My friend keeps sharing pics of him with bottles of alcohol and pills and I’m really worried. I’m just over here like, “Why you doing this?”
Because you are worried and concerned for your friend, you did the right thing by trusting your gut and writing in for help. Your friend could be posting pics of himself with pills or alcohol because he’s looking for help by showing everyone what he’s up to, or is looking for a new crowd that approves of his behavior.
We know that when drugs or alcohol enter the brain, they mess up how the brain works and can eventually change how well it works altogether. Over time, drug use can lead to addiction, which can keep people from stopping even when they really want to.
How do you know if your friend has a problem with drugs or alcohol?
- Hanging out with different friends
- Not caring about their appearance
- Getting worse grades
- Missing classes or skipping school
- Losing interest in their favorite activities
- Getting in trouble in school or with the law
- Having different eating or sleeping habits
- Having more problems with family members and friends
It’s important to know that there is no special type of person who can become addicted. It can happen to anyone, so asking for help early is key.
How can you help?
1.Get the Facts. Check out NIDA for Teens. Their website is teens.drugabuse.gov. They have great fact sheets and tips for helping, check out their Have a Drug Problem, Need Help? page.
2.Talk to Your Friend. Let your friend know you’re worried about him and tell him why. Use what you learned about drug and alcohol addiction from NIDA’s website. If by chance your friend responds with something like, I was just joking, you need to let them know it’s not something to joke about and the images and content you share online, have an impact. Adults like parents, teachers, future employers, and college admissions officers can potentially see this…even if you were joking. Tell them how worried you have been and how serious you have taken it.
3.Get him to talk to a trusted adult like a parent, teacher, or counselor. You can also check out one of these resources:
a.SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), 1-800-487-4889(TDD). They are 24 hours, 7 days a week. They can help you to find a treatment facility closest to you.
b.National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at1-800-273-TALK (they don’t just talk about suicide—they cover a lot of issues and will help put you in touch with someone close by).
Thanks for being such a good friend and looking out for those you love and care about. Good luck to you and your friend!