Friends Who Use Alcohol or Other Drugs

How can I help my friend who is using?

Discussing a friend's alcohol or other drug use isn't an easy thing to do. People with drug problems usually defend their use or make excuses. It can be hard for people to admit to themselves that they have a problem.You may feel a lot of pressure to get your friend to stop, or you may get totally discouraged if your friend doesn’t listen to you.

It’s not your fault! Remember, your friend’s drug or alcohol use is not your fault. It's up to him or her to stop using.

Call for help! Remember to never put yourself in a dangerous situation while trying to help and don’t get yourself in trouble. If you think that your friend is in immediate danger, such as having suicidal thoughts, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if he/she passes out or becomes unresponsive from taking something (overdoses), you should definitely call 911 and also talk with a trusted adult or call a help hotline.

Using alcohol or other drugs regularly is usually just a step away from addiction. Addiction is a chronic, treatable brain disease that affects people of all ages, religions, cultures, and levels of education and income. Addiction is when you depend on these substances to feel good or get through your day. The majority of people that are dependent on alcohol or other drugs started using before they were 20 years old. The adolescent brain still has a lot of developing to do and this makes their brain more susceptible to addiction.