losing a friend to drugs

Discussion in 'Community' started by rainman::|:|, Nov 12, 2003.

  1. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    well the subject says it all, this is a heavy topic for me. i hate posting this sort of ****. i had a very old friend down for the weekend, this past one. he and i have known each other since we were children - over half our lives. we were friends for years, and lovers for a long time. we partied together, fell in love with each other many times (the wrong ones, but isn't it always?), helped each other cope with our families. were there for each other at our absolute worst, i wouldn't be here today if he hadn't been there for me. in the latter years, we spent a lot of time sitting around smoking pot. did a lot of crazy things, lived life dangerously. too much so. hurt each other, on purpose, many times. we dated other people and sometimes spent months not speaking, but one day our connection would always be back. i swear to god, no one will believe me but we could hear each other's thoughts sometimes. he was always a very intelligent person, and we both knew that we had great things to do, once we escaped rural hell. and mental illness. finally, i got sick and tired of waiting for him to come full circle again, and i started dating. never stopped loving him. after knowing my partner for about 6 months, he and i moved away, and so my friend and i are separated by 125 miles. but we've tried to keep in touch, he's thought of moving here too... he's also continued to party... too hard, i think. don't get me wrong, i'm all for fun, but even i have grown up a little bit... got a desk job, i still smoke pot but nothing worse, am remarkably close to fiscally responsible. i'm on the way to the normal life i always wanted. but it seems he has turned to harder drugs, and not just experimentally. he and i both get hooked on just about anything, and now he's into powders (coke, meth, the more chemical drugs). he lives the life of a cokehead, complete with week-long binges. sleeps around, far more than is healthy. abuses his body. now i'm afraid he's going for opiates (opium and heroin) which i know will kill him.

    he talks a lot about wanting to go to college, getting a good job, a place of his own (he's been in drift for a long time, staying with his parents or short term roomates)... but he can't get student loans because of marijuana charges from the past. i think the lure of drugs will always be stronger to him than faded dreams at a real life.

    i've babbled for a while about something no one else cares about. what's my point? i can't watch him self-destruct anymore. he's done damage to his brain, he's not the intelligent person i once knew. it hurts to see him like this. in fact, for the past 3 days, i've just cried for him. my old friend, my confidant. my other half. and i have to let him go. i can't let myself get drawn down in his world, which is what i want so badly. my poor partner is beside himself, he's never liked him but now it's bad. i can't hide these feelings from him, and that makes him question my love for him. which never wavers. none of my friends know what i'm going through. so, like a billion people before me, i spill my woes on the internet. i just have to write this, maybe then i'll stop crying.

    maybe not.

  2. pivo6 macrumors 68000


    Dec 2, 2002

    Sorry to hear what you're going through. I lost my brother to alcohol three years ago at Thanksgiving so I have an idea of how you're feeling. It was my experience that the "sick" person needs to realize that he/she is sick and wants to get help. It doesn't look like your friend has reached that yet. My brother never did.

    Talk to our partner about your feelings. I'm sure he'll understand though he may not like it. You're right about not getting drawn back into his world. Let him know that when he is ready to make a change, that you will support him and maybe even help him get better. He will have to make the positive step first.
  3. tazo macrumors 68040


    Apr 6, 2003
    Pacific Northwest, Seattle, WA actually
    Sorry to hear that paul.

    Best never to do drugs in the first place -- problem solved.
  4. mymemory macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2001

    I was in a seminar once, it was a seminar for people with aids (I'm not sick btw, I was just there as an assistant). The facilitator asked this question to the crowd.

    When you decided to die?

    That mean, why you took this way? what made you? finding the reason of this can change the future.

    Now, you can do what you can do as a friend but you are not God or his mother. You are just one of the many people he has in his life and many are more responsible for him than you.

    What you can do is to take him to a professional, or talk to the people that treat drogadics and ask them for advice on how you can talk to him and bring him to the right side.

