When the people we care about make bad choices, it can be tough for us. We may have lots in common and that can be confusing, and a little depressing. Still, we should be there for our friends, and also try to be a good role model for them by making good choices ourselves.
Taking to drugs can mean that your friend will not fulfill the personal potential to do well for herself or himself and to contribute to the society.
Once the challenge is recognized though there is now a lot of help on offer. So if you decide to confront the issue you will not be alone. We now know more about how drugs and drug addiction can be treated. People are able to stop abusing drugs and resume leading productive lives.
An important question is: What should I do if one of my friends is using drugs
1. First understand the importance of the situation. Your friend needs help. Those into drugs are unable to help themselves. Your friend could end up with a story like one of those you see on the before and after doing drugs videos on this site.
2. Understand that addiction is a brain disease. And the patient may not be able to cure the disease by himself or herself. Your friend will need the help of a doctor, the right treatment, and support from family and friends. You can’t expect your friend to heal himself or herself.
3. Just telling your friend that you’re concerned can be a big help. Your friend may not want to talk about it, and the effects that drugs have on the brain may keep him or her from “hearing” you or acting on your advice. But it gets the conversation started.
4. Assure your friend you are there for him or her and that he or she is not alone. People with drug problems often have gotten in with the wrong set of “friends”—and they don’t want to turn away from these so-called friends for fear of being alone.
5. A good thing to do is keep your friend away from situations or places which might entice them – like say a notorious hang out place or other people who are into drugs. Rather, show them some other things to do to keep themselves busy.
6. Find out how bad it is. If your friend is fully addicted to a drug you will need help to be able to help your friend. Having a friend who is into drugs is not easy. You should find a way to share the burden and not stress yourself too much.
7. Irrespective of how bad it is suggest that he or she speak to a trusted adult who will keep it confidential. Maybe there’s a family friend who could help.
8. Expect it to be challenging. Your friend who is into drugs however will not share your concerns. You should know that it is never easy for anyone to admit that they have a drug problem. You will need to be patient—and not give up easily.
9. If they are resistant to help, see if you can at least convince them to get an evaluation from a doctor.
10. You can get contact information of drug counselors and leave the information with your friend. Most drugs addictions cause pain, sorrow and anxiety and at such a time the friend should be able to start solving the problem.
Even if your friend starts considering treatment the battle will not have been won. You will still have a few challenges to overcome.
1. If your friend has considered treatment, but is afraid of what others will think. you should let your friend know that friends, and family members will be compassionate if they see a person is making a sincere effort to recover from a substance use problem. You can also reassure your friend that laws protect the privacy of a person seeking drug treatment—or in fact, any medical treatment. Healthcare providers cannot share information with anyone else without a patient’s permission.
2. Your friend may be afraid of being forced to stop using drugs and the consequences of that. You should let your friend know that this is a common fear. You can assure the person you care about that professional treatment centers will keep them safe and as comfortable as possible if a detoxification process is needed.
3. It may be that your friend is depressed and into drugs. This is quite common and it can be quite frustrating. But it is not as bad a situation as it may appear. Your friend can get treated for both.
4. You should turn to a professional for immediate help if the problem looks to be too big for you to handle alone, or if you’re worried your friend may have suicidal thoughts that he or she could act on.
With the proper help and support, many drug users have been able to overcome their drug problem without lasting harm being caused to them. Other drug users realize the grave harm being done on their own when they are further down the road and have hit rock bottom. They have a miserable life. Your timely intervention can prevent this from happening to a friend.