I feel alienated by my friends’ drug-fuelled social life

They don’t peer-pressure me or anything like that, but I feel isolated all the same

PROBLEM: I recently went on a weekend away with a couple of my closest friends. We have been the best of mates for the past few years, but on the recent trip away I really noticed how different I am to them. They spent the entire trip either on drugs or passed-out. I drink but stay away from harder stuff, which has alienated from me the others. Drugs have become such a bridge between us and I’m not willing to cross it. They don’t peer-pressure me or anything like that, but I feel isolated all the same. They are my best friends and I want to keep it that way, but I feel that the more drugs they take, the more we drift apart.

ADVICE: This is a problem because you are best friends: if you cared less about them, it would not be such a difficult situation. It seems that there is respect in the friendship, as they do not pressure you to join them in their drug use, but the friendship is strained and it might be difficult to keep things as they have been in the past.

Most friendships that are formed in youth hit some kind of test, and this decides whether we continue as true friends or drift into acquaintance. Sometimes this comes in the form of divergent views on important topics or perhaps a romantic relationship that pushes a friendship down the pecking order.

Your friends seem to be in a mutually agreed place, and you are on the outside feeling isolated. If you are to keep the “best friend” role, something needs to happen.

If we do not give attention and time to our friendships, they tend to fade. I wonder how this can happen if your friends always choose to “pass out” when you are out together. It seems a conversation needs to be had where you suggest other things to do together that are a bit of fun. This does not mean you pass judgment on your friends, but if they do not meet you halfway it will be difficult to keep the friendships going.