    You can be a guide but do not assume his is your responsibility, maybe, in the back of his head, he wants some one to be responsible for him, but I'm just throwing arrows to the air. First, put in your head that he took that way and he knows he is hurting you and he just do not care, so, do not care more than he cares for you. Just be there and do what you should do as a friend. More feelings involve will make the situation messy. The drama does not make anything better. Be pracmatic.

    Find some one with experience in the field and work with that. He is not the first one or the last one with that problem out there.

    Good luck.
  5. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2003
    Adelaide, Australia
    Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust. I hope you pull though.

    Attached Files:

  6. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    Paul, I've been there, watching 2 friends actually go down the tubes, one came back, the other was a suicide. It's not in any way easy to even be around this stuff, but I watched two friends, one that I'd known since 8th grade and another from high school, go from casual drinker to stoner/drinker and part time powder users to heavy powder use, followed by the heroin. They got violent, slept with numerous women that we all knew they shouldn't be seeing, and basically pissed off everyone around them in the process.

    I can't imagine what it would be like if I was watching a loved one go through this. I was so sad and angry with them and myself for putting up with them, yet feeling like I needed to try to be there for them. Miserable. I wish I could tell you what to do about it, but sometimes there is nothing you can do. I hope that's not the case for you, and you can find your friend help. It's out there, but the person has to want it on some level, or they'll just pretend through it and keep goin behind your back. They'll only learn to hide it from you harder. You need to talk to his other friends, the ones who aren't in his drug circle, and see if you think if you get together you can help him, or force him to help himself. Knowing all, or most, of your close friends think you need help is a powerful message. Good luck my friend, please don't hesitate to PM me if you need to.

    If he's still alive, there's still hope.
  7. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    Paul, I'm very sorry to hear about your friend. It is very hard to see someone that you care about hurting themself. All you can really do is be supportive. To be there for him. In the end he really has to want to change himself. He is very lucky to have such a thoughtful friend.
  8. Frohickey macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2003

    Sorry about your friend, hopefully he can pull himself out of the rut that he is in. Best you can do is help him get out of the rut when he finally chooses to get out of it.

    Sometimes, all it takes is someone else that believes in you to get you started on the road to recovery. Other times, nothing works. :(
  9. Stelliform macrumors 68000


    Oct 21, 2002
    Sorry to hear about that Paul. You have my deepest sympathies and prayers. God willing he will stop and be ok. Good luck...
  10. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    paul, sorry to hear about this

    i was involved with a woman who was severely addicted to alcohol and i ended up in a 12 step group called coda which is related to al anon and i learned to help without being co-dependent...to this day i think it was one of the hardest things i have ever seen in my life

    i feel for you and i am glad you are sharing with us

  11. true777 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 30, 2000
    California, Austria, Arkansas
    DO NOT fool yourself into thinking you can get him away from this stuff.
    You'd be hooked yourself in no time. It happens to the smartest, most strong-willed and self disciplined people with little susceptibility to addiction.

    The sad truth is that noone except for himself can pull him out of this.
    Cocaine is dangerous, but heroin is the devil. I have two close friends who were both extremely addicted to heroin, but DID pull themselves together again. They now live successful, happy, drug-free lives - one is on her way to her PhD and has a husband and a baby now, the other one is in a happy relationship and is a radio producer now. So it's possible. But the truth is that noone was able to help either of them. They had to do it themselves (and they did).

    But, sadly, for each person who manages to get out, there are ten who don't make it.

    I recommend watching the movie "panic in needle park" with al pacino. I think it's a very good depiction of what it's like when someone tries to get someone else away from drugs.
  12. pseudobrit macrumors 68040


    Jul 23, 2002
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    I'm sorry to hear about your friend's addiction.

    I'm sure you've already done more than you could have to help him, and I would surmise that it's in God's hands now.
    Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
    If you must keep in contact, I would limit it to letters.
  13. Chappers macrumors 68020


    Aug 12, 2003
    At home
    My friend

    My best friend commited suicide becuse of drugs. Not her but her sons addiction. She stood by him and slowly but surely he destroyed her life. In the end she took cyanide and her own life. He is still taking drugs. Your friend has gone - if anything is left of him then he has to decide to come back. You cannot save him. I'm sorry for your situation.

