Worried about Someone’s Drug Use?
- July 14, 2009 at 5:02 am #677013
Worried About Someone’s Drug Use
Can’t help but notice it’s a bit over the top? Worried? Really worried? Want to help, and don’t know where to start? This information is for you.
So, you’re concerned. Maybe more than that. Maybe terrified. You are not alone. Many other people are sharing this experience with you, many in silence. There isn’t yet a simple solution if you are the partner, parent, adult child or close friend of someone who has some kind of problem with their drinking or drug use. The ideas here explore some common problems, and what you can do. Its ever so easy to forget that you can remember what you can do, when you get lost in noticing all the things that you’d love to do, and can not. I’m hoping to help you to identify some ways that you are already using successfully to change, and think about how to use some of those strategies in this situation.
The person who is experiencing problems with their use is choosing to use. They might not feel that a choice is involved. They might believe that they are ill, or powerless, or that they have bad genes. It’s OK, that’s allowed. It can help you to believe that the person who is experiencing problems with their use is choosing to use. Choice is better than no choice, and whilst what you believe to be true may rarely (if ever) actually be true, your perceptions will truly drive your experience. Choose something resourceful, now. Choose many resourceful things. You already have all of the resources that you need to achieve this, as the other person has all of the resources they need to achieve a change for themselves, too, and they can choose to do that, too if they choose to decide that it’s what they want.
They’re still using!
Of course. Sometimes change doesn’t happen immediately, occasionally it just takes a little longer than that. Drugs are all around us…many of us drink, or smoke, or use other drugs…used in many social contexts …changing how we feel …reducing inhibitions …increasing confidence.
Drinking to celebrate, to commiserate, we laugh, we cry, we worry, we feel unhappy, we use. We feel, we blank-out feelings we would prefer not to experience. We use. Blank blank blank. blank. blank.
blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank blank
hello, my name’s Jim and I’m blank
What’s a problem?
Hey, good question. What problem is drug use causing you? Go get a paper and pen, talk to the screen, notice the problems that drug use is causing you. Hey, and you don’t even have a drug problem, right? I mean, some people will say that drug use can become habitual; people can start to rely on the drug to enjoy themselves or to deal with an unchanging situation, stress or unwelcome feelings. Whatever. Maybe the user will follow set behavior patterns. And don’t you? Using any drug daily has the potential to become dependent drug use. You can not change that, and you can change you. People change. You’re people. I could tell you about physical dependence, a withdrawal syndrome, unpleasant (and sometimes dangerous) physical and psychological effects, and is that helpful?
Some people find that self-help groups like Al-anon (for the families of drinkers) can be very helpful. It’s easy to get sucked into the content of other people’s pain, or even your own. I guess one important question for any people who’re thinking that what’s happening right now is a hindrance, needs changing, now, is if you don’t like it, what would you like instead? What would that better future look like? How will you sharpen your focus on that future, turn the brightness up just a little bit so you can hear what you’re saying, as you see yourself and know how that feels, now. Sometimes it’s important to look after you, to find out about other services that are out there for you.
I’m often amazed at the number of people who are out there, just waiting for someone just like you to call them up, ask for help. If you can’t cope on your own then don’t. You don’t have to. Nobody who ever said you do have to ever really knew that for sure, they just believed it to be so. If it’s not helpful to believe that right now then pretend to believe something else, just for a moment, and find out what it feels to be like one of those people who picks up the phone directory and looks up adverts for people who love to help other people, listed under strangely enticing and wonderful sounding names like ‘counseling’, ‘alcohol’, ‘drugs’.
They’re still using!
Of course, sometimes change doesn’t happen immediately, and occasionally it just takes a little longer than that.
Keep communicating. Support is important. Some people find it takes more than one attempt to change a behavior and do things differently from now on. Taking charge and deciding to make changes permanent takes all of the courage you’ve got, however much you’ve got right now. It never takes more than that. Sometimes it takes even less, and people just do it.
When things are changing you get flooded with new information. What works, what helps, what prevents, what gets in the way. People who are using a drug to control how they feel know that it works. If they are going to learn a new way of being that they don’t yet know works, they are going to be investing some of their time on the planet in learning how. There is no failure, only feedback. If what you’re doing isn’t working, try something else. The really successful people are generally the most flexible. Talking and listening can help you to listen and be heard.
Seeing someone change in the way you want can be rewarding, and some changes may be less rewarding. How you relate is changing. This may be great. It’s what you want, now. You may find that other changes take you away from where you want to be, now. There may be things which the drug use has been masking. Independence may leave you to choose new roles for yourself. Choose wisely.
