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aneedleinthehayy's avatar

What are your opinions on letting a recovering heroin addict get drunk and smoke weed every now and then?

Asked by aneedleinthehayy (1198points) April 3rd, 2009

i’m not even going to try the whole “a friend of a friend thing”.
this girl i grew up with, lived with for 6 years, and love like a sister just came back from rehab several weeks ago for heroin abuse. for a few years we lost touch a bit and i wasnt there for her when she needed me, she got into a huge mess and by the time i found out it was too late. the guilt haunted me the entire time she was away for rehab. now that she is back i am not letting her out of my sight. and the one the time i did, she relapsed.
i am her closest friend and really want her to get better and be able to have fun and get her life back together. now, as a normal 18 year old i like to party and drink and so on, i dont do it often and i am very responsible and have smart friends and a father i can go to for help whenever.
so heres the thing, i want to show my friend that she can have a good time without heroin, and my idea of fun is hanging with friends which we do, but i also think its fun to party and i’m wondering, what do you all think? should i put her in these situations? is it too soon?
she tells me she gets cravings to shoot up which i guess is normal for a drug addict but im scared that if she doesnt find pleasure in a more safe, common form she will relapse again and it will be my fault for not helping her enough.

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41 Answers

Triiiple's avatar


No drugs, No Alcohol.

Honestly, you shouldnt even be around her if thats your life style.

Thats like holding a steak in front of a dogs face. Alcohol leads to dumb decision making and so can weed.

tinyfaery's avatar

Well, if she’s in AA absolutely not. Any type of substance use is strictly prohibited. Having said that, I know many people who were hard core meth and/or heroin users who now drink and smoke pot, and have never gone back to the harder drugs. It would really depend on your friend. If she just got out of rehab, she is probably in a fragile place. Show her that you two can have fun without being altered. Maybe in time she will be able to smoke a bit of weed and have a drink.

Mr_M's avatar

Absolutely not. No way.

Her addictive personality will make her go from one chemical addiction (heroin) to alcohol. That’s no good. It’s like taking the cake away from someone on a diet and replacing it with ice cream.

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

It’s a fine line that may be too dangerous to walk on at this point. On one hand, weed/alcohol are a shit ton safer than heroin. So you could argue that by exposing her to these lesser drugs maybe she’ll get over the heroin. And you could be right. But on the other hand, those drugs might make her remember the heroin and just get an even bigger craving (all whilst having lowered inhibitions thanks to said drugs). Or it could even get her addicted to weed, or alcohol (which is still granted a shit ton less dangerous than being addicted to heroin).

Just try and do fun stuff that doesn’t require a substance. As bad as it sounds, smoking might help her (bad but still better than heroin). EVENTUALLY (probably a long ways from now) she will be comfortable enough to do things like weed and alcohol and not relapse (but if/when you reach that point she should be supervised heavily when doing those things just to be safe).

Mr_M's avatar

No. Take no consolation if she were to move from heroin to alcohol. She needs to get OFF her dependencies. She can’t hold a job addicted to alcohol.

tinyfaery's avatar

Plenty of alcoholics have steady jobs. Ever heard of a functioning alcoholic?

Mr_M's avatar

And that’s a good thing because? And NO, I never heard of an alcoholic working a job. RECOVERING alcoholics, YES.

What job does an known alcoholic get?

tinyfaery's avatar

I’m just saying. If a habit does not effect your everyday life, and you can work, hold relationships and function in society, what’s the harm? Drink, smoke, snort, inject or injest whatever you choose.

Mr_M's avatar

That reminds me of the guy who jumped off the Empire State Building and, as he’s falling passed the people on the 50th floor, he yells “See? I’m still alive!”.

tinyfaery's avatar

Your opinion.

Mr_M's avatar

Oh it’s a LOT MORE then just MY OPINION. Do your friends a favor and DON’T allow them to keep fooling themselves. And I say that in ALL SINCERITY. Believe it, or not.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m concerned that she’s relying on you to keep her straight, or that you feel it is your responsibility. You are being a good friend, but you’re helping her avoid responsibility for her own behavior. She can say she relapsed because you weren’t around.

