What To Do If Your Friend Is Addicted
In our blogs, we often talk about the family members, spouses and co-workers of people who may be dealing with an addiction. But one area that does tend to get overlooked is the part a friend may play in this scenario. NBC’s The TODAY Show did a great job of profiling this crucial role in an addicted person’s life and the power a trusted confidante can have when it comes to recovery.
Interestingly, there are many occasions where the BFF may be the only one who knows there is an actual problem. TODAY made a point to profile recovery advocate Jen Simon and her “masterful” job hiding her painkiller dependency from the ones she loved. In the end, it was Jen’s circle of friends who came to her aid and facilitated her getting the treatment she needed.
On the other side of the coin, many addicted people work hard to hide their problems from friends too. As a close confidante, however, it can pretty easy to spot behavior changes and warning signs that something may be wrong. If that happens to be the case with someone in your inner circle, TODAY has outlined a very effective checklist to get things in order.
First, it emphasizes to always Approach From a Place of Compassion. Friendships are built on trust and support, so try not to cast judgment or push a person into shutting down. Keep conversations neutral and offer compassion during this difficult time.
On the flipside, TODAY also urges friends Not To Support the Addiction. You can certainly be empathetic without being an enabler. If the person you’re close too asks you to help them get prescription meds, party at a bar or “borrow pills,” always answer with a resounding NO.
Though you may not be family, you can certainly urge your friend to Talk About the Problem with a Spouse. This can be a tough situation because, in an ideal world, you’d want the friend to reveal the issue to their loved ones, not you. If you reach out to the spouse, that could be seen as an act of betrayal. Our advice would be to talk to family members together using encouragement and support.
Compiling a List of Resources is a critical friend role as well. Many times, the addicted person is feeling lost or overwhelmed and doesn’t know the first steps to take when it comes to recovery. You, as the friend, can help put that agenda together; setting up appointments with a treatment facility and organizing things like transportation.
And finally, TODAY encourages friends to Continue the Support long after the recovery journey is complete. Help usher in a new sober lifestyle and be available as a sounding board if moments come when they’re feeling particularly vulnerable.
We all know recovery is a lifelong process, but with good friends and a strong support system it’s much easier to tackle. If you have a friend who is struggling, reach out to Valley Recovery Center and let us help them turn their life around. 866-986-2486