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How to feel about a friend's drug problem.

TheFonzTheFonz Registered User regular
edited October 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
A friend of mine became slightly depressed over the summer after his advances were rebuffed by another friend of mine which we thought we had decided he had no business pursuing, as we've all been good friends from quite a while back.

As a result of this depression, he started becoming involved in the rave scene, and of course began dropping E.
Just as a clarification, I'm usually okay with those drugs that are a little softer, but once we start getting into something like ecstasy, which has contents covering all sorts of unsavory substances, I draw the line.
Of course it started affecting his life, he was tired all the time, he got involved with as slut-ish a girl you could possibly imagine, and he quit the soccer team.

After his mother (as we are still seniors, she's still got jurisdiction over him) decided to drug test him, he became cut off from the outside world almost completely apart from school. He has almost nothing to his name apart from clothes now, and he can't hang out with any of his old friends. Everyday he has another story about how "oppressed" he is now, and how he misses his girlfriend, who he has known for around three weeks and has already declared his love for. He asks for support and caring and empathy, but I find it tough to give. He's my friend, but I'm trying to turn him away from what his life has become, and since he doesn't listen to any of my pleas, I feel like this punishment could be one of the only ways to help him see reason, am I being a bad person for not agreeing with him?

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TheFonz on

Posts

  • Page-Page- Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    From personal experience, I would say you should stick by him, but always let him know that you disapprove. Never condone his actions, but never abandon him. Leaving him be will not work out, there's very little chance of someone digging themselves out of that sort of situation without something really bad happening first.

    Friend of mine got into drugs when we were kids (14-16 years old), and I didn't bother him about it, but once he started drifting away I resented it and pretty much abandoned him. Thing is, we grew up in very religious households, and there's no fucking way he was going to get any understanding from his mother. I was fine with hanging out with him and his new friends when all they wanted to do was smoke a little pot and maybe have a beer or two, even though I did neither myself, but once he started with pills and shit I couldn't take it and I'd not see him for months. He went totally down the drain and things didn't clue in for him until he was living on the street and tried to rob a convenience store with a machete so he could buy a Mother's Day present (he dropped his wallet at the scene and the police caught up to him). When I last saw him he was so messed up from whatever he'd been taking that he could barely focus enough to string a proper sentence together. I really wish I could have done different by him, but I can't and I felt really bad about it for the longest time.

    Of course, that's purely anecdotal, and it seems to be a slightly different situation (my friend wasn't going to school at the time, either). Take it for what it is: someone else's bad experience, but I know what I'd do.

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  • RentRent I'm always right Fuckin' deal with itRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    TheFonz wrote: »
    Everyday he has another story about how "oppressed" he is now, and how he misses his girlfriend, who he has known for around three weeks and has already declared his love for.
    Oh wah. If he's fucking with E he deserves all the shit he's getting, E is some scary ass shit
    He asks for support and caring and empathy, but I find it tough to give. He's my friend, but I'm trying to turn him away from what his life has become, and since he doesn't listen to any of my pleas, I feel like this punishment could be one of the only ways to help him see reason, am I being a bad person for not agreeing with him?

    Empathy != Sympathy. Give him empathy. Tell him to grow the fuck up and stop being a fucking dumbass. Don't abandon him, but don't tolerate his bullshit. Tell him honestly how much of a stupid dumbass he's being and how much he's hurt all of his real friends by getting into hard drugs.

    (He got into hard drugs over a girl rejecting him?! What the fuck?!)

    Rent on
  • AwkAwk Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Rent wrote: »
    TheFonz wrote: »

    (He got into hard drugs over a girl rejecting him?! What the fuck?!)

    Anything would have enabled that individual. It also sounds like he's growing up, and doesnt care. Its hard to figure it all out. Tell him the soccer team misses him?

    Awk on
  • HKPacman420HKPacman420 Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Page- wrote: »
    From personal experience, I would say you should stick by him, but always let him know that you disapprove.


