#1 Edited by crusader8463 (14419 posts) -

Drinking more then the others is what's killing him.
I have a friend that I play games with every day on Steam. He is 30 years old, lives at home with his parents, and he rarely eats, smokes cigarettes, is a heavy drinker and smokes bags of pot every day. On top of all that he has the memory of a gold fish, and a severe case of depression and ADD that allows him to get disability checks every month, and is how he affords his addiction. 
 
He is a great guy, rather annoying at times like all of us are, but it drives me nuts knowing that he is ruining his life with alcohol and weed. We have had many a long conversation that went from midnight until the break of dawn where I have had to talk him out of trying to kill himself after all the shit he was on fucked him up so badly that day that he loses it all, and to try to talk him into getting help. He had promised me that he was going to at least stop drinking, the drink is what's destroying his body, and up until a few days ago I believed him. He never brought up drinking in conversations like he used to, and I never brought up the topic because I didn't want to get him thinking about it and starting him down the road to relapsing again. He seemed better during our day to day conversations then he ever had, and he started looking into places to move into and jobs he could get. However, a few days ago I couldn't resist any more and brought up the topic when the opportunity in a conversation arose, and sadly the way he responded/dismissed the topic I could tell he was back to his old ways again.
 
I know that it's his life to do as he pleases, and that there is nothing I can do to help him until he truly wants to help himself, but it drives me nuts hearing him do these things. I have my own problems and excuses for how I'm ruining my own life, but I have always been the kind of person who would walk a mile out of his way if it would help someone and it drives me nuts to not be able to help him in the slightest. I will admit that seeing all these ways he has at his disposal to get his life together and actually be happy that I will never have is a big part of what annoys me about his situation, but that he ignores them and refuses to do them for no other reason then "because" is just salt in the wounds. I'm sure the old grass is always greener thing applies to me looking from the outside in on him that someone would say about me if they got to know my situation too, but that doesn't change that he could still be leading a great life but just doesn't.



Anyway, I just felt like getting that off my chest. I know it's a subject that''s hard to talk about, but I thought it might start some interesting conversations so I made it a thread. Feel free to talk about anything related to the subject, as I didn't really make this with a discussion in mind other then saying my bit that I just did and seeing where it goes.
#2 Posted by Gamer_152 (14066 posts) -

That's sad to hear about your friend. If he has genuine depression then that's something that needs treating, it sounds like he could benefit from the help of a psychiatrist. To answer the original question though, yes, I do know a number of people who are abusing alcohol.

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#3 Edited by crusader8463 (14419 posts) -
@Gamer_152: Ya, I have tried suggesting stuff like that but he has almost literally had people do things for him all his life so he refuses to put even the simplest of effort into getting help. Even if it would change his life for the better. Plus, he says that he has been in and out of rehab several times and it never worked for him. So I think he is kind of jaded on the idea.
#4 Posted by BeachThunder (11809 posts) -

Uncool story bro :'( Is he taking anything for depression? Anyway, nice of you to be there for him <3
 
Anyway, to answer your question, no. Most people I know don't drink alcohol or do drugs of any sort.

#5 Posted by crusader8463 (14419 posts) -
@BeachThunder: Thanks, and not that I'm aware. With all the crap he does I doubt he could even take them.
#6 Posted by Gamer_152 (14066 posts) -
@crusader8463 said:
@Gamer_152: Ya, I have tried suggesting stuff like that but he has almost literally had people do things for him all his life so he refuses to put even the simplest of effort into getting help. Even if it would change his life for the better. Plus, he says that he has been in and out of rehab several times and it never worked for him. So I think he his kind of jaded on the idea.
The depression itself could also be a very strong factor in why he won't get help. Of course rehab and psychiatry are very different experiences but with the way he is it sounds like it may take someone reaching out to him in real-life to help him change. You sound like a good person, I hope your friend gets help.
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#7 Posted by SpartyOn (500 posts) -

@crusader8463: Man if it's getting that bad, and people are just nurturing that behavior, then you have to be the friend that tells him what he NEEDS to hear, and not just what he wants to hear. Many larger hospitals or community centers have help groups for things like that. If he isn't seeing how his behavior is negatively affecting him on his own, maybe he needs to hear it from other people.

