How to Help a Friend

It’s never easy to tell a friend that he or she has a problem… but isn’t that what a friend would do? No one ever thinks that “trying” drugs is going to lead to a life-threatening addiction, yet millions of people find themselves dealing with this issue every single year.

Here you can find information on how to recognize a problem and some suggestions on how to have a talk with your friend. You may even find yourself in need of help, or someone to talk to. There are plenty of free online resources and confidential hotlines, as well as advice from teens who have been there and have dealt with this tough issue.

Does my friend have a drug problem?

Does your friend seem like a different person when they drink or get high? Maybe they have been letting you down lately and you think it’s connected to drug use. Or maybe some of the things they do when they are drunk or high are just scary. This can be a difficult situation to deal with, and sometimes the situation gets worse before it gets better. Don’t make excuses. Talk to your friend.

What are the signs?

If your friend does one or more of the following, you should talk to him/her.

  • Gets drunk or high on a regular basis.
  • Drinks or uses drugs when he/she is alone.
  • Shows up at school drunk or high or has skipped class to use.
  • Needs drugs or alcohol to have a good time or cope with everyday life.
  • Plans for drug use in advance.
  • Starts hanging out with new friends who will do drugs with him/her or can score for him/her.
  • Lies about drug use.
  • Pressures others to use drugs.
  • Has broken plans with you, or showed up late, because he/she was getting drunk or high.
  • Shows little interest in or quits sports or activities he/she once enjoyed.
  • Has driven a car while drunk or high.
  • Borrows or steals money to buy drugs or alcohol.

Also, even if your friend doesn’t exactly fit any of these, but you feel like he/she is headed in the wrong direction, you can say something. You don’t have to wait for it to get worse.