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How can I help my friend if he won't admit that he's got a problem?

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WRfalcon12

Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2016
Posts
7
First, let me say that I take Zero issue with recreational drug use. My friend, who lives half way across the country, is suffering from heroin addiction brought on by the once readily available opiates that were legally prescribed due to a back injury. His physicians have cut him off from much needed and healthier legal narcotics to relieve pain. It ended up being so much more convenient for him to hit up the "neighborhood" pharmacist for his pain relief than deal with doctors and beg for a prescription. Fast forward 10 years and he is out of control. He won't admit he has a problem, and I know this is the biggest hurdle. I am not trying to judge. I am not trying to overstep any boundaries. I just know he cannot hold a job, he is living with his parents and for obvious reasons, he is losing friends and isolating himself further, perpetuating the problem. Because he won't talk about it with me, I felt I had to contact his parents (who suspected, but are appreciative of the confirmation). I explained that the current popular view on addiction is mostly wrong, and that further isolation and punishment would only worsen his situation. I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to best approach an obviously very delicate situation.

Also, I apologize that this is not what Pharmacy Reviewer is for and if I've consequently offended anyone. I just want to help a friend through a delicate time and I know you would all have some good insight.
 
Last edited:

billyboy

Exalted member
Joined
Sep 14, 2011
Posts
4,491
I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to best approach an obviously very delicate situation.

Also, I apologize if this is not what Pharmacy Reviewer is for and if I've consequently offended anyone. I just want to help a friend through a delicate time and I know you would all have some good insight.

No need to apologize. Your buddy has a good friend. Hopefully one of these days he'll appreciate your concern and actions.

You can talk to him until you're blue in the face but until he admits his addiction and wants to quit, sorry to say, he isn't going to and you already nailed that. If his parents or friends are tolerating his behavior they're enabling him and that doesn't help. I consider a free roof over somebody's head enabling.

He needs rehab or an introduction to a maintenance program. He also needs a good doctor, a psychiatrist, and a therapist. Being unemployed, I wonder where he gets the cash to pay for his habit. His parents should buy a safe.

If he doesn't have employer sponsored group health insurance, he'll need his own. He should be able to get it. Sadly, you and I will pay for it.

Without a doubt several members have been in your situation and several members are fighting or have fought the heroin demon. It's nasty.
 

davidpaul

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Jul 3, 2015
Posts
2,540
@WRfalcon12

I didn't notice your thread, until I saw a name post that I knew, or I would have posted earlier. I think you were saying that your friend used to have a back problem, got cut off the meds, and turned to the H, and that was ten years ago or so?

So ultimately, is he still in true medical back pain with issues, or is it now the full blown heroin habit which keeps him doing what he's doing? Just wondering, because in the event that he did manage to get cleaned up and straighten things out, if there is still an underlying legit medical problem, then it might yet and still be a struggle. Of course, I mean if it's a legit medical reason, and not one without current proof.

The problem for you is, if your friend is halfway across the country, there's just no way you will be able to do much with him or his situation, because when someone is truly hooked on a drug and to the point that you have described, it's virtually impossible to help the person even if you are face to face, let alone hundreds of miles away. Your hands are more than tied on that aspect. It would be like you or I being able to diagnose and treat over the internet here, not possible.

If you say his parents are appreciative of the confirmation, it says they at the least already have or had suspicions, and the points you brought up make it pretty clear that something is wrong in the picture of your friend's life.

I would say that really, there is no "best" approach to the situation, and from what I have seen, not all firsthand!, is that those who are in denial about things like he is aren't going to be ready to even accept any help until they fall some more. Sad to say, but until a person loses whatever he or she holds the most dear to their heart will they even consider how serious their issues are, or even begin to want to change things.

I know there are those who will say they want and need help, that's different though because your friend is denying he's even got any problems. From what you say, if he were doing the things he is right now without a drug problem he'd still have problems without drugs.

And really, there's no way you can force a person to see what they don't want to, it has to get bad enough for them that they have no other choice but to see it. At least your friend's parents now have a head's up, which is only right if they are giving the guy a place to live free, which I'm sure comes along with free food, free laundry, etc.

So all of those things are what he is taking for granted, and maybe if those are gone then it will be a wake up call, maybe not, it might take a lot more than that, and I'm just talking about getting to square 1.

I'm not so big on the tough love approach either, but I do believe in responsibility and accountability very much, and if someone just refuses to even begin to take some for their actions, then maybe they need to find themselves in a place where you have to have those or you won't make it in life, like out in the street on their own. I mean, if the guy doesn't want to take any responsibility anyway.....

I would suspect his parents have been in denial too, and nobody wants to believe their child is a heroin addict or any addict, so as a parent, I know I myself would be looking for every single way to explain away the strange occurrences my kid was having. So if they were having doubts, and now they truly know, they do have to let him go so he can find himself, the hard way or the easy way, though I know which way it will be, it can be done.

The second possibility is that your friend is extremely slick and crafty at hiding his addiction, maybe not the symptoms but the evidence. It's something most addicts become a master at doing, a catch me if you can but try and prove me wrong way of thinking that makes an addict think no one can see, feel, even has the slightest clue what you are up to. He might actually be good enough to fool his parents, people fool their mates all the time, it just doesn't last forever. Because shit will hit the fan sometime. Maybe you helped the situation along there and maybe not, but you did the right thing. Anyway, none of it is your fault anyway. Good luck to you, and to your friend, I hope he gets his priorities together before it's too late, because too late does come, it really is a time frame that happens, and too many people push their luck until they find themselves in it. Hopefully he's not one of those, but ten years of denial is a hell of a long time already, to me anyway.