Anyways, yeah I've known a couple of people like that. One was a good friend, a family friend, who actually got out of jail for his addictions late last year, then passed away from an OD the night he got out. Things like that can get out of hand very quickly, and it's a tragedy when it succeeds in ruining a life.

On a lighter note, it's really good of you to stick in there and reading your post it's obvious you care about him. I wish you both the best man.

#8 Posted by TheGreatGuero (9130 posts) -

Well, I don't like to get too personal here online, so I'm not going to elaborate too much on this, but my mom is a major victim of alcoholism. As a result, she's developed what is known as alcohol-related dementia. It's destroyed her whole life. Heck, it's screwed up the whole family. It's like it's created multiple personalities in her, and very rarely is she ever like her old self. Complete personality changes have occurred, so she's like an entirely different person and pretty much all she cares about is getting more alcohol. I've tried so much to get her the help she needs, but my dad hasn't been as cooperative and it's hampered her progress. We've been dealing with it for years now, and the truth is, she'll likely never recover.

#9 Posted by crusader8463 (14419 posts) -
@Gamer_152 said:
@crusader8463 said:
@Gamer_152: Ya, I have tried suggesting stuff like that but he has almost literally had people do things for him all his life so he refuses to put even the simplest of effort into getting help. Even if it would change his life for the better. Plus, he says that he has been in and out of rehab several times and it never worked for him. So I think he his kind of jaded on the idea.
The depression itself could also be a very strong factor in why he won't get help. Of course rehab and psychiatry are very different experiences but with the way he is it sounds like it may take someone reaching out to him in real-life to help him change. You sound like a good person, I hope your friend gets help.
I think the depression is all part of the cycle. He started doing all the stuff for all the same dumb reasons most people do, but then over time they just stayed as a part of his daily life and got bigger instead of him growing out of it like a lot of people who do it casually do. As time went on and he got older and less and less things changed and the more he realized he was stuck the depression kicked in. Now it's all part of the same thing. He's depressed because of the drugs/drink, and he drinks/drugs because of the depression.
#10 Posted by NathHaw (2760 posts) -

I don't know your friend of course, but I may know where he is coming from. I can almost assure you that the reason he was so dismissive about your bringing up the subject was that he is utterly embarrassed about his situation. It's kinda weird how that works -- a person drinks to feel better, but the drinking makes the person ultimately feel worse (so they drink more). Alcoholism is tough, and it destroys not only the drinker's body but the relationships the drinker has.

It also seems that his situation around him enables and reinforces his addictive behavior. I feel sorry for him, but I know he feels way sorrier for himself.

#11 Posted by Seedofpower (3928 posts) -

I can name about 9 people off the top of my head that have problems with substance abuse. It is a sad state of affairs but his family is doing more harm than good but enabling his behavior. This story reminds me of someone I work with.

I talked to this guy every day we worked together about positive change and how you will only be happy if you set off and create it yourself. It took about 3 years but he finally decided to quit doing pills and start working out. His is considering going back to school and moving out. It is a slow start but it is something.

Only word of advice I can give about this is, don't give in and don't give up.

#12 Posted by Leptok (942 posts) -

He's not going to change. Why should he? He's got his drugs and a way to support them. He'll be like that till his parents die and then he doesn't have a place to stay.

#13 Posted by Claude (16255 posts) -

You can only do so much online. In the end, it's up to the individual. Be kind, and if so inclined, be there for them. That's all you can do.