    You have to do it in juuuuust the right fashion though, I find. More disappointment than disgust. Try not to sound like a PSA from the 80s, and do your best to remind them of good times had before his rejection and subsequent foray into hard drugs.

    His 'grounding' or whatever you want to call it is punishment enough, he just needs some education and support now,otherwise he'll go right back to that shit as soon as possible.


    While E is all types of fucked up (some pills contain only trace amounts of MDMA,the supposed main compound,instead using speed & such), be thankful for him it wasn't coke. Finding out your buddy's secretly been sucking cocks to support their habit really changes the way you look at them.

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  • adytumadytum The Inevitable Rise And FallRegistered User regular
    edited August 2011
    ...

    adytum on
  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    This type of issue is very difficult to address. I think there are a few things to keep in mind.

    I'd agree that sticking with your friend is always the compassionate and empathetic route. Those who slam doors due to some superior moral compass are doing nothing to help.

    With all that said, not everyone will be open to help, and generally those who drown their sorrows in altered states are in so much denial (which is often why they have an issue with chemical dependency) that it will be impossible to accomplish anything. Be prepared to feel useless and ineffective. If your friend doesn't want help, he won't respond well to, well, most anything constructive.

    I can speak from personal experience, as I'm rather open about the fact that I drank myself to sleep for four years when I just didn't want to inhabit my own skin. I still struggle, but I kicked my drinking habit a year and a half ago. Now I'm actually battling the depression that brought me to the bottle in the first place.

    I ignored, hurt and alienated (and still do) most of my friends and family in that bad time. While I was adamantly against receiving any sort of help (and still am, for pretty much everything) the support and love of those who were closest to me, friends and family, were exactly what I needed when I made my own decision to quit and get better. And that was something I did on my own, as well. After a rather enlightening family gathering I ended up snapping out of it, four years later.

    I'm just glad that while my friends threw their hands up in the air and gave up, they remained there for me when I finally decided to get better. Don't close doors, but understand that you can merely be there as support.

    I fully support talking and attempting to rationalize, but don't be surprised if it doesn't work. You need to know when it is, for yourself, enough.

    The Crowing One on
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  • TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Might want to point him to http://www.ecstasydata.org/ if he's still all about rolling. It's pretty much the easiest way to sell really really bad drugs to kids who would otherwise be ok with doing only kinda bad drugs.

    In 1990, the "ecstasy" pills containing only MDMA was reported to be 50%. In 2009, it was 11.1%. 50.8% of pills tested in 2009 showed no presence of MDMA.

    TL DR on
  • TK-42-1TK-42-1 Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    adytum wrote: »
    You can't help people that don't want to help themselves.

    this is the most important thing to take from the thread. if you really want to try to wake him up, go talk to him about where he sees himself in 5 years. its cliche, but if he has a dream you can very easily point out how doing "harder" drugs can completely ruin it for him. i'd also suggest to try to talk to him about why he is depressed. I know you said its because of that mutual friend rejecting him, but that's just the surface of it. you will fuck up your life with drugs unless youre happy with yourself before taking them. thats the key people that develop problems dont every understand.

    of course if he doesnt want to talk about this shit theres nothing you can do for him. it'll only make him resent you if he thinks youre trying to fix him instead of just talking it out with him. if he shows signs of resentment then just tell him 'i dont know what to say dude. call me when you feel like getting your shit together. ill always be there for you.' and leave.

    TK-42-1 on
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  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    To be frank, while he's your friend if this really starts wearing you down and affecting you you can cut him out of your life. You don't have to make yourself depressed helping him. Really, his mom should have put him in rehab where he could get counseling and should still consider getting him counseling because the depression needs to be addressed just as much as the drug use.

    VisionOfClarity on
  • FandyienFandyien But Otto, what about us? Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I think you're overreacting a whole lot.

    Fandyien on
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  • hamburger helperhamburger helper Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Fandyien wrote: »
    I think you're overreacting a whole lot.