As to your post, PR is about it, and a lot more, a whole lot more. You'll see what I mean the longer you stick around here.
 

Mira

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Joined
May 18, 2013
Posts
4,696
If my experience is anything to go by, he'll have to hit a very hard brick wall before he will stop and even then, it wont be easy.

My family tried an intervention on me and all I did was basically tell them they were all nuts and to kiss my ass. I look back at that now and feel awful about the things I said to them at the time but it wasnt me talking. It was some heroin empowered form of me that was spiraling out of control ...rapidly.
Rehab only works if the person wants it to work. 2 weeks, 30 days... not enough. It has to be longer than those short stint things and just out patient rehab doesnt work either. Long term rehab works. I know someone who did an 18 month program and 30 years later, he hasnt touched drugs. He wanted to get clean. He did, and he stayed that way but even he says had he been put back out on the street unsupervised too soon, he knows he would have relapsed. The draw of heroin is very very strong. I kicked in jail for 3 months and my dumb ass still went back to it. I wasnt ready. The next time I got locked up, I was and it has now been over 20 years.

I think its great that you want to help him but he may have to hit that wall. As @billyboy said, if his family is enabling him in ANY way, he wont get out of heroin's grip and yes, I agree that even a free roof over his head is enabling. His family will have to let go of him for a bit. They're not abandoning him, they just have to let him fall and then decide if they want to be there to help him pick up the pieces. Thats what my family did. They let go and boy did I make a mess LOL It took a while for them to trust me again --as in years-- but eventually they did. I lost many friends and even lost a part of myself.
Heroin addiction is a bitch. Okay, maybe I was it's bitch...

I'm curious, his physicians just abruptly stopped his pain meds? Why didnt he ask to be tapered off? Was he abusing the meds? Maybe that was the time for him to seek medical assistance instead of going to the streets but I get it and I'd never judge. Just curious how he truthfully ended up in that situation.

An addict will say all the right things--I'm going to cut down, I'm going to quit, I can handle it or I need it to function but in reality, they're just trying to get you off their back. Been there, done that. Deep down, he may want to get off of the drugs but is scared of what people will think or of how it will feel. Well, I say to hell with what people think and it feels like shit. But it gets better, and most people forgive.

I wish your friend all the best but until HE wants it, there may not be much you can do.
 

jc776

Eminent member
Joined
Jun 30, 2014
Posts
1,404
First, let me say that I take Zero issue with recreational drug use. My friend, who lives half way across the country, is suffering from heroin addiction brought on by the once readily available opiates that were legally prescribed due to a back injury. His physicians have cut him off from much needed and healthier legal narcotics to relieve pain. It ended up being so much more convenient for him to hit up the "neighborhood" pharmacist for his pain relief than deal with doctors and beg for a prescription. Fast forward 10 years and he is out of control. He won't admit he has a problem, and I know this is the biggest hurdle. I am not trying to judge. I am not trying to overstep any boundaries. I just know he cannot hold a job, he is living with his parents and for obvious reasons, he is losing friends and isolating himself further, perpetuating the problem. Because he won't talk about it with me, I felt I had to contact his parents (who suspected, but are appreciative of the confirmation). I explained that the current popular view on addiction is mostly wrong, and that further isolation and punishment would only worsen his situation. I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to best approach an obviously very delicate situation.

Also, I apologize that this is not what Pharmacy Reviewer is for and if I've consequently offended anyone. I just want to help a friend through a delicate time and I know you would all have some good insight.

@WRfalcon12
Anyone who forms an unhealthy attachment to drugs does it to avoid pain, emotoinal pain that they are not ready to face.
Not alot you can do until friend ready to face whatever it is that is making him take drugs.
Not judging myself, I take drugs, I have just been diagnosed Borderline Personality, we feel emotional pain so magnified that life is unbearable, and I am lucky to have nearly reached 50 as suicide is high for Borderliners.
So, I take drugs, but must be off them before I get non drug borderline therapy, so I am being weaned off drugs.
I am plagued with thoughts about my family, negative ones.
I was infantilised, my psych acknowledges this. I am child in adults body and world is too hard so I use a crutch, it used to be alcohol, but no more, no drink for 13weeks, but I have valiuum addiction, as I had zoppy addiction and xed over to val, as vals easier to come off.
So, until your mate can admit something emotinoally is troubling him emough to numb it with heroin, then notn alot can be done.
People with no emotoinal pain do not get hoooked on prescribed opiates, theres info out there online abosut it.
Unfortunately, punitive approaches are still not consigned to the history books, as they should be.
People in pain enough to take opiates need compassion and patience, they will open up when they are ready, when they feel safe.
He needs to feel safe to open up.
hope this helps.
 

davidpaul

Banned
Joined
Jul 3, 2015
Posts
2,540
@WRfalcon12
Anyone who forms an unhealthy attachment to drugs does it to avoid pain, emotoinal pain that they are not ready to face.
Not alot you can do until friend ready to face whatever it is that is making him take drugs.
Not judging myself, I take drugs, I have just been diagnosed Borderline Personality, we feel emotional pain so magnified that life is unbearable, and I am lucky to have nearly reached 50 as suicide is high for Borderliners.
So, I take drugs, but must be off them before I get non drug borderline therapy, so I am being weaned off drugs.
I am plagued with thoughts about my family, negative ones.
I was infantilised, my psych acknowledges this. I am child in adults body and world is too hard so I use a crutch, it used to be alcohol, but no more, no drink for 13weeks, but I have valiuum addiction, as I had zoppy addiction and xed over to val, as vals easier to come off.
So, until your mate can admit something emotinoally is troubling him emough to numb it with heroin, then notn alot can be done.
People with no emotoinal pain do not get hoooked on prescribed opiates, theres info out there online abosut it.
Unfortunately, punitive approaches are still not consigned to the history books, as they should be.
People in pain enough to take opiates need compassion and patience, they will open up when they are ready, when they feel safe.
He needs to feel safe to open up.
hope this helps.
@jc776

Not true. I agree somewhat with your thinking, and I know that what you are saying is what your researching has found. I will agree that there are many people who are abusing drugs because of some emotional pain, but I cannot agree with the theory of "all."

