Would you let a friend with a drug problem live with you to prevent him from being homeless?
I am faced with a dilemma, do I help a friend and open my home while he is in crisis, knowing he has a criminal record and drug problem or turn a blind eye to the situation, knowing he might end up on the streets?
Do not invite him into your home. This will inevitably end your friendship and result in hurt feelings when you notice items missing from your home and you end up with no money in your pocket. Offer to help in other ways such as meals once in a while or introduce a rehab program.
No, I don't think I would but I would go out of my way to help then find help and support while being there for them as much as I could.
I don't think you can turn a blind eye if your friend needs real help. I would develop a strategy and agree it with your friend and one or two other close people. You'll probably need this guarantee if you're not to become isolated in your caring. Agree with your friend that:
1. they can use your home only at night i.e you have a bed for them to sleep in.
2. restrict day time hours to 1-2 for a meal say or a drink and a chat.
3. the first sign of trouble (stealing, vandalism, abuse) and they are out!!!
you'll need to be extra strong for the strategy to work. I hope you have close support too. It's always a challenge with those on drugs, who one minute are your best friend and the next your enemy.
chef-de-jour, you nailed this one. I would add one thing, that the person commit to treatment--immediately. But personally, I've let alcholics stay at my house and it just aids and abets their cause--staying drunk. And heroin addicts--they'll steal.
Not if he has a drug problem. If he ends up on the streets, that is his own fault. He dug his own grave and now he must lay in it. If he doesn't learn from the situation, then he deserves to be on the streets.
If I had my own young children living in my home I wouldn't be able to invite the person to stay with me. If I lived alone I might consider it on a very, very, short-term basis; but I wouldn't be comfortable with it for a number of reasons,
I understand that some people make the foolish choice to use drugs when they're young, and then things get out of control. I think about the fact that someone is someone else's grown son or daughter who got in too deep, and I hate to imagine someone's son or daughter living on the streets. On the other hand, I ask myself if I'd like to see one my own kids taking in someone with that particular problem, and I'd be really worried about them for a number of reasons if they did.
It's not an easy question to answer, but I suppose - provided I didn't have my own kids living with me - I might consider taking the person in for a very short time, and aiming to see if I could help him/her find somewhere else to stay (and letting him/her know those were the terms up front) and/or get treatment and other help from someone other than me.
Something to think about, too, is whether the person has a drug problem with something like his own prescription medications or other legal stuff, or whether his problem is with out-and-out illegal drugs that he isn't going to be buying at the local CVS.
If criminal background, criminal "pals", and illegal drugs were involved I think I'd have to put my friend in touch with whoever I could come up who might be able to provide him some help and hope they could help him. Really, when it comes down to it, friends and/or family members aren't really equipped/qualified to help someone with that kind of problem. I couldn't entirely "turn a blind eye", though. I'd have to keep paying attention to where he was, whether he had been in touch with anyone who could offer temporary shelter and/or help, etc. It is possible to stay in touch, let someone know he's got someone who cares, and yet limit how much he is allowed to become a major part of one's day-to-day life.
You used the phrase, "open my home". I don't really think people who have children are ever wise to "open their home". Homes provide a certain type of security, shelter, and shielding from some of what goes on outside the family and some of the people outside the family. When all is said and done, I think people's first responsibility to preserve what home can offer to their own children. Anyone else has to come second.
From my counselling experience, you will best help your friend if you give him/her information about the residential treatment services in your area. By providing him or her an easy access to your home you just help to feed his or her adiction. Sometimes it is the best for the drug addicts to reach that critical point when they realize they can't continue they way they do, when they are ready, there are many professional services they can contact to guide them through the hurdles to get and stay clean...good luck to your friend, it is a very hard road but worth travelling....
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