How do I stop my friend from using drugs?

Wow! What a great friend you are!

Before we start, give yourself a pat on the back for taking this first step; for being a true friend and having the courageto face this and your friend head on!

Now, to get to it…this may not be an easy process. You might meet some negative feedback from your friend, or all your friend might need is just someone showing them they are cared about. Be strong in knowing you are doing this from a space of caring. You care about what happens to them, so much so that you want to get them help. Keep this in mind. Be patient with yourself and patient with your friend. This may be a process and not something that will happen overnight.

If you are trying to help a friend to stop taking drugs, then here are a few steps you can take:

1) Help your friend acknowledge that using drugs may be a problem. Sit down with your friend and tell him/her you think they may have a problem with drugs. Letting your friend know you are open to listening to them without being judgmental can start an open discussion. Tell them you care about them and you will help them get treatment if they're interested. An open conversation may encourage them to discuss their drug use with you.

2) Action time! Only your friend can decide if they want to stop using drugs. Once they decide, help them get treatment. If you feel like you need some back-up go to a trusted adult. Some good people to turn to for support are school counselors, healthcare professionals (like doctors or nurses), teachers, or people who work at drug and alcohol treatment centers. Also you can go to your relatives if you feel comfortable. You can explain your friends situation to them (if they don't already know) and they can give you advice for how you can support them and cope with your own feelings.

3) Be a friend :) One of the best things you can do to help your friend is be supportive. Letting your friend know you care, and listening to what he or she has to say can be two ways you can support your friend.

Sending some love your way,

Auntie

More Information. If you would like immediate help with finding a substance abuse treatment center check out this directory provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or call 1-800-662-HELP (in Spanish, 1-800-662-9832). Sometimes parents these days avoid talking with their kids because they feel uncomfortable, or don't want to seem lame. RecoveryConnection.org has got some tips for them.