In saying that all who are overusing their drug or drugs are doing so because of a past and still present emotional pain, it becomes more of an excuse and less of a reason, and I just feel that many people then pick this thought up and us it to justify their continued ongoing drug use.

I also still think that there are some who tried some pills out of curiosity, or just because they wanted to party, and liked it so much that they did it over and over until an addiction developed, having nothing to do with any underlying emotional issues. Because depending on the person and the circumstances, you dance with the devil and he may not let you go.

How about those who have ongoing and real chronic physical pain, and have used pain killers for years to combat this, and they have developed an addiction, which is just a reality given the use of a narcotic over years, it's to be expected in my opinion.

I have an addiction to a pk, no denying it, but I really don't feel that it's due to emotional issues. Not to say I didn't have a pretty shaky upbringing, but hell, a whole lot of people have and to me it's not really a great excuse to use if you do have a narcotic addiction.

All those who use opiates don't need compassion and understanding to open up about some past emotional trauma. I believe that you believe you do, so for you if that works, and gets you to where you want and need to be, I'm happy for you.

But sometimes, if it comes down to saving a life, you just can't continue to wait forever until the person feels safe enough to open up and find the uh, root cause I suppose it would be called. Depends on the circumstances, but there are really times and places that do call for letting the person fall and fail alone, so they" hit the wall and see the light," for some they can't be coddled forever with compassion and patience, because they will continue to do their thing forever too, while you who are patiently waiting and watching them,and probably in your own way of support enabling them, it will last a lifetime, that waiting game.

When looking at adults, I don't see it as taking a punitive approach if you are forcing a person to wake up to reality and take some adult responsibilities, like providing for yourself and working and other things which the normal average joe blow does just because these things are all a part of normal life.

Whomever is aiding an adult to not have to do even the basics or be responsible enough to do them, they are actually hurting the person with their help, make sense or not?

My thoughts on the infantilism is that since you are actually 50 years old, that is a very long time to have never been able to break out of it, and it leaves a lot of years between your childhood and now. This is not a slight toward you, you know that, but if there is one thing which I do know that can heal better than any medication it is called TIME..

I try to understand your logic in that now you have been given your diagnosis', and because of this, when you use your drugs it has become something which can't be helped, as it is one of the symptoms of the diagnosis you were given? Com'on, doesn't that really sound a bit like justifying to continue?

Anyway, back to the person in the topic, the heroin addict, this is someone whom I know I am no better than, just that my addiction and the drug I'm addicted to are different, still, we are both addicts, so if I can't understand, then no one will. Having been addicted to and abused many other narcotics in my past, I get it.

It just appears to me that the man has no goals or plan in life, and never will unless forced to. Which means out, on his own, and no deposit no return has to be the policy by the parents.

If it takes some major fuc-ups and screwing up to get him to realize that the consequences aren't worth it when balancing things, then so be it. It wouldn't mean that the parents or the friend no longer have compassion or care, it means they are willing to let him and his actions save himself, even if those actions have to bring him to his knees first.
 

alumni

Renowned member
Joined
Apr 15, 2011
Posts
5,459
First, let me say that I take Zero issue with recreational drug use. My friend, who lives half way across the country, is suffering from heroin addiction brought on by the once readily available opiates that were legally prescribed due to a back injury. His physicians have cut him off from much needed and healthier legal narcotics to relieve pain. It ended up being so much more convenient for him to hit up the "neighborhood" pharmacist for his pain relief than deal with doctors and beg for a prescription. Fast forward 10 years and he is out of control. He won't admit he has a problem, and I know this is the biggest hurdle. I am not trying to judge. I am not trying to overstep any boundaries. I just know he cannot hold a job, he is living with his parents and for obvious reasons, he is losing friends and isolating himself further, perpetuating the problem. Because he won't talk about it with me, I felt I had to contact his parents (who suspected, but are appreciative of the confirmation). I explained that the current popular view on addiction is mostly wrong, and that further isolation and punishment would only worsen his situation. I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to best approach an obviously very delicate situation.

Also, I apologize that this is not what Pharmacy Reviewer is for and if I've consequently offended anyone. I just want to help a friend through a delicate time and I know you would all have some good insight.

You say you "are not trying to judge." But, in fact, you are but have no idea what more to do about it. There is nothing wrong with judging when there's a serious problem going on with a friend who is a heroin addict living with his parents and spiraling further out of control. Not judging that mess would be naive and, I believe, irresponsible.
If your friend doesn't believe there's a problem and his friends and family cannot achieve a breakthrough in communication, then my response to your question is simple. He's stuck in his condition until his opiate cocoon falls apart. Overdose, suicide, long-term incarceration, a traumatic health event (stroke, heart attack, organ thrombosis), etc. Maybe you've heard the three potential outcomes of acute substance abuse: prison, death or recovery.
Nobody can do nothing until your friend decides to do something. In the meantime, he will do his best to ruin the lives of everyone around him who tries to help.
I was an addict/alcoholic for over 30 years. One day my doctor told me if I didn't stop I would die very soon. Given that choice, I stopped.
 

