There are many ways to help and support your friend from teen drug abuse, but in the end it will be your friend’s decision. Sometimes our teens don’t think or know they have a drug problem or refuse to believe they are addicted or dependent. They often go through a stage called denial. If you think your friend has a problem and you want to help them, think about how you’re going to approach them and what your going to say. They may not listen to you at first, but showing them that you care is a good starting point.
Things to Know:
Understand that addiction is a brain disease. For example, you wouldn’t expect someone with cancer to be able to heal themselves without the right treatment from a doctor and the right help/support from friends and family, therefore, you can’t expect your friend to heal themselves from teen drug abuse. It is crucial that you understand that it is never easy for anyone to admit that they have a drug problem. You will need to be patient with them and don’t give up easily.
Things to Say:
Letting you friend know your concerned can go a long way and could actually save his or her life. Your friend may not want to talk about it right away. Sometimes the effects that drugs have on their brain may prevent them from actually “hearing” what you’re saying.
Assure your friend that you are there for them and they’re not alone. People with drug problems have often strayed into the wrong crowd and they don’t want to turn away for fear of being alone. Suggest that he or she speak to an adult they trust and who will keep it confidential. Possibly a family friend could help.
What are the behavioral signs of drug use?
- A drop in attendance and performance at school
- Complaints from teachers, classmates and friends or co-workers
- A need for money to support drug habit has them borrow or steal
- A sudden change in relationships, friends, favorite hangouts or hobbies
- Teen is frequently getting in trouble through arguments, fights, and illegal activities to name a few
Seek help if necessary
If the problem looks to be too big for you to handle or if you hear them mention “suicide,” by all means, turn to a professional or a person more equipped with you to handle the matter immediately. They can come in the form of guidance counselors, brothers, or even your own parents. If the problem appears to be impossible for anyone of these individuals to assist or save their life, then it may be time to talk to their parents. You may lose a friend temporarily, but ultimately save their life. Teens can be forgiving especially when if involves drug or alcohol abuse.
With the proper help and support, many teen drug users are able to overcome their drug use before any serious harm is done to them or their family and friends. Be prepared for your friend to possibly wind up hitting rock bottom before they can see the damage they are doing and have done. Once they are clear headed and receive professional help through a psychiatrist or even a drug and alcohol rehab – they can start addressing their drug addiction.
Do some homework
There are a number of ways to get the information you need to help your friend. Learn the facts about teen drug and teen alcohol addiction. Here are some resources that supply plentiful information on the subject:
By listening, encouraging and supporting your friend, he or she may not thank you at the time, but most likely somewhere down the road to their recovery.