How to Help a Friend Though Addiction

It had only been a few days since his fall, but I knew the situation was serious when he wouldn’t return any of my phone calls. The phone calls consisted of cries from my heart to him about how much I cared about his life, how much God loved him and how much his family was being effected by his choices. He was so deep into his addiction, that I feared the worst. I pressed on praying God would do His mighty work.

This good friend of mine had struggled in the past, but nothing to this level. It was a level you knew deep down he was capable of, but prayed and hoped it would never be reached. Rock bottom. Among his family being cut to the bone, it was hard for me to even function in my daily activities. I left every situation wondering how something like this could happen and feeling absolutely helpless. When the calls would no longer work, I switched over to text messaging. Maybe this would form of communication would work instead of voice mails? It was worth a shot.

ADDICT 1

Addiction is something many of us men encounter at some point in our lives. Addiction to porn, addiction to alcohol, addiction to drugs, etc.. These are some of the major areas where we men fail, where I have failed. My friend’s issues fell into one of these categories making it all the harder bring him back to life. Through the opposition, I continued to seek him out. Even with no returned calls, texts or emails; he was worth the effort. Jesus does the same thing for us everyday.

Here are a few ways I tried getting his attention. If you know a fellow brother in Christ or a family member in need of help, please consider these options below too and don’t give up.

Get serious about praying for that person everyday!

Call the person at least once a day and leave an impactful message. Try doing this early in the morning or anytime you feel it’s right. Tell the person you care about them and want to help. Be loving, not pushy.

If calling doesn’t work, move to text messaging. Send some solid Bible verses for the person to review, maybe pick a good quote and ultimately let the person know you are there for them if they need it.

Pursue Everyday and Don’t Give Up!

Now let’s get back to the story. It had been nearly two weeks of working on him with the above methods. A couple other friends had been doing the same thing. We wanted him to know that we cared and wouldn’t give up on him. This is key for the struggling individual.

It was Wednesday, and I attended the regular mens group that night. The speaker was talking about Jesus and His awesome power of restoration. I did my best to stay engaged in the talk even though my mind was really focused on my friend and what I was going to do next. The speaker was working with a lot of scripture, but it wasn’t until he reached 1 Peter 5:8-10, that something finally clicked.

8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

The speaker closed his message with a time of prayer. My head went down and I was nearly in tears just asking God to work in my brother, my friend. God spoke the word “restore”. I sat there and just kept listening to Him. Then it hit me, the verses mentioned above came to my mind. I grabbed my Bible and read them again. These were perfect, I would take these verses and send them to my friend first thing the next morning.

The next morning, I did just that. By noon that same day, I finally got a phone call from my brother. I was almost overwhelmed to see his name come up on my phone. I answered and we talked for a good while. He sounded rough, but mentioned the verses I sent him were exactly what he needed to hear. Only God could weave a puzzle as complicated as this scenario. He knew restoration would take time, but at least it was now in his sight. God is good!

How many of you have been faced with a similar situation? Either with yourself or someone close? This situation was hard but it taught me some valuable lessons. My friend and I met up a few days later with a few other brothers in Christ and all agreed to stay in better contact and be more honest about our struggles and needs. FOLLOW UP IS KEY! It was a standard of accountability that we all needed… Let’s help each other in every way we can and let’s NOT GIVE UP!

If you are struggling with something and need to talk, please don’t hesitate to contact me and we can talk through it. Or hit up the Man Up Leadership App and discuss it in the Hurdles section.

Share what tools have worked for you when faced with addiction or when helping someone with addiction in the comments below.

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  • Matt

    Bryan,

    This is exactly what I needed to hear this morning. One of my good friends is struggling with addiction and it has been on my heart. I just recently was directed to your blog and I must say I love everything that you do. My friend has been on my heart for the passed week and these words and those verses truly hit home. I am a teacher and often deal with students and young men who struggle with these issues everyday in their homes. Thank you for the timely advice.

    • Loved hearing this brother. Proof that God works in amazing ways. Keep fighting for his heart!

  • Emma

    This is a good message, i used to have a negative addiction for years untill i started questioning myself about it and in the process i developed my own tools for reducing it then finally i stopped it. Addiction is hard to stop but it is possible to stop.

    • Emma, thank you for sharing your message. This is exactly what people need to hear! Keep up the great work!

  • Bryan, For years I was the overseer to a ministry called Most Excellent Way.,while the majoritymof those attending we’re slaves to drugs and alcohol, it was really just what you said. A restoration ministry. There were people in there with all kinds os issues. but bottom line,,its about sin.,While I have been blessed not have ever experienced some of the issues these men faced I saw over the years the toll it takes on families, friends, etc. Your advice is right on, but you also have to add accountability. Many of these many men never had it or have it. As hard as it can be it may also take a tremendous amount of tough love.,thanks for this important topic

    Joe

    • Joe, I appreciate your insight on the topic. I agree that accountability is HUGE moving forward for struggling individuals, and for us as well.