Skeletal_Wings

Lapsed Senior Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2011
Posts
373
Sorry to hear about your friend. Unfortunately, the situation that he's in is very similar to so many I've heard about before. People experience pain, get prescribed the pain medication, and end up shooting dope when their supply gets cut off of or limited by the doctors. I'm tempted to launch into a big rant about how I feel like the government is going about solving the "opiate epidemic" in all the wrong ways, but that wouldn't really help you or your friend very much.

I've had a lot of experience with addiction and addicts -- I've personally struggled with heroin addiction (albeit somewhat briefly), and I used to work in the addiction recovery field. From what I experienced, and from what countless others have told me about their addiction struggles, there's really not going to be much you can say to him that's going to change anything. You can't try and appeal to his emotions, because when you're deep in an addiction like that, you just don't care. And you can't try and reason with him to stop, because even if he logically accepts that getting clean is the right way to go, he's not *able* to stop.

You mentioned being in touch with his parents. I feel like by *far* your best bet at influencing him to make some healthy changes is by influencing *them* to start doing some things differently. Obviously, no parent wants to see their child living on the streets. Obviously, it's incredibly hard for any parent to kick their child out when they have nowhere else to go, and step back while they watch their child suffer. But that's what they need to do if they want their son to get help. It's not until the addict reaches a point at which things are bad enough that they're willing to surrender ("rock bottom", as they say), that they are going to be open and willing towards trying something different. Once the pain of staying the way that they are outweighs the pain of trying to change, they'll start moving in a new direction. But if they're being protected from the consequences of their actions, they'll never reach that point at which they're motivated to change.

Most of the people I know who have struggled with addictions like that has gotten clean through the help of twelve-step programs. You could try to introduce him to that, by taking him to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting or something. But my guess is that he won't be willing to go.

Aside from trying to get his parents to see the benefits of dealing with him differently, the best thing you can do is continue to be there for him, so that when he reaches the point where he is willing to get help, he'll have some positive people in his life who he can turn to.
 

jc776

Eminent member
Joined
Jun 30, 2014
Posts
1,404
@jc776

Not true. I agree somewhat with your thinking, and I know that what you are saying is what your researching has found. I will agree that there are many people who are abusing drugs because of some emotional pain, but I cannot agree with the theory of "all."

In saying that all who are overusing their drug or drugs are doing so because of a past and still present emotional pain, it becomes more of an excuse and less of a reason, and I just feel that many people then pick this thought up and us it to justify their continued ongoing drug use.

I also still think that there are some who tried some pills out of curiosity, or just because they wanted to party, and liked it so much that they did it over and over until an addiction developed, having nothing to do with any underlying emotional issues. Because depending on the person and the circumstances, you dance with the devil and he may not let you go.

How about those who have ongoing and real chronic physical pain, and have used pain killers for years to combat this, and they have developed an addiction, which is just a reality given the use of a narcotic over years, it's to be expected in my opinion.

I have an addiction to a pk, no denying it, but I really don't feel that it's due to emotional issues. Not to say I didn't have a pretty shaky upbringing, but hell, a whole lot of people have and to me it's not really a great excuse to use if you do have a narcotic addiction.

All those who use opiates don't need compassion and understanding to open up about some past emotional trauma. I believe that you believe you do, so for you if that works, and gets you to where you want and need to be, I'm happy for you.

But sometimes, if it comes down to saving a life, you just can't continue to wait forever until the person feels safe enough to open up and find the uh, root cause I suppose it would be called. Depends on the circumstances, but there are really times and places that do call for letting the person fall and fail alone, so they" hit the wall and see the light," for some they can't be coddled forever with compassion and patience, because they will continue to do their thing forever too, while you who are patiently waiting and watching them,and probably in your own way of support enabling them, it will last a lifetime, that waiting game.

When looking at adults, I don't see it as taking a punitive approach if you are forcing a person to wake up to reality and take some adult responsibilities, like providing for yourself and working and other things which the normal average joe blow does just because these things are all a part of normal life.

Whomever is aiding an adult to not have to do even the basics or be responsible enough to do them, they are actually hurting the person with their help, make sense or not?

My thoughts on the infantilism is that since you are actually 50 years old, that is a very long time to have never been able to break out of it, and it leaves a lot of years between your childhood and now. This is not a slight toward you, you know that, but if there is one thing which I do know that can heal better than any medication it is called TIME..

I try to understand your logic in that now you have been given your diagnosis', and because of this, when you use your drugs it has become something which can't be helped, as it is one of the symptoms of the diagnosis you were given? Com'on, doesn't that really sound a bit like justifying to continue?

Anyway, back to the person in the topic, the heroin addict, this is someone whom I know I am no better than, just that my addiction and the drug I'm addicted to are different, still, we are both addicts, so if I can't understand, then no one will. Having been addicted to and abused many other narcotics in my past, I get it.

It just appears to me that the man has no goals or plan in life, and never will unless forced to. Which means out, on his own, and no deposit no return has to be the policy by the parents.

If it takes some major fuc-ups and screwing up to get him to realize that the consequences aren't worth it when balancing things, then so be it. It wouldn't mean that the parents or the friend no longer have compassion or care, it means they are willing to let him and his actions save himself, even if those actions have to bring him to his knees first.
Hi @davidpaul

Thank you for your input, we are all entitled to our opinion, even if they differ, in fact, it's good to hear different opinions.

Of course, there are people who need pks for physical pain, and they can get addicted.

Did you know that all the GI's in Vietnam were given opoids, but when they returned home, not all formed physical attachment and could come straight off them with no trouble.
It is theroized that the ones who couldn't come off them, had prior problems (perhaps dormant).
It's usually childhood mistreatment that sets up addiction problems, or some kind of unresolved trauma.