I want to help
You can stop someone else using. People do this all the time. Advertising empires are built on the ability to change people’s behavior. Behavior change is not complicated. You will have already noticed that it is rare to win any argument by taking the opposing side. We can encourage change, and we can change our own behavior to do that. Noticing the choices that are available. Helping other people to notice choices. Choosing the best future for ourselves. Taking choices that lead us there. If it sounds simple, it might be.
The first step for you may be to talk to the person you are worried about openly and honestly, explaining to them the problems that their drug use is creating for you. Remembering that perception is everything. Before that, it might be useful to spend a little time noticing the behaviors that you do that are causing you problems. Communicating directly rather than hinting is very important. Specificity is important. Sometimes it’s important to remember that it’s particularly rare for anyone to always do anything. Listen to the other person. Be listened to. Notice what it is you want them to do, and it might sometimes be useful to hear what you want from their perspective too. They will have feelings about their drug use, and will have some idea of how it helps them, too.
You might want to make your own boundaries clear. What behaviors will you accept? What action will you take if these boundaries are ignored? If other people who might be involved can agree to support you then it might be less confusing for the user.
The user may feel more able to change if they can see the effects their drug use is having. Sometimes, people support other people’s behaviors through their own behavior without even noticing, by hiding the behavior from other family, friends or colleagues, by joining in the behavior with them, by avoiding social situations that might involve alcohol, drugs, other people using, other triggers…what else might you want to change? How much responsibility are you prepared to let go?
Look in the book. Pick up the ‘phone. Dial that number. You deserve it.March 15, 2010 at 11:38 pm #749508
I’m concerned about my own recent drug consumption, it is sadly lacking!March 16, 2010 at 12:02 am #749505
don’t worry mate, i’m coming to brighton on the 26th-28thMarch 16, 2010 at 12:10 am #749509
@p0ly 376523 wrote:
I break up on the 26th all ma house mates will have gone as well. Free house mashup flex i am thinking yess!March 16, 2010 at 12:13 am #749506
oi oooooooooiMarch 17, 2010 at 5:05 am #749510
sounds like a party.March 17, 2010 at 12:50 pm #749503
all round willdaforce’s place on the 26th .. WOOOOO!!!!
:laugh_at:March 18, 2010 at 10:45 am #749511
im in!!March 25, 2010 at 8:02 am #749507
‘Worried about someones drug use’
my own!! damn ket lolNovember 13, 2013 at 3:39 pm #749517
I’m worried about someone.
A 16’teen year old boy I know.
He have ended up in hospital twice taking LSD and having seizures and when they tried to stop them he stopped breathing
and they had to put him in a respirator till the seizure stopped.
The problem is that he think it’s cool and that he is invincible.
What can you do about that :hopeless:November 13, 2013 at 4:39 pm #749512
Has a Doctor diagnosed the cause of the seizures?November 13, 2013 at 4:45 pm #749518
They said it was the LSD mixed with Ritalin (that he had to take for ADHD) in the beginning
The doctors took him off Ritalin because of the seizure and they didn’t trust him not to take other drugs, but then he did LSD again and ended up
in hospital once more 🙁
So I think it’s the LSDNovember 13, 2013 at 7:34 pm #749513
If it were JUST the LSD then that would be highly unusual. There may be an underlying health condition.
According to my research LSD can be a trigger for existing epilepsy. Best to get him checked out.November 13, 2013 at 7:35 pm #749504
Often other (nastier) chemicals are sold as LSD, emergency doctors/nurses are not drugs specialists and there are ethical issues with getting blood samples etc for research when priority is keeping the patient alive.
If being twice in the Emergency Department has not frightened him enough it is difficult, young men at age 16-30 often do not care if they live or die – I was like that around those ages, even though I did not have a bad family background and loving parents/sister/cat. many take all sorts of risks with their lives – consider that there is no more national service conscription in any Northern European country, yet young men often willingly sign up to the military because “it is fun/exciting” (I nearly did so myself were it not for the institutional racism!)
I’ve noticed the same behaviour amongst some younger lads I know on the rave scene. It should be considered the same as a young person attempting suicide/self harm, and treated accordingly by some way of encouraging the young person to value their life more. I am not a doctor so don’t know what that treatment/therapy is correctly called, and in any case it isn’t the sort of thing that can (or should be) delivered at “hospital” type places (which if he has ADHD he might have seen plenty enough of already).
When I was around 16/17 and going through some bad mental health problems (and I did not even regularly take drugs then!) a kind teacher in my high school said that my parents should not push me to go to University to do formal courses in electronics but instead go to a college where you could do music/AV production. Unfortunately those courses were in London (we lived 50km West in a town called Reading), and you could not get grants to attend them from the Council plus some things I wanted to do were not yet properly invented, but hopefully there are more opportunities for a 16 year old lad in a Northern European country these days.November 13, 2013 at 8:36 pm #749519
I sure hope there will be, it don’t look good to be hosest :hopeless:
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