  14. neut macrumors 68000


    Nov 27, 2001
    here (for now)
    Whatever you decide to do, don't let the loss of him drag you down too. Don't let love blind your ability to think clearly.

    If you decide to save him, you will loose everything that you have now.

    If you let him go, don't look back...and if you do, use it as a reminder of where you could have ended up. This can make you stronger...if you wish.

    When your ready, you'll know what to do.

    Drugs didn't take your friend. Your friend chose to take drugs, and for him...it sounds like it was the wrong choice.

    It's too bad that we can't save everyone...especially the one's we love the most.

  15. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus


    Jan 2, 2001
    Metairie, LA
    I did something similar last year actually. It wasn't as hardcore as what your friend is going thru, but it was getting really bad. I've walked away from 2 friends in my life because of these reasons, and I've learned from both cases that there's nothing u can do for a person who doesn't want to help themselves. It's hard, and tough love often leaves the one who's giving it a feeling of guilt, but it's sometimes the only thing u can do to keep u safe.

    I hope he eventually comes to terms with himself and seeks out help. Good luck. ;)
  16. rueyeet macrumors 65816


    Jun 10, 2003
    Don't try to stop crying; your crying will only be done when you're truly finished grieving. You don't give up the closest friend of your lifetime without pain, and you can't shortchange yourself on that. Experience it, or you won't heal right later.

    Sounds like you already know you aren't going to save your friend without his help, and that he's not realistically going to give it. There's no way around the fact that this sucks, massively, but it's his choice. You can't let him take you down with him just so he can have company in his own self-destruction. Your partner will hate seeing you hurt so much, and may be taking that out as anger against your friend, but perhaps you should let him know that you need his love and support to help you let go more than you need his anger. When the two of you come through this, together, your relationship can be that much stronger.

    Oh, and--Internet, schminternet. If you can't talk to your real-life people about this, and you need to get this out somehow, do it; just getting words around the thoughts and feelings can help. You may be talking to strangers, but someone would have to not be human to not respond to another human being's pain.

    Above all, remember that you can and will get through this.
  17. rainman::|:| thread starter macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    thanks guys... it helps a lot to hear how common this is. i mean, i've known a lot of people that got lost to drugs, a lot of people in my family, but no one i ever loved this way. i'm definitely afraid of reverting to my old ways, so i'm staying clear of him, but i'm going to try to get through to him on the phone... maybe he'll understand how upset i am. he definitely knows that something is wrong, and he talks about getting a normal life, but what druggie doesn't. i did. the question is just whether he wants that life more than to die on the streets with a needle in his arm.

    i may pop into a NA meeting, just for support. like i said, it's comforting to know that i'm not alone in this...

    part of my problem is that i always knew he wanted to get into harder drugs, but when i was around, i could keep him from it. when i left, i took his conscience with me, and this happens. but it's his decision, not mine. if i can't fix it, i can't take responsibility for it either.

  18. eyelikeart Moderator emeritus


    Jan 2, 2001
    Metairie, LA
    That's the reality of it paul. People often cannot accept that because of the guilt they feel, but it's ultimately not your fault. Just keep strong.
  19. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    I agree with you Paul that going to an NA meeting would be a good idea. Having the support of others should be a comfort. Knowing that you are not alone. I think that you have taken a great first step in sharing your pain with us. Accepting that you are not alone and it's not your fault is important. Most trials that we go through are of a common variety, common to man. It is how with deal with it that's important.
  20. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    though overall statistics on people getting off a substances are not the most promising numbers, i have seen so much success with the people in 12 step programs

    i think the x factor that makes it defy the odds and bring people to sobriety is the common use of god in all the aspects of the program...even an atheist can benefit from the 12 step group due to its design and i also agree that it's a safe place where you can be with your friend and show genuine support

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