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at loss what to do, friend struggling with addiction
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at loss what to do, friend struggling with addiction

My friend has been in/out of lockup at least 7x now. I lost count and now he's on his way to prison not sure yet how long. Its all related to his drug addiction. I used to put in $30-40 a week then lost job plus his family would send him money. His family told me they put in $40 a week as I'm unable to contribute right now. Why would anyone behind bars need that amount of $$$ a week when meals are provided 3x a day???

Every time he was in, he'd say that he's going to get clean but then when he's out, he goes right back to the drugs. I have to wonder if there's somehow he's using behind bars or buying those phone cards to keep in touch with his drug-buddies? My friend won't admit if he's using. Even on the outside, he was smart at hiding his drug use.

Then he got mad at me after telling me that it was okay to tell some his FB friends privately that he was getting help for his drug addiction. The friends I told it to were the ones that lived around this town where it started getting him in trouble with drugs in the first place. I thought it was odd that he didn't want any of them to know but it was okay for his old friends that have nothing to do with his addiction to know that he was getting help to get clean. I wonder maybe, he was trying to live a double life on the outside?

I want to be his support but the lies that he tells me about getting clean and staying that way, its hard to trust him.  that he actually wants to get clean
5 Comments Post a Comment
Hi & thanks for reaching out!
The sad fact of the matter is your buddy is a drug addict in every sense of the word. Yes, it's quite possible that he's using inside. I know many who have, although I doubt it's coming out of his canteen money unless there's some kind of fiddle going on there.

The red flag is that he keeps his secret, meaning he doesn't want help and is 'running'. He's in denial. He's not ready to stop at the moment & no one -- including you can stop him until he's ready to do absolutely everything required for him to stay clean.

The first three things that would prove he's ready would be: 1) To admit he's out of control & will never be able to control his use - that he's an addict. 2) To cut all his sources, drug friends & get rid of any and all of his stash. 3) To come out to family & friends as an addict. Naturally, there's a lot more work to follow but that's generally how it starts when someone is serious about getting clean.

What you have to understand as a friend who cares and a non-addict is that you SIMPLY CANNOT do this for him. It will only end in heartbreak for you. It might also lead to co-dependance where he manipulates you (he sounds rather cagey) -- you think you're helping him but are actually helping him to maintain his addiction. So, as hard as this may sound, I would suggest that you stay away from your friend until he shows real signs of wanting to get clean, reaches out and then help him to the best of your ability as long as it doesn't cause you stress/heartache, etc.

Hope this helps a little. Please, keep us posted. We're here!
you got great advise above friend.
If I were you I would go on with my life and set my goals high for myself for success.
Unfortunately, you are going to drive yourself crazy trying to figure it out.  I've realized as hard as it is you can't control what other people do.  You can pray he does the right thing and you just have to cautious.  You will know in time if he is or not.  All you can do is offer him the help when he's really ready to get it.  Good LUck.
As mean as it sounds, I decided to greatly limit m contact with him.  He will be locked up for awhile and won't be visiting him there anymore.  I know people may say that visits have a positive effect however, I go there and every time we have our conversation, he barely says anything as to what's going on like court dates and just general stuff, Then at the end, he always asks for money which I have given him very little and won't be anymore a I refuse to enable him.  I still plan to write him letters and send him photos occasionally.  He also rarely writes back so its says a lot how he feels about me and find his excuses to be b.s.  I told him if that's the life he wants to live, I'm not going to get pulled down into it  Its too exhausting mentally and emotionally.
So, he's not using his canteen money for stamps huh? lol

Well, an addict first learns a certain responsibility and that would be to talk his own talk , and then walk the walk that goes with the talk.
He needs to speak for himself , or reach out by mail, himself rather than use you for a mouthpiece to maybe get some pity visits and funds. It sounds like that's why he wants you to tell people that are in the position to maybe help him.

And an addict that's getting treatment of any kind (AA NA in prison) would know that they were supposed to tell the using friends that he was done. Normally, I would say that he should talk , person to person, and look after his own business. If an addict wanted me to let his using friends he was getting clean, and he wanted no contact with him after he get's out of prison ~ I would probably break the rule and oblige (with a boot up somebody's *** no doubt lol) But let's face it , jail birds (and I've been one, always say "hey , it feels kind of good being sober, I can do this".

The only way to take this bird seriously though is if he told you to tell his using friends he was "done", then maybe I'd think he was serious. But, that's not the case here honey. Unless you're loaded financially, do you have an extra $160 to throw his way ? It's really up to his family of origin or a fiance to look after him or not? It sounds like his family is willing to use you, as much as your friend. You have to define your relationship with him. ie. a friend that he sees, if he goes to outpatient or residential treatment when he leaves jail, where he's getting substance testing. or a friend that doesn't talk or see him until he does. It really sounds like this is where you're at , by your own words. You know his family will look after him.

If you want to have something to do with him (and it sounds as if you might , if you've been putting in $40 a week) then do yourself a favor and go to an  Alanon meeting to see how to ........A) best support him without enabling him.......and B) look after yourself, emotionally, financially, physically etc.

Do you know how much is in his canteen when you put in $$ ?. I'm thinking that he's just stashing cash for when he leaves jail, for dope

Don't be drawn in sweetheart, there's nothing whatsoever you can do for this fellow except to reinforce Alanon and AA rhetoric. He doesn't need you to do that, or anything. He knows how to get help. Has he mentioned going to AA in jail.? Not that it matter, many go just to get off the range.

I'm proud of you that you're refusing to enable him anymore, as I said, if you need some love and reinforcement, if you're having a hard time ever letting go (and you feel like backsliding and giving in) you go to a meeting (alanon) and you'll be okay. (with support from those who understand).
Let us know if you need to talk. Liz (15 years clean and sober).
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