How to help a friend with drug addiction:

  • Seek help from your school counselor and ask your counselor if there is a drug education program that you and your friend can participate in.
  • Set a positive example and let your friend know how much you care for him/her and let your friend feel that he/she can count on you for support.
  • Try to educate yourself more on the consequences of drug abuse by going to your schoolÕs library for more information. *Get a pamphlet or newspaper article that shows a story on the consequences of drug abuse and clearly talk about it with your friend. *Try to be a good listener and see what things could influence your friend to take drugs.
  • Give your friend a list of support groups and a phone number where he/she can call for help.

Why your friend may have chosen to do drugs:

  • Pressure from peers or drug dealers
  • Relieve boredom
  • Feel good
  • Forget about their troubles and relax
  • Have fun
  • Satisfy their curiosity
  • Take risks
  • Ease their pain
  • Feel grown up
  • Show their independence
  • Belong to a specific group
  • Look cool

People that are more at risk of becoming addicted to alcohol, tobacco, and drugs:

  • Sensation seekers who may like the new feeling of being drunk or high
  • Children who find it difficult to fit in or who become frustrated learning
  • Children of poverty who lack access to opportunities to succeed and to resources when they find themselves in trouble

Signs that your friend may be using drugs:

  • Looking withdrawn, depressed, tired and careless about personal grooming
  • Acting hostile and uncooperative (example: he/she frequently breaks curfew)
  • Relationships with family members and friends have deteriorated
  • Grades have worsened and school attendance is irregular (ex: he/she skips classes)
  • Has hard time concentrating
  • Change in eating or sleeping patterns

Support groups:

  • Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters (800) 344-2666 or (800) 356-9996
  • Toughlove International (800) 333-1069
  • Families Anonymous Inc. (800) 736-9805

More information on drug prevention and treatment may also be obtained from the Safe and Drug-Free Schools Website: http://www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/SDFS

 

By Karla Lara

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