What Should Making “amends” Mean When Someone Gets Clean From a Drug Addiction?…?

Question by tihspidaru: What should making “amends” mean when someone gets clean from a drug addiction?…?
11 years ago i tried to help a long time childhood friend that was in a rut back in our home town…we grew up together so i felt that i could help him…i bought him a plane ticket from michigan to arizona so that he could get a teaching position as they were plentiful there…i lent/sent him money to get things settled and so he could get a place to stay when he got in arizona…the very first night he was in arizona he stole my car…i didn’t see him until four days later when he showed up at my door looking like total crap and without my car…to find out, he had gone on a crack and meth binge blowing all of the money he had and the money i had left him…he had “sold” my car to get more drugs…the car was recovered wrecked and with total engine damage…me and a friend took him to a rehab place where he could live…he would have to work and pay them from what he made and go through all their programs…well, in no time he got kicked out of that for not following the rules (not getting high)…i only heard from him a few times when he would try and con money out of me and ask me for a ride…now 11 years later he finally contacts me telling me he has his life together and has been clean for 7 years and is getting married, is getting his masters degree, has a 4 bedroom house, and 2 cars…he has apologized and said he needed to make “amends” with me…well, i am very happy he has his life together…this person basicaly ripped me off and cost me thousands of dollars…since that time i have went on disability due to neck and back injuries and now live a very meager life in an efficiency apartment with no car and absolutely no extra money to even be able to go to a movie once a month…is sorry supposed to make up what he did to me?…i am happy for him, but should he not pay me back the money that his “drugging” cost me?…i forgive him, but how is just saying sorry supposed to make everything right?…would it be wrong for me to ask that he pay me back, especialy when he is doing so well and i am not now?…thank you for any advice you can give me…and i don’t need to hear how stupid i was for helping him when he had “used” my generosity before!…thanks, i already know that!…lol…

Additional Details
believe me when i say that i take all the answers i get on here to heart…it has been said that i am bitter…well, i guess i am in a way…when i helped him fly out he was supposed to have been sober…he was supposed to pay me back when he got “things going” in his “new” life…i try to forgive and i can forget about payback on a plane ticket bought and money i lent him…should i be such a big man and not expect payback on my car he wrecked and the money i had to spend on getting a new engine after fixing the body damage?…is the person that got hurt due to someone being on drugs always supposed to be the “bigger” person?…i do not ask for help from anyone, but with my situation now, i could sure use help from someone that i had helped many times in the past…should payback on a vehicle he wrecked and ruined be considered “soliciting” help from him?

Best answer:

Answer by Steve from PA
PPl of morals like yourself don’t need to reparations, you were a true friend to him, Im sure he knows of your situation and if he doesn’t try and help you then you know now it was a one way friendship..We will never break even in life my friend. consider the fact that you helped him get his life together and not end up in jail or dead, that’s enuff payback..

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3 Responses to What Should Making “amends” Mean When Someone Gets Clean From a Drug Addiction?…?

  • Emma says:

    You did a good thing for your friend. You tried to help him years ago.

    Right now, it’s ok to ask him for repayment. You might not get much, and if you don’t then all you can do is to write-it-off and not look back.

    Take solace in the notion you’re a good person in a tough world. Life will have brighter moments for you.

  • Invisigoth says:

    what amends did he offer to make? Just saying you’re sorry is not part of the 12 steps–making amends is and sometimes that involves something more than a heart felt sentiment.

    If he is truly on the straight and narrow now and is doing well then in order to make amends, it would be reasonable for you to supply him with a bill for all that you supplied him on loan or that he damaged. I just wouldn’t hold my breath expecting him to repay you.

    but then again, who knows he may surprise you.

  • AnnaZed says:

    Leaving aside the whole question of what a 12-step “amends” is supposed to entail; on a real true human level this person ripped you off. If he isn’t offering cash to repay you he is insincere and just trying to make himself feel better. I would tell this person that he needs to speak to you in the only language that he himself understands ~ repayment, with interest.

    That is not being bitter, that is reality.

    12-step programs often just function for some people as a psychological band-aide for despicable behavior. The person chooses to believe that they were “powerless” over their addiction when they committed criminal acts; that they have a “disease” and could not help it. That makes them feel ok about moving on and leaving others in the lurch.

    Probably you are characterized as an “enabler” in his history. Ask him, I’ll bet that’s what you get.

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