April 21, 2006, Newsletter Issue #79: If Your Friend Has an Alcohol or Drug Problem

Tip of the Week

It's easy to be worried about a friend who has an alcohol or drug problem. It's a lot harder to know what the right thing is to do about it.
The first thing is to keep yourself and others safe. If you have children, keep them away from this friend when she is using. If you fear your friend is becoming violent, it may be necessary to distance yourself.
If your friend seems willing to listen to you, let her know what you have observed and that you think she has a problem. Ask her to get help, and give her the numbers of local drug or alcohol hotlines. You may even volunteer to go to an AA or NA meeting with her, or help her find a drug treatment center. If she reacts with anger, remember that this is the addiction talking. Do not give her money, rides, or other assistance to keep using. You may also decide to set a boundary that you do not want to be around her when she is using.

Ultimately, though, your friend will not quit until she is ready to do so, and you may need to accept that losing this friendship is one of the prices she is willing to pay to continue getting high.

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