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A Close Friend and Addiction

Discussion in 'Outreach Forum' started by Aqua4Ever04, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Aqua4Ever04

    Aqua4Ever04 Write Travis Write Club Member

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    It's been a minute since I've posted in this forum, but I was hoping to get some answers from folks with experience.

    My lifelong best friend, inseparable for YEEEEARS, has become more and more distant. I stayed at his house twice a week when I was in school about an hour from my house now, and the signs were mounting. Unkempt house, missing work because of cocaine hangovers. He started doing it recreationally a few years ago and now it's an every weekend thing, and spilling over into weekdays even.

    I didn't care about it first -- live and let live, ya know? But then it started impacting me. We'd have plans and he'd bail last minute, leaving me lurch. He's not even close to the same person any more. We used to hang out, play old-school video games, just have a howling good time. Now I can't even get him to laugh any more. He's always wiping at his nose, blowing out massive amounts of snot form the night before.

    I somewhat cut ties from communication a few weeks ago because he had not shown up again for another "play date" so to speak. So I decided enough was enough. Now, 2 months have passed, and we only see each other or speak during our Wednesday night softball league.

    He avoids me during these meet ups. Things were always cordial, but today I send him a text reaching out asking if he needs anything, and he's ghosting me.

    I'm concerned, man. I feel like the next time I see him, it's going to be reading about his overdose.

    The reason I'm asking for help is because I have no idea where to go from here. I don't want to completely walk away and then find out that he's harmed himself. But I also don't want to be persistent about it.
     
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  2. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    I'm not sure if you are asking for help for him or for yourself?

    If the question is for him then it has to be in the form of an intervention with as many of his loved ones and close friends as possible to get him into rehab and help him succeed. He will be dead within a short time if you don't. It is that simple. Anything else is simply a band aid which will enable him to live, miserably, for a short time longer.

    If the question is about yourself, then you need to recognize, he has made the decision to die for himself and you will have to live with it. The drug is now his closest relative, closest friend, most important relationship. EVERYTHING else, including you, are all secondary at best to his lover, cocaine! In essence, you have been dumped for a new best friend.

    I had to walk away from a best friend of 20+ years because of his alcohol addiction. One of the hardest things I ever did. But you are either an enabler or you are on the outside.

    I wish you luck. Neither set of choices are good but keep in mind, he made them.
     
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  3. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    Aqua, I don't have any advice for your friend. That's way out of my league. I totally understand your desire to help though.

    For you though, my advice is that you need to do what you can, but also know when you can't help anymore and let go. I've had several people in my life who I was once very close to, who changed dramatically in their 20s, and began to first drink heavily and smoke pot, like a lot of people do, but then later moved onto harder things that I didn't even want to really know the details of. I tried to help, I tried to be there for them and do whatever I could, and they both just pushed me away.

    They felt that I didn't understand them any more, which was true, though not in the same sense that they were thinking of. After a while, I gradually lost contact with both of them (different friends, in different cities, a few years apart). And if they are that determined that this is going to be their fate, then all you can do is take care of yourself and not let yourself be dragged down along with them, unfortunately.
     
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  4. Aqua4Ever04

    Aqua4Ever04 Write Travis Write Club Member

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    I really appreciate those replies, guys. It’s been a slippery slope for a while and I think the breaking point was that he wasn’t allowed to smoke weed any more because of drug testing at work (that stays in the system A LOT longer than harder drugs) so now he’s just doing the white stuff daily.

    It’s so weird. We played little league ball together, grew to 30 together, and now we’re going completely different directions. I know this happens, but it’s still tough to deal with.
     
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  5. Den54

    Den54 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    In the late 80's I had a girlfriend who had a cocaine problem. In and out of rehab, arrested, the whole nine yards. I tried so hard and gave her so many chances till I finally had to cut her loose. She was dead in a year. I still visit her grave every few years. She was so beautiful, black hair, olive skin. Such a crying shame, but as Strother Martin once said "Some people you just can't reach".
     
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  6. Two Tacos

    Two Tacos Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Cocaine will test positive for 3 days. I had friends that got kicked from the Navy for it. If he's studying that hard, his test will be positive.

    You did a good job of summing up your feelings here. I'd consider sending him a link to this thread with an "I love you man" message. Not sure if he'd be bummed about the public nature of this though.
     
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  7. Boik14

    Boik14 Admin Club Member Retired Administrator

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    Id have to agree with Ohio. For someone to change so drastically theres something hes not telling you that hes reaching for coke daily. Intervention has to happen. Theres really no other way.
     
