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Real Stories From Our Staff

Roughly six years ago, I met a friend out at a local bar for happy hour. Even though we ‘d only planned on getting a drink or two, we soon discovered ourselves multiple drinks in with a group of cute girls at the end of the bar.

The time passed and before I realized, it was midnight. Recognizing I had work the next day, I can recall saying to myself I had to get home right away and get some rest.

But I never made it home that night. Rather, while driving and checking out a text I got from the friend I left at the bar, I smashed into another car about a mile away from my apartment.

Hindsight is 20/20

Even though I’ve consistently known I am the one to blame for anything that happened, I couldn’t help concealing some bitterness towards that friend.

Why did he let me leave when he understood I ‘d been drinking for hours? He drank significantly less than I did; certainly, he knew I was in a far-worse state.

And why text me moments after I ‘d left? If I hadn’t looked at my phone, perhaps I never would have taken my eyes off the road. Perhaps I never would have been founded guilty of DUI Serious Bodily Injury and spent a good portion of my life in prison.

For years, I’ve questioned how different the path of my existence could’ve been had he simply taken the keys away from me that night, if he would have been a responsible friend.

Be a Great Friend

How does one effectively become an accountable friend? Well, it’s quite straightforward. Look for warning signs in others’ actions, and don’t be afraid to be the “wet blanket” who steps in. Maybe your friend arrives at a point where he’s not thinking too clearly, and he could use a hand with some wisdom. Or maybe he’s thinking about going home with somebody who’s “suspicious”– you know it’s time to step in and guide him carefully home.

Essentially, we must rely on our guts and make use of all the information in the palms of our hands: Our smartphone. Call an Uber. Test their BAC with an online calculator. Do anything you must do to stop that person, your friend, from hurting themselves and others.

But most significantly, it’s our own individual responsibility to act properly and be held accountable for our decisions. In all seriousness, we can’t always rely on someone else to be there when we fall short. But for the infrequent times we do, it helps to encompass ourselves with those who genuinely care about our wellness and the potential consequences of our actions. Just that basic act of being a responsible friend could essentially save an innocent person’s life.

Finding Help You Can Trust

If you or a loved one is affected by drug or alcohol abuse, please call the Northlake Recovery’s 24-hour addiction network at (561)-770-6616 toll-free. Our experienced professionals can help guide you down the right path to recovery. You are not alone.

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