    Agreed. If you're his friend, be his friend. The only person that can make him stop abusing drugs is himself. It just sounds like you, his mom, and the whole soccer team are just judging him.

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  • PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies drinking coffee in the mountain cabinRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Judging someone who is doing Ecstasy regularly is a pretty healthy thing to do. Guy deserves to be judged. Also any definition of being a friend that doesn't involve trying to stop your friend from taking street ecstasy is curious indeed.

    That said, I'm not following how this 'punishment' is supposed to achieve anything but piss him off. Is the idea that when he gets the chance to do drugs again he won't because his mom might find out and ground him? I mean, another year and he doesn't have to worry about that, right?

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  • PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited October 2009
    Make it clear that you care but that you can't support his drug habit if you disapprove of it. It's all you can do, you can't make him quit and it's not your fault he's doing this.

    It sucks but providing him a venue where he doesn't feel the need to get high to have fun is the best thing you can do for him

    Pheezer on
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  • FandyienFandyien But Otto, what about us? Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Fandyien wrote: »
    I think you're overreacting a whole lot.

    Agreed. If you're his friend, be his friend. The only person that can make him stop abusing drugs is himself. It just sounds like you, his mom, and the whole soccer team are just judging him.

    Seriously. The dude just does ecstacy now and again. You're pretty uptight, man - he's almost a legal adult, and you're his peer, not his mother, overseer, or doctor.

    So lay off. Mind your own business; he can do what he wants, and all you can do is push him in the right direction. It doesn't always work. But doing ecstasy a few times your senior year in highschool is nothing - I knew a lot of felonious high-schoolters. It could be a lot worse.

    Fandyien on
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  • TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Judging someone who is doing Ecstasy regularly is a pretty healthy thing to do. Guy deserves to be judged. Also any definition of being a friend that doesn't involve trying to stop your friend from taking street ecstasy is curious indeed.

    D:

    TL DR on
  • The LandoStanderThe LandoStander Registered User regular
    edited October 2009
    I'm not sure that the OP really clarifies the frequency of drug use. Regardless of the frequency drug use can be a very serious problem. You can die from E in any number of fun ways, you can overheat, dilute the amount of sodium in your body to lethal levels by drinking to much water trying to mitigate the overheating issues or you can get a hold of some poorly produced stuff.

    I have about 40% of my extended family ranging in ages from 55 to 18 who I haven't seen in years or even decades. They don't know where I live, they don't all know where my mother and father live and they're my mother's direct siblings. Why? Because they do any number of drugs and have done them since high school, they've led generally crappy lives, have done jail time and have stolen money from their own mother and spent time in jail for that. It sounds a bit like an after school special scare tactic, but it seriously is my family's dynamic and as a result I have very little tolerance for drugs and drug users, especially those who don't really want help in quitting.

    You can be a friend, voice your support of him but not the drug use but be aware that there's always the risk of things going beyond E and him dragging you down with him. His parents are the ones in charge for the time being, I would hope they're aware of his drug use and are taking steps to try and deal with it. Your role, while it may be important is secondary to his parents. After he becomes an adult who doesn't live with his parents or whatever he's free to do what he wants and then accept the consequences.

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  • AddaAdda LondonRegistered User regular
    edited October 2009
    Fandyien wrote: »
    I think you're overreacting a whole lot.

    Agreed. If you're his friend, be his friend. The only person that can make him stop abusing drugs is himself. It just sounds like you, his mom, and the whole soccer team are just judging him.

    Have to say I'm on this side of the fence. It's up to you to decide how much of a friend this guy is.

    If he is then stick with it, if not then don't.

    Personally, when I have had friends in shit spots I have stuck by them even when it's of their own making. You can empathise with and support someone (be a friend to them) and still maintain your values and opinions both personally and in how you interact with your friend.

    EDIT: not sure I was that clear but try to ignore all the drug stuff that people are injecting (hoho) into the thread and focus more on the real issue.

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