Dealing With An Aggressive User
Drug abuse (and sometimes even withdrawal symptoms) can bring out aggressive tendencies that can become very dangerous. Both the addict and those near the addict are in danger of being hurt by this behavior.
When a meth user becomes aggressive, remain calm and avoid aggression yourself, this may incite the addict to become even more aggressive toward you. You can let the person know that you want to help them. Give the person some physical space so that they don’t feel trapped. If possible, get some items out of the person’s way so that they can’t use them aggressively. Use an “open” body stance, “arms open, palms up, head lowered.”
Additionally, as the person speaks, listen to them and let them know that you understand. If the behavior intensifies, give the person a choice to help them feel like they’re still in control. You might offer something such as “When you calm down, we can talk”. When things calm down and the person is not high or intoxicated anymore, it may be possible to have a calm conversation about what happened. Let them know that you are concerned about them, but also firmly establish your own boundaries. Let them know what kind of behavior is unacceptable. Also let them know that they need to get help. The truth is that you cannot continue to put up with this type of behavior from them.
If the meth user does become aggressive with you and strikes you, the best thing that you can do is attempt to deescalate the situation by remaining calm. If you feel that it is appropriate, it’s good to contact the authorities and have them come and take the person in for attacking you.
After an incident like this, you may feel angry or depressed yourself. You may feel like you must avoid the person or that you have to calm them down from now on. These are normal emotions at a time like this.
It is a good idea to have a safety plan in place if the aggressive behavior continues. Have a list of telephone numbers that you can call to get help or go for help. This would include emergency housing and domestic violence services, medical centers, or even a neighbor or friend who lives nearby. Find a safe place where you or your loved ones can go if needed. Keep important documents, identification, bank details/cards, and your mobile phone to get to them easily if you must leave quickly.