Friend out of options?

by Brian


I have a friend suffering with addiction. He says he hates his life, admits to being an addict, but claims he doesn’t want to stop using. He deals drugs because he cannot get a job due to his extensive criminal record.

He has no money, no insurance, no support system. I believe is is on disability (but I’m not 100% sure. He also claims to be bi-polar and is prescribed Seroquel.

Are there any options for him? For treatment or even employment? He is in the Atlanta area of Georgia…



He Needs to Allow Help

by: Ned Wicker

Dear Brian,
Denial is a very powerful weapon against people getting into treatment and recovery. He hates his life, admits to being an addict, but he wants to keep using. In other words, no matter how bad it gets, I’d rather die than not use drugs. He is suffering the consequences of his own choices in life. Options? It does not appear that he will allow or consider options.
There is always hope, but he has to want to get better. He has to be a part of the changes that are necessary to make his life worthwhile. Being in denial, or digging his heels in the ground, refusing to budge from his addicted, directionless life, isn’t going to help. There are options all over Atlanta, places to get help and get back on track. However, he isn’t likely going to let anyone help him as long as he believes that using drugs is the only way he can exist.
There is little you can do to force the issue. You don’t have any leverage, other than your relationship. Perhaps his family could step in and get him into treatment. The bi-polar is just a co-occurring condition that makes the problem more difficult, as I can only imagine what the drugs are doing to his brain, and if he isn’t taking his meds for that, the likelihood of some kind of psychotic break is heightened.
You can call Al-anon and talk to them about what friends can do. They are a terrific group and have sage advice for people like you. You can also talk to his family and see if a plan can come together to get him into treatment. To stop him from using, he may have to be locked up, but that is really useless without a treatment program to help him control his disease.
Addiction is also a condition of the spirit. The drugs may be the only thing he really believes in. In addition to his body being healthy and his mind being healthy, his spirit must be healthy and in balance. That is why the AA Big Book talks about needing a “spiritual experience” to overcome.

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