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How to help a meth addict


How to help a meth addict

I was getting discouraged reading all the posts that say,

"There is nothing you can do to help a meth addict."

Or posts that contain similar messages.
I'm almost wanting to title this post:
"Would you please STOP IT."

In the past few years I've posted over and over again things that families, loved ones and addicts themselves can do.

Maybe there's nothing that YOU want to do, or maybe there's nothing that You're willing to do. If that's the case, admit it. There is no shame in that. I've given up in the face of adversity many times, all of us have at one time or another. I admit it. But I'm not going to tell others that they should give up. That is their choice. Many of YOU have been pushed beyond reasonable limits, you've been hurt beyond anything acceptable. I understand that, but please don't tell newcomers to this forum that there is nothing that they can do. How do you know there is nothing they can do?

Their situation may be much different than yours. Even a couple pages of posting won't be enough to reveal all the details. If nothing else, YOU can pray for the situation. That IS something YOU can do.

Have you exhausted all resources? Probably not? I'm not trying to play Pollyanna (a somewhat derogatory term for a naïve person who always expects people to act decently, despite strong evidence to the contrary) here and tell you it will be easy, because in most cases, it will be very tough. But there is always hope, there is always another resource and avenue. It may not be wise or prudent in some cases, but there are always options. If giving up is the choice you want to make, that is an individual thing.

People can and DO recover from meth addiction everyday. If the price is too high, I can understand that also, the emotional price of helping a meth addict to recovery can be HUGE, and it might be so huge as to be impractical. But that doesn't mean that there is nothing that can be done. Nor does it mean there is nothing you can do. 


Re: How to help a meth addict

I'm a newcomer in posting lately -- my opinion is to save ourselves. If we are strong and intact, we are doing something -- not nothing -- and the loved ones who are meth addicted may decide to try and claim some semblance of normal life someday.

Being there, but not letting ourselves go down the drain with them is a good thing.  And why should some people spend precious time and emotional energy constantly revolving their entire lives and thoughts to loved ones -- addicted to meth -- when it only brings more unhappiness and hell, in the long run.

Sometimes it's better to check out completely on loved addicts.  But I know -- easier said than done.

To the father -- I hope Josh stays clean and sober, and lives a full, productive life. I send good thoughts to your family.


Re: How to help a meth addict

Just adding my two cents.
Every time I personally have told someone there was nothing they could do, it was in response to a question of, how do I make them stop. What can I do to make them realize they're ruining their lives?

In my opinion, there is nothing anyone can do to force another to stop using. But maybe I should have offered suggestions on what they could do to help themselves.

I do agree that there is plenty one can do to make the situation better for themselves. I will remember to pass on those suggestions.


Re: How to help a meth addict



There are two parties in any addictive relationship who need recovery.

Without a doubt. I was as sick as my addict husband this last go.
Anyone who pops Advil cold and sinus so they can stay up long enough to root through their spouse's pockets, vehicles, go through the cell phone, etc.......... is not well.

Anyone who picks up every single pen, takes them apart, takes a pointed object to scrape the sides to see if there are crystals in it is not well.

Anyone who then superglues the pens together, marks the aluminum foil to see if any has been used, then quits buying aluminum foil all together is not well.

I was not well. My husband's addiction consumed my every waking moment.
I became even more psycho than he was in an effort to control his addiction.

WHEN I quit focusing on his recovery - lack of it - and focused on myself- what I wanted from life, who I wanted to be, how I wanted to live -
then things changed.
When I stopped allowing HIS addiction to control ME.

There are things you can do- things you should do-
The first thing is always fix you .
Fix you- find yourself- then you have a stable footing to try and help someone else up.

Sometimes you can help them up by staying in the relationship- sometimes you can help them up by getting out of the way, letting them fall.
Only you will know which is the best course of action for you.

BTW, My recovering addict husband and I celebrate our 21st anniversary in 9 more days.
That anniversary also marks 2 years since he told me my present for this year was his quitting meth.
He has kept that promise.


Re: How to help a meth addict

Morning y'all.
I made my first post to this board yesterday and I think that thread may have had something to do with this one.

My brother has a serious problem and I'm fairly certain it's meth addiction. Actually, he has a lot of other problems but the meth is recent and has had a dramatic affect. He is crashing and burning hard right now. As you watch this happen you keep saying "oh he'll figure it out now and won't let things get worse" But he then takes it to a new level of worse. Very scary.

So of course my reaction is to try do something to help. I have confronted my brother. He told me to get lost (in different words). So the next thing I've done is started looking for information. I realize that I have to manage my own relationship to this mess. Information helps me at least.

A great deal of what I've read talks about how the addict can't be helped until they want to get better. I have my own experience with addiction, but I really did want to get better. Right now, my brother has made it clear that he won't willingly see a doctor or even talk about drugs or addiction. He's not ready to turn around yet, therefore I can't apply what happened to me directly to him.