Emotoinal pain is never an 'excuse', this is highly invalidating for people suffering emotional pain enough to self medicate.
Psych meds just don't work for some. For instance, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is difficult to medicate, but there are non drug treatments, which I am getting when I am off drugs.
It's a bit topsy turvy and set up to fail, cos it's the emotional problems that need dealing with so I no longer feel the need to self medicate. I don't overuse opiates, I have a limit, and when that is reached, I have to have opiate free days.
I use probably 3-4 times a week, short half life codeine, and not enough to hang around in my system. I can stop and not get physical withdrawals, but if I stop or reduce tranquilisers, I get really really bad diarrhoea and GI problems.

Not all people 'justify' their drug use due to their emotional pain, except for the ones who want to get blasted. I'm not interested in getting blasted on opiates, Im not keen on the high, I just use it to 'bring me up to baseline'
I also use NA, but some of my shares have been really emotional because I'm usually not using on the days I go to the rooms. Many of my fellow NA'ers can empathise with me and I find it supportive, but I need to attend more meetings, as I've only done four so far.

I have done E, it's ecstatic, but not as good as acid. It's hard to get an addiction to E, as it doesn't work the next day, you need to leave 2-3 weeks in between useage, and psychedelics in general are only useful if you integrate what you have learnt.
I genuinely believe that if I had not used psychedelics and got the spiritual faith I have now regained, I would be dead through suicide, because I would still be ignorant on what makes abusive behaved people tick. I only ever used tiny amounts, because I never knew back then if I had a mental illness or not.
Had I never of used psychedelics, I would never have been able to live with the extremely bitter feelings and general perplexity of life and nature and spirit.
I know some heroin addicts who don't care if they die. One lad even said to his mates, "If I 'go over' (english term for heroin od) you can take whatever is in my pockets, but there isn't much, and this made me feel really sad, becauase I didn't have a grasp on just how sad this poor bloke was, and he was serious.

I think we will have to agree to differ with the excuse thing, but if someone told me I was making excuses, I would feel really invalidated, because I use to get through the day, and on the days i don't use, I can't get out of bed, and am in floods of tears.
I know drugs aren't the answer, but one day follows another, and I keep waking up, over and over again, and the thought of having to go through EVERY day without drugs troubles me, as I need to do my shopping, housework, attend appointments, etc etc

I just had a mammogram, and am not worrying about the results.
I am a worrier, but my worries centre around money worries, and difficult family relationships, plus poor people skills, although I am popular, its only because I am likeable when with people, but avoid them a lot of the time, if I saw more of them when sober, I think my popularity would wane pretty quickly, because my tears would make people sad.
A for the mammogram results, I'm sure they will come back normal, but if they don't, I'm considering opting out of treatment and just asking for palliative care. I know cancer is painful, but at least its a ticket out, a light at the end of the tunnel. Borderline is a very very painful illness, if I were to take treatment for breast cancer, as I am only 50 in Sept, I could live decades yet and that thought scares the hell out of me.

I believe drug addicts, or any addict does need need, and deserve compassion and understanding, even if they are not willing or ready to open up about past emotional trauma.
That's not like us typical stiff upper lip english people, but I am a much warmer natured person than the average grey suited stiff uppper lip person.

You wouldnt believe how many drug addicts work in wall street, or in the city of london. They need to keep up with their competitors, so many take stimulants to enhance their performance and downers to come down off them, not condemning them, that's just how it is in that job.

I think too many of us minimize past emotional trauma or are just unaware of just how damaging it can be.
We are always subtly encouraged to hide our feelings, 'don't show fear' etc, but I find it impossible not to show emotion or fear, I just cannot hide my feelings.
I used alcohol and worse a mask to work (figuratively speaking) but work traumatised me mentally, my mask is transparent.
I got bullied at work, because I was trained not to answer back from a young age, I was called "Wendy weirdo" starting at 3yrs old, by my Dad, not in a fun way, in a negative way. I was also trained not to stand up for myself, and when that window of development is lost in childhood, it is very difficult to get it in adulthood.

Not many people want to talk feelings, because they want to keep a mask on.

I don't want to die a drug addict, but I don't want to continue living if I am going to be as miserable as I have been all my life, but my spiritual beliefs are really strong even though I am not religious, and they prevent me from making any further attempts, as physics tells us the universe is infinite, and to be brief, this means to me, that a successful suicide would only kill the physical body, the astral body would still be here on earth, the body that feels, and the misery would still be here, so suicide attempts are pointless.
I do feel trapped though, cos of this and if I did not have any spiritual beliefs, I would be dead by now.

The root cause is the right name for people's troubles, and there are some very troubled people out there.
There are also some people out there who are troubled but don't take drugs, however they have addictions to other stuff, like my sister for instance, her addiction was to upset people, as she feels so bad about herself, she needs to put others down all the time, same with my late Dad.

It's not about coddling people, it's about showing them that some other people are trustworthy, and that there is some good in the world, coddling suggests enabling, and enabling is destructive.
It's true that some people reach such a low stage that they think "F**** this drug lark, I need help" and that is when they join NA or some other form of help.

Not everyone is well enough to provide for themselves, and all people should be given a basic income for clothes and food and a roof over their head, while getting help with getting off drugs, and if this means they need to find the 'root cause' then so be it.

You can tell a country on how they look after their vulnerable. For instance, countries who don't provide welfare for those who are unable to work, are just cruel and cold.
When I say basic income, I mean just that, basic, not money for drink and drugs, if the person spends their money on drink and drugs, this is a sign they need help, because they will not eat, not have clothes, be homeless etc and in the 21st Century on a planet that CAN provide for everyone if the top 1% weren't so damn greedy, no one should go homeless.