One thing you should know is that it can take people five or ten relapses before they get serious about quitting. And with heroine—someone more knowledgeable can correct me—aren’t a lot of people put on Methadone so as to maintain their sobriety?

If she’s been in rehab, doesn’t she have a support system? Or did they dump her back on the streets with nothing? She should be talking to her support system for help. They know something about this. Unless you’re not telling us something, you don’t have the expertise.

One other thing. If a person is going to quit their habit, then they have to hang out with different people than they were before. They cannot afford to see those people, because their way of relating is through drugs.

It’s difficult. You do not deserve any blame if she relapses. It’s on her. You can encourage her to get help, but you don’t have to be it.

giltesque's avatar

The problem is not what drug she can do safely as an addict but that she needs to learn coping skills for life. Her failure to do so is the root in her addiction to begin with. Anything that “medicates” her reality will do no good in her healing process but rather delay or destroy it. Also, you’re awesome for trying to fix her but as I think most people learn in time, you can change no one. You are not responsible for her actions but you can be a person that builds up or tears down. Offering anything but healthy choices would tear her down. Breaking routines finding new outlets and new friends is the first step in a drug free life. Hanging around the same place with a new attitude usually reincarnates the beast.

tinyfaery's avatar

I don’t allow the people I know to do anything. And I do not agree. My wife’s father has drank 3 doubles of JD at night pretty much since the age of 18 or so. He even boasts about it. That alone qualifies him as a alcoholic. However, he works, raised 2 college educated, successful children, owns two homes, two nice cars… Where is the problem? I do not see one.

Mr_M's avatar

My friend, do what you want.

tinyfaery's avatar

I have about 3 drinks a year. I am not doing anything but expressing my opinion that substance “abuse” does NOT HAVE TO BE a bad thing.

giltesque's avatar

@tinyfaery Is it no problem, since you seem comfortable with his illness, as long as you’re not affected? The question for me would be “Do I care enough to at least reach a hand or info out in love?” I 100% protect the right for people to make stupid choices but to say he only endangers himself is not so. If he drives daily, he is a threat to all of us on the road and shame on anyone letting that go unchecked.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Substituting one addiction for another doesnt fix the problem…...

No drugs
No alcohol

@tinyfaery substance abuse is always a bad thing. Substance use isnt, but abuse always is, not matter what the substance is. As for your example,im sure he doesnt exactly have the most healthy liver…

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

No weed, no alcohol. She needs sobriety right now.

Too many recovering addicts turn to alcohol because it’s legal and become alcoholics which while it may not be as bad as heroin addiction, leads a person down a dark road nonetheless.

tinyfaery's avatar

@uberbatman Okay, wrong word choice, but you get my point. And, well, the man in 63. His liver, along with many other things, are not so healthy. =)

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar


When can drug abuse not be bad?

tinyfaery's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic Ask @uberbatman, or petethepothead, or anyone who does drugs and has no/few problems as a result.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@tinyfaery I think therein lies the difference between recreational use and abuse.
Not every person that drinks alcohol is an alcoholic for example.

tinyfaery's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic I amended my word choice. See above.

cak's avatar

@aneedleinthehayy – first – I hope you do understand that you cannot hold onto guilt for something you had no control over – her huge mess. The fact that she’s a heroin addict (recovering) has nothing to do with you. Unless you jammed a needle into her arm and pushed the drugs into her system, against her will, you are not responsible.

To me, it’s way too soon for her to be in that situation. If she started drinking and smoking pot, she’s just trading one addiction, for another. She’s not in a position to think clear enough to make wise decisions – she’s even telling you that she is having cravings.

Your friend does not need to be at parties and you do not need to be bound to her, every waking second of the day. If you want to go, go, but you friend needs to avoid the situation like the plague.