#14 Posted by salad10203 (654 posts) -

My sister just got arrested so this was fresh on my mind, have you thought of an intervention, or something more realistic, like a slap with reality?  You're friend won't quit unless someone makes him.  Its an addiction, not a lifestyle choice, remember that.  

#15 Posted by Rebirth1337 (795 posts) -

Eh I had a friend in high school who took the whole smoking pot thing to far. We started smoking  at the start of our senior year but I stopped months before we graduated and he is still going. We don't talk much any more and I hear he is no longer going into the Air Force and I assume it's because he can't smoke there.

#16 Posted by crusader8463 (14419 posts) -
@salad10203: @Leptok:  Oh I know that, and that's what it's no doubt going to take to get him to change, but I honestly don't think he will be able to survive it. I can only do my part, and he has to do his.
 
@Claude:  I know I know... it just drives ya nuts being so helpless in situations like these.
#17 Edited by Anupsis (289 posts) -

I know exactly how you feel man. I live with someone who started smoking pot. After I while I found out about it and he promised he would stop and I believed him. When I found out he didn't stop a few months later he lost my trust but I still tried to talk to him and help him through his depression. When he could not get any I would wake up in the morning and my father would tell me how he was passed out on the floor in a pile of puke from drinking too much. 
 
Eventually he listened to me and went to the doctor and is now on medication and he is doing a lot better now. He recently started smoking a bit again and is trying to hide it so he still worries me but I try my best to help him through it. I will admit that it got to the point where I could barely live with him anymore. He is a lot better now but I am planning on getting my own place in the future because it is not easy to watch them decline like that for so long. 
 
I will always be there for him but you cannot spend all day talking to them about how worried they are about everything. They focus on the bad things so much that they need to find a good way to relax. The most you can do is talk to him and hope he goes to get help. Being forced into it will just make it harder for him.

#18 Posted by crusader8463 (14419 posts) -
@Anupsis: I'm sorry to hear that about your friend, and I wish you the best. It's really shitty to see stuff like that happen to good people.
 

I will always be there for him but you cannot spend all day talking to them about how worried they are about everything. They focus on the bad things so much that they need to find a good way to relax. The most you can do is talk to him and hope he goes to get help. Being forced into it will just make it harder for him.

Ya, I came to that conclusion a while back too. I think at the very least he has stopped drinking as much as he was not too long ago, because he seems more clear of mind a lot of the time. I try to avoid conversations that may lead down that road or when I can tell he is trying to set something up I will change the subject unless it sounds really serious and not just a preamble to trying to start a pity party. It seems to have helped some. Other then what I mentioned in my OP he has been a lot less doom and gloom for the last month or so, but it was just that comment when I brought the subject up that got me worried that he may fall back in again.
 
I try to always point out the good things and bug/remind him about things like looking for places he can afford to live at and the like to try and inspire him to do it. Like all of us he has his good and bad days though.
#19 Posted by harvey_the_pooka (271 posts) -

@ crusader8463  
I can totally relate to this story as I am an alcoholic myself. I am trying to stop but it´s really really difficult for me. I only drink beer and is what is considered a functional alcoholic who still keeps a "normal" life and goes to work and stuff. I can totally relate to you friend and I am sure deep inside he wants to stop but just can´t. 

#20 Posted by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -

@Bloviator said:

I don't know your friend of course, but I may know where he is coming from. I can almost assure you that the reason he was so dismissive about your bringing up the subject was that he is utterly embarrassed about his situation. It's kinda weird how that works -- a person drinks to feel better, but the drinking makes the person ultimately feel worse (so they drink more). Alcoholism is tough, and it destroys not only the drinker's body but the relationships the drinker has.

It also seems that his situation around him enables and reinforces his addictive behavior. I feel sorry for him, but I know he feels way sorrier for himself.

