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Helping Those Who Need It Most - One Day At A Time
Question and Answer


7. My dear friend who is also my roommate has a cocaine addiction. He recently told me that he has spent all of his money on coke and feels out of control. He also expressed an interest in treatment, specifically an inpatient rehab. What can I do to support him? I do attend Alanon. Do you have any other suggestions? books? Thank you for your time! 

submitted by Sara




 First of all, I need to tell you how happy I am to hear that your roommate has expressed an interest in seeking treatment. But I am even more impressed by your interest in finding out what you can do to support your friend. This is the place where it all starts. You have opened the door to finding out more. I do not know if your friend will actually require inpatient care or not; most treatment these days is being done on an outpatient basis. You can encourage your friend to get a good evaluation and then follow the recommendations he is given. You can ask if He would like you to come along for support. Beyond that, you need to understand as much as you can both about addiction and about recovery.

 Most good treatment programs offer family education programs. These are not limited to just family members, but any significant person in relationship with an alcoholic or an addict. These programs are usually designed to give you "basic" information only. Most teach about the disease of addiction, it's effects on the family, and the recovery process. Al-Anon can also be a very good resource of information and a big help in setting appropriate limits. You will discover that recovery from addiction is his responsibility, and your responsibility it to yourself, but taking care of yourself can mean many different things.

The first place to start is to get as much information as you can about addiction. If you don't understand what it is, you have little hope of EFFECTIVELY dealing with it. You also will want to get information about recovery. All the do's and don'ts are important to learn. Addiction is cunning, baffling, and powerful - learn what to do for yourself first, and then learn what to do for your roommate. Two books that I can suggest are "Addiction and Grace" by Dr. Mays and "Caring for Ourselves" by Melody Beattie. Both are excellent resources, one on addiction and the other on recovery. Both can be ordered directly from my website.

Finally, and perhaps most important, recovery is not something done in isolation. Get with others who have been through this battle; they can be invaluable in this process. Build yourself a support group so that you receive what you need. You can't help others and give support unless you are willing to receive it as well. My thoughts and prayers go with you.




I want to express my gratitude for your response to my question. It was helpful and encouraging. I am going to order the books you suggested. I will keep utilizing your sight. I feel better knowing there is "recovery lane" and other places on the web where I can educate myself on this important and complex issue. It is bizarre to me that something so important to me and to so many others is shrouded in secrecy, shame, and lack of understanding. I feel like I am in the middle of a silent crisis. My roommate has opened up dialogue. I knew there was a big problem with cocaine, but I didn't know how to talk about the issue if he wasn't ready. Thank God he was able to bring it up. I can't believe how openly we are talking about this difficult subject. and you are right. This is the beginning of change. I will keep educating myself and I will keep growing!! Again thanks for your time and important work.