Friday, October 07, 2005

I am in a deep quandary

What does one do when a close friend breaks an agreement—a covenant? When this is potentially life threatening to one's friend, what action should be taken? This is the quandary with which I’m faced at the moment.

When I first met my friend over a year ago, he was involved in using methamphetamines. I befriended him and assisted him in getting off the crank. When he was clean, he moved back to his home state. I actually never thought I’d see him again.

However, about four months ago he returned to Louisville, looked me up, and we renewed our friendship. I helped him locate an apartment in a house on the street where I live and would periodically drive him to and from work. We actually got closer than before and—because of our age difference—I began seeing him in the same way I see my sons. I admit I was concerned about his history of drug use and talked to him about that concern. He assured me that he was drug free and would remain so.

All went well until a few weeks ago when I began seeing in him signs of methamphetamine use. He seemed paranoid and irritable, basically stopped eating, talked incessantly, and reported that he couldn’t sleep. At that point I confronted him again, but he assured me he wasn’t using methamphetamines or any other illicit drugs.

Then, several days ago, I began to notice other physical signs: very dry skin, acne, sores on his arms (he began wearing long-sleeve shirts in 80+ degree weather to hide his arms), itching and scratching. Again I confronted him and offered to help him get into a rehab center. He denied any drug use and accused me of dreaming what I was seeing.

The climax began last night when he telephoned me and said he had a “terrible headache”—another methamphetamine sign—and asked if I could bring him some Tylenol. I agreed. When I was taking the Tylenol to him, I encountered the methamphetamine pusher with whom he was previously involved. The pusher must have recognized me, because he quickly got into his car and drove off. I confronted my friend. He became defensive and angry. I backed off.

This morning he telephoned and wanted to borrow money to pay his rent. He said he’d been ill and unable to work much of last week and was desperate. I again questioned him about the pusher and the effects of methamphetamines that I was seeing. At this point he admitted his use and told me it was none of my business. He hung up on me.

I have rather mixed feelings about drug usage. On one hand, I feel that the best way to handle drugs is to get the law out of the whole business rather in the way European nations have. On the other hand, I have seen the destructive side of drugs, especially of methamphetamines. I fear for my friend, because I think his use of crank will end up killing him. If he were my son, I would somehow get him into treatment. As it is, I fear for him but feel there is nothing I can do except pray for him. I feel I am in a deep quandary and a very sticky situation.


  1. Those methamphetamines are real trouble. My sister-in-law got hooked on them in college. I think she still is.

  2. I don't know. Maybe you can keep trying to talk to him and let him know that you are there to help him. I know it may make him angrier at first, but maybe he'll realize that he is worth saving. I wish I could be more helpful, but I have no experience in this area.

  3. do u think yr friend will be ok? i hope so.

  4. I'm not likely to tell you anything you don't already know. Realistically, I think all you can do is be available when he wants help.

    Watching someone ruin their life is hard.

  5. You are doing the only thing you can. Walk away and pray. The more you care about the person, the further you should walk. A user will capitalize on the love you have for them,to get you to do for them. You have clearly stated your requirments of staying clean to stay in yourlife. The drug has a louder mouth and he can't even hear you. What more can you do? Your conscience can be clear, you gave him the option. If you pay his rent, or finacially help, you are enabling him to do the drug.
    It's a difficult situation to be in. Stay tough, and know you are doing what is best.
    much luck to you and your friend

  6. As difficult as it is, you can't do anything for him until he is ready to do it for himself! You can offer your support, but if he continues to lie to you and to misuse your friendship, it puts you in an awkward and uncomfortable position. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I'm not sure I can offer anything to you that hasn't already been stated.

  7. I have been where you are. I know it is not easy to care for someone and watch them devastate themselves, but “tough love” is the only way to go.

  8. Abby: I agree. The more I read about methamphetamines the more concerned I get. Of course, my friend was on them a year ago, but was then willing to let go of the addiction. I don’t know what it takes to let go because I have never been where he or your sister-in-law have been.

    Jenny: Thanks for visiting and especially for your comment. I really want to talk with my friend, but the choice is his. He hung on me and hasn’t responded to the calls I have made to him. I suppose I must wait until he is willing to talk.

    Jody: I really don’t know. I certainly hope and pray that he will.

    Thomas: Thanks. I am learning more and more about methamphetamines as I use the Internet for research. It appears to be a very difficult drug to let go of. I will remain available for my friend—in every way accept financially supporting the Meth habit.

    Bridgett: Thank you. I believe you helped me to understand what I’m up against when you wrote: “The drug has a louder mouth and he can't even hear you.”

    Punkmom: You also hit the nail on the head. My friend has lied to me and used me in many ways that I did not recognize until now. It makes me wonder at the power of the drug. He seems to care about nothing but the methamphetamines, not himself, his family, his children, or his friends.

    Mike: Thank you for your affirmation and empathy . “Tough love” is really tough for me to handle. I want to fix my friend. But, I know that tough love is the only way I can go.

  9. I just went and read your blog for the first time in a couple of weeks. I guess I know now how Candy is…. My heart still hurts for her son. My heart hurts for you too knowing how you care for her…


  10. Prill: You’re on target. I am talking about Candy. And I am enormously concerned about her and her son. I’ve still not heard from her. Her pusher has moved in with her. He was also pimping her. And, yes, I hurt.

  11. The odds of coming clean after only one treatment for meth are very slim. You probably have learned that by now.

    It is such a tough situation.

    I've experienced the roller coaster ride of helping, hoping, hurting. The normal response is to do something, to save that person. It goes against the grain to hand that person their problem and let completely go of it.

    All you can do is encourage treatment when you see this person. There is such a thing as a drug intervention. It is not cheap but it is relatively successful in getting someone to accept treatment. It is something the family may want to consider. It does cost several hundred dollars. We've done it though and suceeded in getting our loved one into treatment. After that though, their problem is their own, difficult as that may be. Good luck.

  12. SonSon: I agree with everything you say. Where I am at the moment is that I am growing more and more concerned. It has been 5 days since I last confronted her about the methamphetamines and I haven’t heard from her. I continue not to make contact. We have “split up” numerous times before, but this is the longest period without contact in the past 4 months. Of course, this is also the first time she had her pusher move in with her.

    Pray for me: I am tempted to put on my rusty armor and challenge the dragon of a pusher who supplies her with drugs.