I couldn't agree more. The more he feels like somebody is pushing him to alter his behavior, the more he will want to withdraw and indulge in his vices and the misery that comes with it. It's a delicate situation. The last thing one would want to do is deliver some kind of ultimatum or directly imply that you wouldn't want to continue being his friend if he kept up with his actions. Gotta handle it with 'kid gloves', but not to the extent that he thinks you're patronizing him.

My advice would be to get him out of the house more often and make him realize he can still experience endorphins without chemical aid. Go bowling, hit up an arcade, have a night out in the big city, whatever. Provide an opportunity for him to remind himself that he's still alive.

#21 Posted by scarace360 (4828 posts) -

Well thats one less person on the planet!

#22 Posted by crusader8463 (14419 posts) -
@scarace360: Really?
#23 Posted by shinigami420 (640 posts) -

Yes you

#24 Posted by scarace360 (4828 posts) -
@crusader8463 said:
@scarace360: Really?
yup.
#25 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

I avoid people like that. I refuse to touch any of that shit, and it's because of that. My family has major alcoholism issues, same with smoking. Whenever my friends started in high school I was always the first to make sure they either stopped that shit or stopped being around them. I don't want to deal with that kind of drama in my life. It's sad that people let that happen to them. I'm uncomfortable with casual drinking, but addiction just makes me sick. I hope your friend gets his shit in order. I know one of my best friends went through a period of somewhat abusive drinking, but got their shit together after some things happened, and I was so relieved. Hopefully the people in your friends life stop enabling and supporting his crap, because he'll never get out of it until he has to in order to survive.

#26 Posted by shadystx (182 posts) -

You hit the nail on the head when you said nobody can help him untill he wants to help himself.
 
I am a former drug addict and from the age of 14 was into drugs and crime, IMO addiction is so individual to the person, everyone is different, I always aspired to change to be better where I had friends who were very happy with their life and contiue it now which I could never understand, Nothing good will ever happen while your in that lifestyle, I have been in car crashes where friends have died been to prison been stabbed 5 times on one occasion stabbed once with a screwdriver on a  different occassion, nearly died several times and for what to feel like shite, But even though i felt terrible all the time it was so hard to change, In the end i had to remove myself completly, leave behind every friend I have had since childhood and try to move on, I am at college and working part time now and lifes getting better and I feel no need to go back to that life as I just remind myself daily that it was horrible, addicts are proffesional forgetters they convince themselfs that it was not so bad and remember the good early days fondly and it becomes so easy to relaspe.
 
My advice to you is to just be a friend and one day your chance will come when he wants help and to have you their to provide some could really be the difference for him to change his life, I was lucky that my family always stuck by me so I had them but i would have loved to have a friend that was not into that lifestyle at all and wanted to help things would have been easier.
Good on you also for wanting to help, some people think addict and want nothing to do with them believing the addiction instantly makes him a bad person.
Also the depression could simply be because of the addiction as mine was, my anxiety and depression gradually left the longer I stayed clean, But the intial detox is more difficult as the anxiety and depression are much greater in those first few weeks, It just like trying to quit smoking if you can make it through the first couple of weeks you have a good chance of success and a good life.

#27 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

Get him to rehab even if you have to drag his depressed ass there.
Or beat him up before you do it, trust me, talking ain't gonna help shit.

#28 Posted by Bruce (5264 posts) -
@crusader8463:  
 
The first paragraph reminds me of a few former Gamespot users, minus the sympathy.
 
As for the question, college inevitably  exposes you to that stuff. I can't even begin to count the people I've met who are into drugs---now, keep in mind, when I say drugs I mean snorted and injected narcotics. And they aren't dumb people; some of them have great G.P.A.s and attend great schools, so the nonchalant manner in which most of them express their love for the stuff is tragic. However, I usually just let it go, hoping they're just in a college phase. 
 
But in your friend's case, he's thirty; so this is way beyond college experimentation / stupidity.
#29 Posted by Makoto_Mizuhara_Sakamoto (592 posts) -

I know someone who deals. Does that count?