TOUGH LOVE and ZERO TOLERANCE sounds great but is extremely rare. Substance abusers are called USERS and are just that. They use drugs, alcohol, friends, family, jobs and strangers. If your friend actively uses and says he/she understands and respects you for not using and continues to be your friend, YOU ARE NOT A TRUE FRIEND. YOU ARE BEING USED for: a ride to a place to use or meet others who use, the first drink that will end up being too many, an alibi or argument why he/she couldn't be using. That's right a user doesn't respect people who don't approve of what they do. Users tolerate people who criticize what they do. You are an enabler.
Tough Love is not tough if it is convenient, inconsistent, used only in extreme situations or when the mood is right. Zero Tolerance? Well what part of zero don't true friends understand?
The first time a friend decides to defend a user without seeking to hear any other version or utters the words I trust you, well just be careful, just one, just a little, let me think about it, don't worry I won't tell this time, well what if, ok just don't do it in front of me. The friend has enabled, condoned, approved, and encouraged the behavior. Being a true friend is like being pregnant or dead. You are or you are not.
We all have casual acquaintances and friends. Being a true friend is a commitment and a responsibility. Not every body can be a true friend. It just isn't popular. It certainly isn't easy.
True friends have a great deal of responsibility. A true friend will seek help to understand the problem. This is no time for on the job training. Parents and friends just don't seem to get it. If you are not in the industry, personally in touch with current issues or completely rehabilitated as a former PROBLEM user, you are not qualified to help. You might even make it worse. Users rarely feel understood.
You must find someone with experience and make it someone you trust. Getting advice is worthless if you don't trust and use it. Do not ask if you plan to tweak. Either you know what to do or you don't. We are dealing with human lives not objects that can be re-glued or erased and tried again. Reading books certainly will help but nothing replaces first hand knowledge and experience.
Substance abuse is only a symptom of a greater issue or issues. Users need little reason to use again. You can easily be the unwilling excuse. Just say the wrong thing, believe me a user will make you say the wrong thing. Users are masters at manipulation, imposing quilt, and lying. There is no such thing as part time, not quite or barely using, pregnant or dead. You are or you are not. Every thing else is a lie
A TRUE FRIEND WILL GET HELP ASAP