How to Stop a Friend Using Cocaine Before It Kills Them?

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Cocaine is highly addictive, and many people start out using this drug when someone offers it to them at a party or social event with the claim that it’ll make them have more fun. Your friend might not have known all of the dangers associated with cocaine when they first picked it up. Now, they may not be able to fight through their addiction enough to see the risks that they are taking. Friends are often the first people to notice when a person has gone too far with using drugs, and you are right to be concerned about their health.

Cocaine triggers the body to release norepinephrine, and this hormone impacts the cardiovascular system by narrowing the blood vessels and increasing a person’s heart rate. Your friend might not realize that they are in danger, but even using cocaine for the first time can trigger seizures and cardiac arrest. Figuring out how to stop a friend using cocaine before it kills them requires you to think carefully about what matters to them enough to make them want to get sober.

Talk to Your Friend About Your Concerns

Your first step is to make sure that you aren’t doing anything that enables your friend to continue to use cocaine. Some of the actions friends take feel like they are helping when they are not. If you are doing any of the following things, then it is time to stop.

  • providing them with a ride to get money or visit their dealer
  • giving them money directly
  • serving as an alibi when they are out using drugs
  • helping to hide their drug use from others
  • bailing them out of jail

If you’ve been doing any of these things, don’t feel bad. It is natural to want to help a friend. Instead, you can take the next step of deciding to let your friend know that you will no longer do anything that helps them use cocaine. Since this is a difficult conversation, make sure to hold it somewhere private such as your home. You’ll also want to make sure to talk to your friend when they are sober. Once you sit down to talk, make sure to keep your message positive and honest. Start by mentioning the things that worry you, such as them recently losing a job or embarrassing themselves in public. Then, move on to sharing your new boundaries. If they react poorly, then you may need to reach out for back up.

Find Other People Who Will Help With an Intervention

Many people don’t agree to treatment the first time that someone suggests that they have a problem. Instead of viewing that first conversation as a failure, think of it as planting the seeds for the next step. Hosting an intervention is another effective way to help someone stop using cocaine. An intervention involves bringing other people into the conversation who can share their experiences. Your friend might need to hear about how their parents worry about their health. Or, they may need to know that a romantic partner is thinking about leaving if they don’t get their addiction under control. If your friend doesn’t have many other people in their social group, you can reach out to an intervention specialist who will talk to them about the benefits of seeking treatment.

Put Together a List of Options for Support

Your friend may accept your advice during your initial conversation or after the intervention. When they do, you want to be prepared to act immediately after they say they’ll get help. Waiting even one day can make a difference in whether or not your friend goes to rehab. Doing some research now about the programs that might be the right fit for your friend gives you a starting point for setting them up for treatment. Make a list of who to call so that you can help support them as they take the first step of ending their cocaine addiction.

You’ll also want to let your friend know that you’ll do whatever you can to support them while they are in treatment and once they get done with the initial phase. Telling them that you’ll call or visit them while they are in inpatient treatment softens the blow of setting boundaries. Your friend will also feel less alone if you show them that you are only distancing yourself because of the cocaine and not because of them. Sharing that you can’t wait to do sober activities together helps them see that they can look forward to a better future and closer relationship when they choose to protect their health.

Worrying about someone’s cocaine use takes a toll on your emotional wellbeing. Are you ready to send your friend a lifeline? Give us a call at 833-285-1315 and we’ll help you find resources for support that your friend will accept.

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