We are brainwashed into thinking that taking a boring and traumatising soul destroying job is respectable, and i bought into that, but all it did was turn me into a non physically addicted alcoholic. I don't know how I did not form a physical addiction to alcohol when working, I was lucky not to. I drank awful amounts. I didn't take drugs at this time. Maybe my liver is damaged, from this, but whatever.
I kicked drink 13 weeks ago, because it was starting to mentally freak me out and turn me into a paranoid wreck, so I was forced to, it wasnt a case of me being strong, it was a case of having no choice but to stop. I feel better not drinking, and I am not sure if I will ever pick up a glass of booze again, hand on heart, wish I could say the same for drugs.

Whomever is aiding an adult to not have to do even the basics or be responsible enough to do them, they are actually hurting the person with their help, make sense or not?
Well yes, this is called enabling.

My thoughts on the infantilism is that since you are actually 50 years old, that is a very long time to have never been able to break out of it, and it leaves a lot of years between your childhood and now. This is not a slight toward you, you know that, but if there is one thing which I do know that can heal better than any medication it is called TIME..[/quoute]
I dont believe time is a healer if the cause is not addressed. All time does, in unaddressed trauma is make it fester and turn a person bitter.
I talked about the window of development in childhood above, and if this is missed, then problems follow into adulthood, which are difficult to treat. Borderline, for instance, is very difficult to treat, and it has a bad reputation.
One doctor, even told my borderline friend, who had to be sectioned, that she was taking up a bed that someone who was really ill could use. She is ill. She cut into her arm "I hate myself" if that isn't ill, then I don't know what is. She's trying to help herself, but a weak personality structure does break sommetimes.
Even last night, I tried to smash a glass on my head, but miraculously, the glass didnt break, and my head was uninjured, unlike the last time when there was a deep gash and a puddle of blood on the floor.
I refused stitches, because I told the paramedics that there are people out there who need them more, as they got a call in from an old man vommittting blood, so they just glued my gash and told me not to wash my hair for a week, but they said they wished I would have let them take me to hospital for stitches, but I felt I didnt deserve their care, and that I knew that NHS resources were too precious to 'waste' on me, as that is how I felt at the time. I hadn't used drugs when I smashed the glass into my head.
I am only violent to myself, but very violent, and I am scared of myself, but my CPN is too busy to listen to what happens to me. I've self harmed all my life, so it was very validating to get a borderline diag even though it was only weeks ago i got it.

I am not justifying my drug use by Borderline. I am waiting for treatment which I will engage with. I use NA, no little girl says "When I grow up, I want to be a drug addict"
I trained as a nurse, but was asked to leave 9 months in, because they said I kept falling apart in emergency situations and they kept saying I wasn't using my common sense, when in reality, I thought each situation through, but things didn't cross my mind. You cannot help it if things don't cross your mind, especially if you give yourself time to think. It was obvious things that didn't cross my mind.

Force and tough love don't work on me, they set me back and trigger me. Of course I dont think drug addicts should steal money off thierr parents or relatives to fund their habits, this is when they need help.
I respect Dr Gabor Mate, a Doc who works with drug addicts in downtown vancouver, he seems to have compassion and empathy. He himself is an addict. He said his shopaholism and workaholism negatively affected his children when they were young, but as he got older he recognised that his adddictions, even though non drug, were destrying his relationships, and he addressed them.
He found out he had ADHD at 50, and from there, began the work firtst on himself, and then on other addicts on the streets of vancouver.
I respect his approach. He has a clinic where addicts are provided with heroin and clean works etc, and treatment, NA etc.

Your frien may well reach a stage where his life has become unmanageable and he finally recognises it. Loads of addicts have been through this. They realise what caused them to be addicts. They cant do it alone, which is where the likes of NA and other organisations come in, peers who can show him he is not alone. Peers who can support him when he feels triggered into using. There will be relapses, but the road is bendy and even if it bends back on itself, if he keeps putting one foot in front of the other, and takes one day at a time, he will get there if he wants, if he doesn't want, then it could end up in death or jail or hospital etc.

- - - Updated - - -

Sorry to hear about your friend. Unfortunately, the situation that he's in is very similar to so many I've heard about before. People experience pain, get prescribed the pain medication, and end up shooting dope when their supply gets cut off of or limited by the doctors. I'm tempted to launch into a big rant about how I feel like the government is going about solving the "opiate epidemic" in all the wrong ways, but that wouldn't really help you or your friend very much.

I've had a lot of experience with addiction and addicts -- I've personally struggled with heroin addiction (albeit somewhat briefly), and I used to work in the addiction recovery field. From what I experienced, and from what countless others have told me about their addiction struggles, there's really not going to be much you can say to him that's going to change anything. You can't try and appeal to his emotions, because when you're deep in an addiction like that, you just don't care. And you can't try and reason with him to stop, because even if he logically accepts that getting clean is the right way to go, he's not *able* to stop.

You mentioned being in touch with his parents. I feel like by *far* your best bet at influencing him to make some healthy changes is by influencing *them* to start doing some things differently. Obviously, no parent wants to see their child living on the streets. Obviously, it's incredibly hard for any parent to kick their child out when they have nowhere else to go, and step back while they watch their child suffer. But that's what they need to do if they want their son to get help. It's not until the addict reaches a point at which things are bad enough that they're willing to surrender ("rock bottom", as they say), that they are going to be open and willing towards trying something different. Once the pain of staying the way that they are outweighs the pain of trying to change, they'll start moving in a new direction. But if they're being protected from the consequences of their actions, they'll never reach that point at which they're motivated to change.

Most of the people I know who have struggled with addictions like that has gotten clean through the help of twelve-step programs. You could try to introduce him to that, by taking him to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting or something. But my guess is that he won't be willing to go.

