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Old Nov 16, 2012, 07:20 PM   #1
snowydog
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Some advice - worried about 2 friends .. alcohol, drugs and depression

Hi all

I was looking some advice cos I really jsut don't know what to do. I have two really good friends with two similar problems. I'll just go through one friend's situation and maybe you guys can offer me some advice .. if anything though - I need to write it down .. apologies for the length.

Friend A

Is an important ex of mine - first serious boyfriend but I've moved on from all that - ... but I still care about him so much! Another factor is - he's my best friend's brother .. and I'm his parents "adopted child" as they would call me lol ...

So his situation: He used to be really smart, done well at school and was a brilliant guy ... but the last 5 years or so - he got into smoking weed. That's on top of the alcohol he drinks. He's got this gf who's a bit of a reputation for being a druggie/alcoholic mess (as sad as it is to say) ... this last year he's developed a strong friendship with another guy who's an alcoholic and a heavy drug user .. he's not at all there in the head.. Well my friend (A) has recently been started drinking much much (dangerous amounts) more and has been getting into other drugs.. this last 2 weeks he's been bunking off work (a good job at that - in an aeroplane engineering company or something like that) ... unpaid sick leave at that ... but he's been meeting up with the new guy and drinking every single day .....

The new guy has been seeing my best friend (so Friend A's brother) on and off the last month or so and if my friend knew, he'd go absolute crazy! But because this guy has been seeing my best friend, he's been giving us an insight into Friend A - .. he's mentioned how he's depressed, been doing different drugs and things ..

Another point is that his uncle died last year - he committed suicide - and it's coming up to the anniversary of that!

I'm really really worried about him. I care alot about him ... but not in that way anymore .... however he came on to me a few weeks ago after a drunked/drug fuelled evening - obviously I didn't go there but he texted me for a bit afterwards and was like saying he still felt a connection with us - now I'm not looking for any of that again - but I feel he might trust me a bit more .. so I'm wondering what the hell I can do to help him or if there is anything I can do to help him...

I really want to help him but he's so easily led by other people .. though he thinks he's a big man, running the show..but in actual fact, looking out on it - he's under the thumb from his gf and obsessed with his friendship with this new guy (I should mentioned, he's not really a new guy - we've all known him as the local druggie for the last number of years, but I say new guy cos he's recently started hanging out with him) ...

I'm good friends with his mum too, and I could talk to her easily enough - but she would kick him out of the house if she knew the half of it - but at the same time he's the apple of her eye , though she has recently confronted him about the alcohol drinking .. but he just tells her she's being stupid..

He needs serious help - after what happened to his uncle, and with signs of depression ... I really worry I'm going to get a phone call someday from his sister to tell me he's been killed or has died from an OD or something!

With regards to the people who could help him - his sister is too scared to do anything..keeps saying she would love to tell her dad etc but she wouldn't... his gf is just as messed up and doesn't even care about him ..I know she's cheated on him with another woman in the past .. his druggie friend - that's an obvious no no ... his younger brother - nope!

I just don't see anyone else who could realistically help him or would step in and try to do something...

I think if I don't do something, and something bad did happen to him - I'd regret it .. It would be with me all my life ... I feel the time has come to do something .. I just really don't know what to do and it hurts me seeing him like this and his sister and family worrying about him all the time ...

Apologies for the length - and if anyone has made it through to the very end - thank you for reading and I hope someone can offer me some advice
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 08:05 PM   #2
LizKat
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1. You are not responsible for another person's behavior. You must be responsible for your own behavior, and that responsibility starts with looking after yourself and trying to live a balanced, healthy life. You know: your chores, your homework, fun with your family and friends, getting enough sleep, eating properly... You cannot help someone by getting pulled completely off balance by their issues. Alcoholism and drug addiction have strong social dynamics that affect everyone around the person who is ill. Don't drown in another person's addiction!

2. Since you care about this person: friends don't let friends ignore alcoholism, so tell him it seems pretty clear he's let the drink get a hold of him, and offer to go with him to an AA meeting. Look one up ahead of time in case he says yes, which he might or might not agree to do. AA doesn't work for everyone but sometimes showing up there a few times plants a seed that might hold out hope for recovery later.

3. If he tells you to go to hell, say you understand that talking about alcohol dependence can be difficult. Then break off the conversation and leave it at that. Don't nag. But, you cannot then be hanging out with him after that, unless he changes his mind and decides to try to explore leaving the drink behind (counseling, AA, whatever). Just hanging out with a drunk tells him he's not that bad yet, basically. That is not the message you want to give him, right?

4. So, you need to be prepared to say "Well are you still drinking?, you need to get some help with that if I'm going to be around you". Say things like that if he calls later and just wants to talk about stuff but not deal with his problem. You could lose him as a friend but help him save his own life by refusing to hang out with him unless he gets straightened out. He might get angry at that. But, you can't enable his drinking and be a good friend, and I think it's clear you already realize that you can't let him just try to slide that under the rug. He has to deal with it. But you don't have to deal with him refusing to deal with it. Offer the suggestions and then get out of the way.

5. You could ask him if his company has a counseling program (an employe assistance program, they might call it), and suggest that he check it out. If he doesn't get some help somewhere, then probably he's going to get fired, from the sound of it. Sooner or later how he's behaving will affect his job performance negatively. Some companies, if you get into the counseling program, then they will protect your job status while you get your recovery on track. Most companies of any size have some kind of handbook or paperwork or something that identifies company benefits, including any sort of confidential assistance program and how to make use of it (a phone number, for instance).

There's an old saying among recovering alcoholics and their friends or family that goes something like this: "A drunk can get you drunk quicker than you can get him sober" and it would seem there's a fair bit of truth in that,

So don't forget that your first responsibility is to yourself and your own physical and mental health. You might try going to some Al-Anon meetings if you can't just disengage from his problems. Those meetings are for friends or family of people with alcohol issues. They have helpful suggestions and literature for how to deal with situations like yours. You'll learn a lot about the dynamics of alcoholism, and how friends and family can improve their dealings with someone who's addicted. That's how I learned about most of what I've just posted here.
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Old Nov 16, 2012, 08:19 PM   #3
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I'm sorry to say there's absolutely nothing you can do. The only thing you can do is tell them how you feel, hand them some phone numbers to local substance abuse programs and tell them that unless they get clean and sober, you can no longer hang out or talk to them.

Quite frankly that probably won't do anything but at least you will have tried something. Alcoholics and addicts must reach a very painful point in their lives before the reality and desire to get clean is even an option.

Trust me, I'm speaking from experience. Other than what I mentioned above there is nothing else you can do nor is it your responsibility. You should attend some allanon and naranon meetings for your own well being and edification.

You'll see that you are not alone and how powerless you truly are. That may sound harsh but it's true. Good luck.
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