can be to alcohol, hard drugs or pharmaceuticals, you should find a time and a place to bring it up. Finding the right time, and the right place, is crucial here. Make sure its a safe space where you can both feel comfortable. Make sure theres nothing either of you will have to rush off to so that youve got all the time in the world to be honest and empathetic with one another.



  • An Intervention



The next stage up from the honest one-on-one conversation is to discuss with close friends and the individuals family about whether you should stage an intervention. It sounds dramatic, but in reality, an intervention is no more than the closest people to an individual uniting in concern to offer as strong yet unthreatening message as possible: we think you have a problem. If you share the same concerns as many people around the addicted individual, then youre probably going to be more convinced that you should do something. As such, your intervention will be more meaningful and more heartfelt.



  • Consider Treatment



If youve at least broached the subject with your friend, it might be time to do a little research as to what options lie in store for addicts who are willing to enter into recovery. There are a few options for treatment that are statistically impressive in reducing reliance and eventually liberating individuals from addiction. One such method, hydrocodone withdrawal treatment, is effective for those addicted to pharmaceuticals. Other rehab centers offer different treatments for different addictions, and theyre worth looking into, contacting and talking with if you think they could be of benefit to your friend.



  • Support and Care



There are numerous reasons why an individual can fall into addiction, and theyre all something to be sympathized with, not frowned upon. Your friend is in trouble, and you have a duty to be there for them, even if your interaction with them is sometimes a little bit unusual or one-sided. Dont give too much of yourself, but recognize with empathy that you and the support network around your friend share the responsibility to lift your friend from their dark period and show them a different way. Addiction can be alienating, but try hard to see beyond the unpleasantness your friend may sometimes exhibit to understand that theyre hurting and in trouble, and youre someone who can truly help them in their time of need.


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