Aside from trying to get his parents to see the benefits of dealing with him differently, the best thing you can do is continue to be there for him, so that when he reaches the point where he is willing to get help, he'll have some positive people in his life who he can turn to.

Heroin forms the backbone of the worlds economy. Constant demand must be maintained, and constant supply. Heroin dealers, tax men and undertakers are all guaranteed incomes.
Just look at afghanistan now that the west have muscled in, they've got their afghan warlords keeping watch over the opium production.
There's a drugs.inc episode on youtube if you want to learn more, and there are other programs on there about it too, but regretabley I have no links to them.

There are children there who are addicted to heroin.
 

Jazie

Exalted member
Joined
Apr 17, 2011
Posts
3,097
@jc776, I do not believe all "Addicts" have unresolved emotional issues either. It may fit your reasoning, logic, etc., but I have known many who have become addicted due to physical pain and simply because they enjoyed the feeling they received from a certain medication.

I have two very close people to me IRL that have BPD and both are on meds living functional lives, working, taking care of families and as long as they follow both their med regimen, yes there are meds that help and use CBT techniques one would never know they were. One of them had a good childhood, her parents still are in her life, but as a child she started exhibiting symptoms and it had nothing to do with Trauma.

It can be genetic as stated in most research on it:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-...rsonality-disorder/basics/causes/con-20023204

"As with other mental disorders, the causes of borderline personality disorder aren't fully understood. In addition to environmental factors — such as a history of child abuse or neglect — borderline personality disorder may be linked to:

Genetics. Some studies of twins and families suggest that personality disorders may be inherited or strongly associated with other mental disorders among family members.
Brain abnormalities. Some research has shown changes in certain areas of the brain involved in emotion regulation, impulsivity and aggression. In addition, certain brain chemicals that help regulate mood, such as serotonin, may not function properly."


http://www.bpddemystified.com/what-is-bpd/causes/

"It is important to understand that children who have not been exposed to such environmental traumas can still develop borderline disorder. This suggests that in some people the biological risk of developing the disorder is very high, and may be sufficient in the absence of environmental traumas"

To make a generalization that all addictions are caused by our environments is False. Granted many are, but constantly telling people that they have unresolved issues is not right as you do not know people here as individuals.

If anyone I know should be addicted due to childhood trauma then that would be myself included, but I couldn't become an addict if I tried and believe me I did try many times at one point in my life, but my physiological makeup would have nothing to do with it.

I find to be honest you do use your condition(s) to justify your behaviors and I hope you can get into long term treatment to start getting healthy. Until you do I fear your obsessions with your meds will harm you in the end. Sorry, but my honest opinion.
 

Davika

Lapsed Senior Member
Joined
May 3, 2014
Posts
351
@WRfalcon12

I think that there is nothing more to really add since people here have given you wonderful information from their own experience with addiction. You cannot do really much at this point, you are too far away and if you become too involved without having the knowledge how addicts operate, I am afraid he is just going to try to use you (hurt you). No one can make an addict stop, look rehabs can really help but you have to have the motivation to stop and they will help you with building up the willpower.

For now, what his family and friends around him can do is go to NA meetings for family and friends of addicts. They have to learn to stop enabling this guy, addiction is also not a one person thing but a whole family disease. The best thing they can do is to let him hit rock bottom, if they let him continue to use them like that they are basically helping him with digging his own grave. I know that no parent wants to put their own children on the street, but thinking that it's safer for him to stay at home is a false thought. Tough love is really the way to go, I sympathise with the family and you, but do not help him/aid him in maintaining his habit. Again, the parents themselves really need serious help/support group so they can understand how to deal with an addict.
 
Last edited:

blueroan17

Distinguished member
Joined
Oct 24, 2014
Posts
863
First, let me say that I take Zero issue with recreational drug use. My friend, who lives half way across the country, is suffering from heroin addiction brought on by the once readily available opiates that were legally prescribed due to a back injury. His physicians have cut him off from much needed and healthier legal narcotics to relieve pain. It ended up being so much more convenient for him to hit up the "neighborhood" pharmacist for his pain relief than deal with doctors and beg for a prescription. Fast forward 10 years and he is out of control. He won't admit he has a problem, and I know this is the biggest hurdle. I am not trying to judge. I am not trying to overstep any boundaries. I just know he cannot hold a job, he is living with his parents and for obvious reasons, he is losing friends and isolating himself further, perpetuating the problem. Because he won't talk about it with me, I felt I had to contact his parents (who suspected, but are appreciative of the confirmation). I explained that the current popular view on addiction is mostly wrong, and that further isolation and punishment would only worsen his situation. I was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to best approach an obviously very delicate situation.

Also, I apologize that this is not what Pharmacy Reviewer is for and if I've consequently offended anyone. I just want to help a friend through a delicate time and I know you would all have some good insight.

First of all, let me echo @billyboy in saying there's no reason for you to apologize at all! IMHO, allowing members to engage in this kind of thoughtful, probing discussion is one of the primary purposes of PR; and infinitely preferable to not-so-veiled inquiries about the "best source" for A, B or C, so it's particularly refreshing to see a relatively new member bring the topic to the table. Please keep that in mind if what I have to say sounds aggressive or harsh -- not my intent, at all. There are just a few things that puzzle me, and I hope you can clarify:

When you say "the current popular view on addiction is mostly wrong," what do you mean? I ask because it seems to me there are at least a couple of conflicting views, e.g., it is/is not a disease.

His present situation has been 10 years in the making; and he lives far away from you -- so, did you move recently? Otherwise, I'm not clear on how you know just what is going on with him, especially that he is withdrawing from and otherwise losing friends -- are you in regular communication with him, or are other people telling you? Is he starting to withdraw from you as well? That you contacted his parents -- and, moreover, that what you have to say carries considerable weight w/ them -- makes me think you've been a family friend for some time, yes? Were the two of you childhood friends? Did you tell him you were going to talk to his folks before you called them?