When I came here yesterday I was looking for experience and practical advice. In my thread I did mention the choice of walking away and doing nothing vs getting in his face or whatever. This is my brother. I would never give up or walk away. However, if the right thing to do right now is stand back and let him find some things out on his own, I have to be willing to let that happen.

I got a lot of very useful information yesterday from this site. I know there is more to learn.

My biggest worry is that I don't know what is the exact right thing to do. I have a feeling there is no "right thing". I have a feeling that education and consistency are a good start. I won't give him any money, but if he asks for real help, he'll get it. I've told him many times that I love him and believe in him. I know that somewhere inside him, he knows that and it will be there for him when he's ready.

I know that what I'm going through must be a common experience. Half my brain wants to grab him by the collar and say "what the hell are you doing"? The other half of my head says "You've tried that and it didn't work. Now you have to stand back and let him decide what he wants from life". I don't expect that frustration/anxiety will go away. Instead of denying the emotion, I will work to understand it and let it pass through me.

I will never give up on my brother or walk away from him. I will do my best to be a positive influence in his life when I have the opportunity. I will continue to work to understand that he has to live his own life and make his own choices. I will work to keep his addiction from becoming "my addiction".

So there are plenty of things I can do to try to improve the situation. I do not feel completely helpless (and thank you all for helping me get to that point)

I'm an optimist. I can't seem to help that.
Fingers crossed and peace to you all!

Re: How to help a meth addict

I don't think Sfj disagrees with anyone about co-dependency issues and the need for the affected spouse/partner/family member's need for recovery also.

I see this post as him being a counselor to the addict. I feel he's telling whoever is willing that simply yes, there is always something you can do that does not drain you or burden you further. Be it the addict, addict in recovery, or anyone around an addict.

Faith, hope, love and prayer work miracles! Many a loved one who was co-dependant is sane today because they chose to pray.

I'm not Sfj and can't read his mind...but I do know he would not advise someone to neglect their own need for recovery for co-dependency issues. The women on here pretty much have that one down pat.

I know he didn't mean neglect your own issues, JMO.

Some days when I come here and all the negativity if flowing, even needed and healthy negativity (perhaps negativity is the wrong word--coffee hasn't kicked in)-I feel like running and hiding under the covers until SOMEONE believes in the positive side again.

Kate, you do have a lot of wisdom and I do not discount it nor do I not appreciate what you say-I know it comes from your heart, an educated basis (I'm guessing college), and experience with being the one affected by an addict. Granted, it took my hard-head til *now* to admit co-dependency was an issue of mine and I'd cringe when I heard that word. Some folks, i.e. me, need longer for things to "set".

Fessing up even more-this week is the FIRST week I've said:
I'm Dee, a recovering meth addict. Addict-no, don't label me! Well, it finally fit-but not by force-by gentleness and couched in love. That's also the only way I saw I was co-dependant, much less uttered it.

I'm like Sfj and others.....there is plenty one CAN do.......for the addict and themselves. It does get old seeing "ditch him", "useless", etc.

Many here DO recover...no matter their addiction...meth, coke, g/f, b/f, wife/husband etc. Especially when new folks come on board they need to know there is hope...that we do recover...they do recover.

As long as there is breathe, there is hope.

Kate, again, this is no personal attack whatsoever. I just feel so strongly about this because it took forever for my own MOM to allow hearing me, her daughter, had yet again hurt her heart, by using meth. Had she KNOWN of my meth use before...come here...heard "seek help for you own co-dependency" and "an addict HAS to hit their bottom"....she would have given up on me. Rightly so-maybe. I am glad she didn't come here and hear that.

I'm rambling now, but again, no disrespect and you are greatly appreciated Kate. Thanks for listening to my rant this a.m.

Re: How to help a meth addict

The Using Addict and the Recovering Addict are VERY different beings.

There are two definite sides to the meth addiction coin-THE ADDICT and THE LOVED ONE.

They are absolutely opposite but share so many similarities that the relationship is completely nonsensical, illogical, abnormal, and totally F%#!@-UP

There are no guidebooks and there should not be in my opinion-only Experience Strength and Hope from those who have shared in the h3ll. The 12 step programs of Alanon and Naranon have the closest thing to a guidebook for spiritual living With an addict in my life. The first step is admitting that we loved ones are POWERLESS over drugs and alcohol and the addicts and the alcoholics (the same in my mind).

With that First Step in my mind and heart, I Have to live the idea that there is nothing I can do....moving through the steps, I find my spiritual awakening and then Lean on my HP-God and know that with Him nothing is impossible.

