Friends can be an important part of the recovery process for those who have substance abuse disorder. Research shows that those with support from their friends are more likely to be successful in treatment and less likely to relapse than those without support from friends.
How do you help a friend who may not be realizing that substance abuse is a problem for them or those who realize it but are not seeking treatment? Here are some ways you may be able to persuade your friend to go to a rehab program in Colorado.
Spend Time Together
You may want to avoid a friend whose substance abuse bothers you, but you will not have any influence with a friend with whom you never spend time. Spending time with your friend despite the substance abuse will give your words credibility when you do decide to confront the problem.
If your friend puts you in danger or becomes abusive, however, you should not feel guilty about avoiding in-person contact. You will not be much help if your friend involves you in a driving-under-the-influence accident or harms you in an abusive way. You can still communicate via phone or text to offer emotional support and encourage the friend to get help, however.
Be Real About What You See
When your friend is sober, have a positive conversation about the behaviors you have noticed and how you see substance abuse affecting your friend’s life. Even if it is confrontational at the time, your friend may later consider your words and decide to seek help if you can be real about what you see while at the same time assuring your friend that you care and that you are concerned rather than angry or trying to bring him or her down.
Gently Refuse to Enable
Enabling means behavior that makes it possible for someone to continue substance abuse. This could be driving him or her to get the substance, buying it for him or her, or covering for the person when he or she is under the influence or hungover. Even giving an addict money that is not for drugs or alcohol could be enabling if it frees up more of their money to spend on those things.
Enabling behavior just prolongs the addiction by making it easier for the addict to function, which will, in turn, make it easier to deny that they need help. Friends can gently refuse to enable someone with a substance abuse problem, making it clear that you want to help them overcome the addiction, not support them in prolonging it. Your friend may be angry with you and withdraw, but you can be sure that enabling does not do anything helpful and you can continue to hope that one day your friend will understand.
Try an Intervention
Getting family members and friends together to confront a friend about substance abuse can be a way to show the person that while you and others care, you cannot pretend that nothing is wrong. Because of the unpredictable reactions an intervention may bring out, it may be a good idea to involve a professional in the process who knows how to handle reactions like anger and hysteria that occasionally occur.
Recovery Village at Palmer Lake is a Colorado drug rehab that can help your friend or loved one treat addiction and take steps toward recovery. Contact us for information about interventions and all the programs we offer.