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  8. Aqua4Ever04

    Aqua4Ever04 Write Travis Write Club Member

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    When I stayed with him (2 days a week for four months) I was always in the house when he arrived. I never knew if he was gonna be coming in singing, or if he'd walk past refusing to talk. Curiosity got the best of me one day and I peaked inside his room and found a bunch of credit cards and rolled up dollar bills.

    He missed work one day because of a hangover, kicked me out of the house another day because of a hangover, but it was never like it is now. I stopped coming around because school let out back in May, and I think that's when he REALLY took things to another level. I haven't spoken to him basically at all in 6 weeks and I feel partially responsible for the fact that he's really going off the deep end. Responsible isn't the right word... but rather like my departure coincided with heavier usage.
     
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  9. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE!!!

    He may accuse you at some point because addicts almost always blame someone or a lot of someones, rarely accepting responsibility for themselves. He has an illness. Yes addiction, but beyond that there is likely an underlying problem behind the addiction. It will take a professional to diagnosis and treat the issue(s). If your friend has family and other friends you might suggest an intervention.

    While you are not responsible and no you can not "fix" your friend you might, repeat might, be able to be the catalyst for getting him into treatment.
     
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  10. Boik14

    Boik14 Admin Club Member Retired Administrator

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    Addicts gonna addict bro. You either get them help or off the deep end they go. Theres no real in between. Get his family or spouse involved...they should know/be involved.
     
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  11. Den54

    Den54 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Stories of addiction always make me think of Layne Staley. Friends, family and band mates all tried to help him, but he was on a bullet train to self destruction and would not let it be derailed.
     
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  12. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Staff Member Club Member

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    As Ohio said, it is not your fault, Travis! If someone is bound and determined to do something stupid and/or reckless, and you're trying your best to prevent them from hurting themselves, it is not your fault when they finally succeed. Rather, you should be commended for being the person that did their best to help them when you could. Your friend isn't a toddler. They know right from wrong, and they know that their actions have consequences. I've never been able to wrap my head around why some people make the choice to do hard drugs, but they do, and they absolutely know that there are risks involved when they make that choice. Give them advice, offer your support, be there for them if and when they try to get well, but beyond that, there is only so much you can do when another adult is hell bent on their own downward path.
     
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  13. Den54

    Den54 Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    Agree with all points. I would also add, don't worry about hurting their feelings or your friendship ending by telling them how incredibly selfish they are being.
     
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  14. Galant

    Galant Love - Unity - Sacrifice - Eternity Staff Member

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    Hey Travis, I don't have any personal experience with this but I thought I'd throw this out - they are some really good resources and organisations out there who can provide and/or direct you to support. They can be a local option both for you to get some insight and options that maybe you aren't aware of, and of course for your friend, should it be possible to get him to reach out.

    In Arizona I used to know the Teen Challenge USA people and they did good work. I had a quick Google and there's a South East section if you're in the Miami/Florida region - if you head there there's information on different centres locally, and a number to call. These guys deal with this sort of thing day in and day out. For the cost of a phone call I'd get in touch and see what they advise. Might also give you a chance to have your own conversation with someone: https://teenchallenge.cc/findhelp/

    If that doesn't work out, let me know, I'll see what else I can dig up.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019
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  15. invid

    invid Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I'm going to offer a different take, a very cold one.

    I think outside of letting his family know of his problems, if they don't know already, I think it would be best to cut ties with your friend. I got to an age after college where certain friends weren't acting like friends at all. There were also instances where people just.. naturally went in separate directions from where I was going, especially around the mid-twenties, where I had to ask myself, "Is it worth having this person around as a friend anymore?". I've been fortunate- most of my friends I met 20+ years ago and they're like my brothers and sisters still, today.

    But even now, I'm still discovering those who aren't interested in spending honest time with me, after all we've been through. One of my closest friends, growing up, is obviously battling depression. We invite him to do things every weekend to get him out of the house, and at the outset of the week, he's always down to do them, only to leave us holding the bag with a dumb excuse when Saturday rolls around. This happened a half-a-dozen times, consistently. So I don't invite him out anymore, and I have enough going on in my own life to find the time to serve as his keeper. He's also married. Unfortunately.. that's just the way life develops sometimes.

    I know this might not really help, but realize his future is not your responsibility. If he came to you for help, that would be a different instance entirely, but it doesn't seem like he is.

    "Help me help you."
     
  16. Bumrush

    Bumrush Season Ticket Holder Club Member

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    I hate to be judgmental but think regular cocaine use makes certain people act unhinged and completely out of control. Best to avoid them at all costs - especially now that you are getting married and looking to improve your life.

    With that being said if it's a recent habit and it hasn't taken over his life then try to talk some sense. One thing I've found with habitual cocaine users is that they lie constantly about using. The signs are easy to spot, fidgety behavior, touching face , ect...
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019

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