Bringing up the topic of drugs can be pretty difficult – especially if you think there is an issue. You must try to stay as open-minded as possible and remember that with the appropriate support, many people overcome their issue with drugs before it becomes life-threatening. Not everyone who takes drugs must go to rehab. You must also remember that. Even if you do offer your support, it might not be wanted.
Why do People Choose to Take Drugs?
People take rugs for a variety of reasons. Understanding these will help you when you go to talk to your friend about it.
In order to socialise. Some people find this easier when they are under the influence, and find it fun and relaxing. It may not be a problem, as many people who use drugs in this way will stop when they feel ready. However, it is never a bad thing to remind them of the damage they can cause.
So they can escape reality. This is when people use drugs to block out the negative emotions they are experiencing. It might be a way of self-medicating for depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. Taking drugs will only make the symptoms of these worse later on down the line. So, if you think your friend is taking drugs, for this reason, look for the signs of addiction, you should try and help them find other ways to help the way they are feeling. If need be, suggest professional help.
In order to fit in with others. They might feel like they are left out or under pressure to use them whilst, other people they meet are using drugs. You can help by offering to do things with them which do not involve drugs.
So that they can experiment – and many curious people might only try them once or twice. Monitor how much they use before you make any assumptions.
How Do I Talk to My Friend About their Drug Use?
There is no clear right or wrong way to talk about a drug problem with your friend. However, we have some guidelines to help the conversation go the right way.
Make sure to speak to your friend when:
- You are both sober and not under the influence of drugs.
- You are somewhere private and familiar in case they become emotional.
- You have a good amount of time to talk it through.
Don’t speak about it in a way that:
- They might find judgemental or critical, as this will only make them upset or defensive.
- Won’t allow them time to talk. Think about speaking as little as possible and allowing them to explain.
- Makes you seem superior. You are not a better person than them, they are just going through something.