Finding out that your friend is using drugs can be very troubling because you might feel unable to help them however there are ways you can be supportive and helpful and hopefully your friend will get the help they need to move onto the road to recovery.
Many times our friends won’t appreciate our advice especially if they are using drugs however telling the truth to help someone close to you is part of being a real friend, even when it’s hard to do.
- Find out if your friend is experimenting with drugs, or if he may be addicted. If your friend is addicted they will need extra support.
- Understand that addiction is a brain disease. Just like you wouldn’t expect someone with cancer to be able to heal herself without the help of a doctor, the right treatment, and support from family and friends, you can’t expect your friend to heal herself from addiction without support and help.
- Know that it is never easy for anyone to admit that they have a drug problem. Try to be patient and not give up easily.
- Listen. If he talks to you, just be there for him. Admitting a problem and talking to someone about it is very hard, listen to what he has to say about his drug use without making judgments.
- Encourage. If you and your friend are under 18, suggest that she talk to an adult she trusts – a coach or teacher, a school counselor, a relative, or a doctor.
- Inform. When he’s ready to make a change and seek treatment, help him find a doctor, therapist, support group, or treatment program.
- Support. Don’t give up on your friend, even if she isn’t ready to get help. Keep reaching out. Encourage them to get treatment, and support them along the way – that’s the best way to help someone you care about who is struggling with addiction.
- It’s tough having a friend with addiction issues, it’s important to get support for yourself if you need it.
When the people we care about make bad choices, it can be frustrating, confusing, and depressing. Remember we should be there for our friends, and offer support as they journey onto recovery.