She needs to accept responsibility for her actions and her recovery. Maybe you can help her find some support groups. She also needs to become a productive person. A job, classes – something to refocus her time.

Be there to encourage her, but you can’t save her. You can’t cure her and you can’t make her decisions for her. Don’t enable her, though. Don’t take her to a party. She’s pretty fragile right now, putting her into a drinking and drugs situation – well, that’s sending very mixed signals.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@tinyfaery i dont abuse any drug…..

Use ≠ abuse

Edit:nevermind didnt see the amendment.

fireside's avatar

You pointed out that the one time you let her out of your site, she relapsed.

How would you feel if she relapsed based on your encouragement to have a little fun?

No way.

basp's avatar

Her addiction isnot your fault. You can not allow her or restrict her from using anything. That is her decision. If you feel more comfortable staying sober/straight when around her, then do so for your own benefit.

SeventhSense's avatar

substance “abuse” does NOT HAVE TO BE a bad thing.

It’s in the definition..
tell me of an abuse that’s a good thing…
I abuse my kid…no
I abuse my husband…no
I abuse drugs…

I use drugs recreationally…maybe

YARNLADY's avatar

I don’t allow any illegal drugs or cigaretts in my home, but I wouldn’t have any say on what people do elsewhere.

tinyfaery's avatar

Can you not read that I amended the word abuse to use. Jeesh.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I think it has been well said by now. My minor in college was substance abuse prevention. She absolutely cannot have other addictive substances at this point. Not only that but the party atmosphere is too dangerous for her and she does not need to be around that. This is not your responsibility but if you do choose to be a good friend to her you will not go to parties with her and you will not drink/smoke weed around her. Also be careful that you do not get yourself in a co-dependent relationship. This means she leans on you too much for her support.

One thing that maybe hasn’t been said is Congrats to your friend for being in recovery. It is a hard road. She may relapse and have to start all over but that is normal. I hope she doesn’t though. It is the beginning of a very hard journey for her and she should be congratulated for that. (and having the urge to shoot up is very very normal as long as she doesn’t act on it).

She really needs a good support group and I hope she has one.

ShauneP82's avatar

I am no expert on substance addiction, but I would think they should cut it all cold turkey.

SeventhSense's avatar

Oh and in answer to the question, it has been my experience and from the countless addicts I have known personally that it won’t work. Once you’ve crossed the line from cucumber to pickle you can’t go back. You just have to accept your new life as a pickle.:)

ShauneP82's avatar

Addicted. Hmmm. Thats exactly what I would expect an addict to say. Ahhhhhh. ; )

SeventhSense's avatar

me? yes, many years sober from all substances

ShauneP82's avatar

Really? Thats awesome. Congratulations.

candacewells4's avatar

i have a friend that was once heavily involved in substance abuse, and i’ve found that it makes things a lot easier on him when those around him have provided the utmost support. even after years sober, recovering addicts may still be tempted to use. though it is not your responsibility for your friend’s actions, i applaud you on being such a caring friend and doing what is right. :)

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Cuddleworm's avatar

Okay, there’s someone I know who’s a recovering addict who’s been trying to “just smoke weed” for years, & it isnt working. However, there is someone I know from work who does it fine. He relapsed once, but that was because he was prescribed pain killers for some dental work, so maybe it wasn’t the weed. But I’m guessing that because of her age, there might be a possibility that she’s not a real addict & that this might be just a phase. In that case she could drink & smoke weed. Unfortunately, the only way to find out is for her to do it & see what happens. Might not be the best idea, because if you make it to rehab, you are most likely an addict.

greatfullara's avatar

I know you care about your friend. When life gets hard people want to escape. Coping skills will help. The brain makes many chemicals on it’s own that a person can be addicted to with out any detriment. Substance addiction can cause the brain to stop making these feel good chemicals on it’s own for up to a year or more. She is especially susceptible until her brain starts making it’s own chemicals again. Promote laughter ,good food,and perhaps have her take omega 3 fatty acids for brain health. Volunteering could also help.I hope for the best.

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