You say "his physicians have cut him off" -- but that happened 10 years ago? So he's been doing heroin for a decade? Does he still suffer from back pain, or was that a situation where short-time real need was swiftly followed by long-term recreational use?

Well, re-reading my many questions, I don't think I sound aggressive, just really nosy, lol! But, depending on your answers -- which, of course, you are under no obligation to share! -- I wonder if he is not actually reaching out to you for help right now, while doing that last little frantic dancing around the issue that addicts do when they see a crossroads is coming up fast (like being invited to leave his parents' house) and they're trying to do something, anything about their habit...except stop it.
 

jc776

Eminent member
Joined
Jun 30, 2014
Posts
1,404
@jc776, I do not believe all "Addicts" have unresolved emotional issues either. It may fit your reasoning, logic, etc., but I have known many who have become addicted due to physical pain and simply because they enjoyed the feeling they received from a certain medication.

I have two very close people to me IRL that have BPD and both are on meds living functional lives, working, taking care of families and as long as they follow both their med regimen, yes there are meds that help and use CBT techniques one would never know they were. One of them had a good childhood, her parents still are in her life, but as a child she started exhibiting symptoms and it had nothing to do with Trauma.

It can be genetic as stated in most research on it:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-...rsonality-disorder/basics/causes/con-20023204

"As with other mental disorders, the causes of borderline personality disorder aren't fully understood. In addition to environmental factors — such as a history of child abuse or neglect — borderline personality disorder may be linked to:

Genetics. Some studies of twins and families suggest that personality disorders may be inherited or strongly associated with other mental disorders among family members.
Brain abnormalities. Some research has shown changes in certain areas of the brain involved in emotion regulation, impulsivity and aggression. In addition, certain brain chemicals that help regulate mood, such as serotonin, may not function properly."


http://www.bpddemystified.com/what-is-bpd/causes/

"It is important to understand that children who have not been exposed to such environmental traumas can still develop borderline disorder. This suggests that in some people the biological risk of developing the disorder is very high, and may be sufficient in the absence of environmental traumas"

To make a generalization that all addictions are caused by our environments is False. Granted many are, but constantly telling people that they have unresolved issues is not right as you do not know people here as individuals.

If anyone I know should be addicted due to childhood trauma then that would be myself included, but I couldn't become an addict if I tried and believe me I did try many times at one point in my life, but my physiological makeup would have nothing to do with it.

I find to be honest you do use your condition(s) to justify your behaviors and I hope you can get into long term treatment to start getting healthy. Until you do I fear your obsessions with your meds will harm you in the end. Sorry, but my honest opinion.

@Jazie
You have your view, and thats ok I respect that fact, although it doesn't match mine, but we'd get nowhere if we tried to thrash this out.
I profess not to know all about Borderline, although I've suspected it in myself long ago.
Its where I go from here that matters is all.
I'm awaiting a regimen from my psych, but first, nurse, drug worker and he must find one wednesday to meet and discuss my case and until then I just have to try my best.
Onwards and upwards.
Peace and harmony
Also, I had 35g of my valium, decided to split dose, done another cut, new brand, and its whacked me out, so I dont want to type a load of drivel for you to read though.
lots of love
 

Miss99

Lapsed Senior Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2015
Posts
326
I understand your pain , Although my situation is with my sister and her diagnosis it is the same that she will not admit to needing help no matter what we do and how much we try to help.

I hope your friend see's the light one day soon. Wishing you the best stay strong !!!
 

Ashley_Koxx

Lapsed Senior Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2012
Posts
103
For my sister it took getting hospitalized in the psych ward. My mom and I found her totally messed up and checked her in for a week. She had been abusing Xanax for years -- ended up getting so hooked on it she couldn't sleep without taking a dose much higher than recommended. I think all those years on high doses messed up your mind -- she still isn't the same even though she stopped taking it.
 

jc776

Eminent member
Joined
Jun 30, 2014
Posts
1,404
For my sister it took getting hospitalized in the psych ward. My mom and I found her totally messed up and checked her in for a week. She had been abusing Xanax for years -- ended up getting so hooked on it she couldn't sleep without taking a dose much higher than recommended. I think all those years on high doses messed up your mind -- she still isn't the same even though she stopped taking it.
Thats cos the withdrawals **** uou up more.
NEVER cold turekey benozos, always xfer to valium gradually, each enzo has its equivalent in valium. taper slowly at the persons own rate, the rate their body will allow. These are golden rules in benzo tapering.
 

Mecha

Renowned member
Joined
Jun 22, 2011
Posts
7,437
@jc776 if you are a Xanax addict (and I know you are not), nothing, not valium, nor any other type of benzo is going to help you to get off of Xanax. Xanax is a real mother ****er and has been compared to getting off of Meth. Slow taper for Xanax or just check yourself in. This is one Benzo people should absolutely stay away from. Wish I had. M
 

jc776

Eminent member
Joined
Jun 30, 2014
Posts
1,404
@jc776 if you are a Xanax addict (and I know you are not), nothing, not valium, nor any other type of benzo is going to help you to get off of Xanax. Xanax is a real mother ****er and has been compared to getting off of Meth. Slow taper for Xanax or just check yourself in. This is one Benzo people should absolutely stay away from. Wish I had. M
noooooooooooo no quick detoxes.
You're gradually crossing over to val not taking it as well as, theh ashton manual is often mentioned in here, that has it all.
Xanaxs short half life makes it much more difficult, and its diffficult enough
 
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