Codependents Anonymous uses these steps as well. Celebrate Recovery also, using the Bible And God's word as a guidebook, suggests that God is in control-not us (not the addict either). These programs designed especially for loved ones of the alcohol and drug addicted have shown to work for MANY-at least more than doing nothing and living in h3ll.

I feel that once one has learned to love one-self again and become educated on Meth here and through their own experience, strengthened oneself, then and only then, can one be very effective in Helping an addict in a non-enabling way.

I've never gotten or seen any advice to a loved one of an addict that didn't follow along the lines of the ESH written of above.

Granted, I didn't ever believe that there was nothing "I" could do. I didn't stop and run when I was told to...(I might have saved myself a lot of misery if I had) but, instead, I kept reading and listening and working-never stopped hoping, praying, trying little tricks but the difference was is that I was supported here and at my 12 step meetings to FOCUS on MY SELF and Loving MY SELF first-it works for me as it has worked for many before me so I will always promote it.

Sometimes it is a good thing to give the worst case scenario to a beaten down but loving human being as it seems to put the idea that "life can only get better" into the listeners head. Tell me I'm at the bottom-dead end-the end, and I'm going to dig a little deeper and find my self and the Spirit in myself-God, and I'm going to let Him figure it out and guide me. Surrendering my control.

J, thank you for taking this stance, I too have had the little inklings of disappointment when I hear, "Nothing you can do..." but I know from experience that the Experience Strength and Hope and LOVE too, that I've found here, always backs up those words with "But, LOVE YOURSELF"

I have never found Black and White answers or ideas here and I do think I ever will and I'm very thankful for that.

Re: How to help a meth addict

Unfortunately every situation and person is different so there isn't a set list of things to try that will guarantee results.

In my situation and I think for most spouses we/I show(ed) up here looking and hoping for a miracle cure or quick fix.

I also believe *learned here* that recovery for both parties is necessary and that the success of both parties recovery is based on the amount of work they're willing to put into it. If you really want to recover you've got to be Honest, Open and Willing (Thanks T) to go the distance and do the inner work.

Not everyone is willing to work that hard on their own recovery and sadly some never make it.


Re: How to help a meth addict

I think that was K8 was getting at - and she'll correct me if I'm wrong - is that there's always advice to the recovering addict about what they can do for themselves, advice to the loved ones about what they can do for themselves, and advice to the loved ones about what they can do for the recovering , or even active, addict.

There's a piece missing - what can the addict in recovery do for the loved one in recovery? I say recovering addict because we all know that a an active addict is in no position to do anything for their loved ones.

Loved ones are told to be patient and understanding of the recovering addict - there will be good days and bad days. We are told to lovingly call them on their shyt, to set boundaries, to hold them accountable... we are told to give them space to do what they need to for their recovery.

What about us? Guess what... we need the same from our addicts. We go through the nightmare completely sober. We don't have the benefit of memory lapses or the numbing effect of drugs. By the end, many of are as sick and as close to death as our addicts. I know I was.

That piece is rarely addressed here. Yes, in 12-step programs, you begin making amends, but honestly, some of it can't wait til you get to the 8th step for some help.

Ever heard the term gaslighting? Pure and simple, it's a brainwashing technique where the abuser literally convinces the victim that they are crazy.


Addicts are great at that, and it has a serious affect on the ability those of us who were gaslighted to trust ourselves and our own intuitions. It damages our relationship with reality. I was made to feel like I was crazy, and I ended up being just that - absolutely, certifiably crazy. It took a lot of truth from my addict husband to convince me that I was not crazy, but that he was intentionally manipulating things to make me think I was.

Edited to add an example:

I took off my wedding and engagement ring because I was pregnant and swollen. I put them in my jewelry box. I know I did. I remember doing it. My addict took my wedding ring - just the band - and pawned it along with his. Told me he was entitled to it and that a pawn shop was where they really belonged because our marriage was worth pawn shop rates. He left the engagement ring alone... for awhile.

I went to find my engagement ring one day, and it was gone. I accused him of taking it too. He swore up and down, that no, he didn't take it - he said I must have lost it. Then he went into a long tirade about how unorganized I am and how I lose things all the time, and how could I have lost something that he worked so hard to buy for me and this was just proof that I couldn't have cared less about him and our marriage, and that our daughter probably took it for a toy because I was being a neglectful parent again and on and on and on.

I tore the house apart looking for that ring. I went through my daughter's toy box, grilled her about what happened to it. I cried and cried, and beat myself up for losing it, because yeah - I'm unorganized and it's possible I lost it and I wasn't watching our daughter as closely as I could have and she could have taken it.

Turns out, he stole it and pawned it for dope.

That's gaslighting.

See also:

How do you talk to your Meth Addict?

Is there any talking a meth addict into quitting?

How to help a Tweaker / Tweeker Topics

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