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How to Help a Drug Addicted Friend without Overstepping Boundaries

overstepping boundaries Being a supportive friend means knowing when you have to step up and say something.  When it comes to how to support a friend who may be suffering from an ailment as severe as a drug and/or alcohol addiction, how exactly do you go about this without overstepping boundaries?

Overstepping Boundaries

Showing support without overstepping boundaries would be the ideal approach for any situation, but this isn’t typically how matters unfold.  It’s not unlikely that when individuals are confronted about an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs, they are in denial.  Coming out of denial can be a confusing, difficult, and overwhelming process for the sufferer, which is why showing support can play a pivotal role.  You may feel as though you are overstepping your boundaries, but the reality is that when it comes to substance use disorders like addiction, there isn’t an easier, softer way.  Following these simple tips may help you help them without causing long lasting harm.

Getting the Facts Firs

It’s great that you want to be supportive of your friend while they are struggling with their addiction, but it’s important that you have all the facts – the most important fact being they are battling an addiction.  Rumors can be vicious, and you should be cautious that you didn’t just come up with the idea based on perception.  Getting all the facts doesn’t necessarily mean you just flat-out ask your friend if they are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol.  Being compassionate and loving in a private setting through an appropriate intervention is the best way to handle the situation. The disease of addiction is a completely sensitive and serious topic.  You can mention behavioral and emotional addiction warning signs you may have picked up on, such as your friend having become withdrawn, having track or burn marks on their arms, weight loss or gain, your friend appearing tired, sneaking around and/or lying frequently.

Offering Help

Whether your friend accepts it or not, they may benefit from hearing about treatment options.   Being able to discuss various treatment program options will allow them to learn about possible methods of treatment for them to recover.  If they want help, then they will now know where they can go to receive it.  You can show support by providing a list of Twelve Step fellowship meetings, offering to go to open meetings with your friend, and mentioning drug rehabilitation facilities.

Don’t Enable

You should also be mindful of not condoning your friend’s addiction.  If you know they have a problem, don’t encourage their unhealthy behaviors.  If you notice your friend coming to you for money, don’t provide any financial support, because it’s likely that it will go to support their alcohol and/or drug habit.  You need to cut off their resources; otherwise you will only be enabling their use and be throwing wood onto the fire of their addiction.

It’s difficult when you want to support friends who are struggling with addiction, but don’t want to overstep boundaries, because the reality is that sometimes you need to.  Being a friend can, at times, require for you to make bold statements that you may not necessarily want to make because they need to be said to save your friend.  When it comes to the disease of addiction, these statements have to be made.

Do you have a friend suffering from an alcohol and/or drug addiction?  Contact The Watershed today for help.  Recovery is possible for anybody, so contact us today.

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