Do you have a friend or a loved one who takes drugs?
If you’re going to talk to someone about their drug use, you should always try and find out what he or she thinks – and listen. Just being there and listening to them is a huge part of what you can do for them.
Some people suffer in silence, thinking their family or friends won’t understand their problems. It’s critical that you hear what they have to say so you can understand their problems and point them in the right direction. But you shouldn’t feel like you have to take on the problem yourself. There are a range of people you can talk to and services available that offer support.
To talk to someone call the Know the Score Helpline on 0800 587 5879.
To find help and support in your area, check our directory of services.
Starting a conversation
Starting a conversation about someone else’s personal life can be hard and you don’t always have to confront difficult topics head on.
It’s difficult to talk in the middle of a crisis, so you may want to choose a time when things are a little more settled. The best conversations happen when both people are ready to listen to each other at the same time.
The person you are worried about may already have a good idea of how you feel about drugs and alcohol, even if you hardly ever talk about them. Ideas of right and wrong come across through what you say and do – how you feel about work, what you do for fun and how you get on with friends and family.
If you decide that you want to talk to your friend about his or her drug or alcohol use, follow these simple steps:
- Always have the conversation when your friend is not influenced by drugs or alcohol.
- Work out what you want to say in advance.
- Write an email or note if you feel uncomfortable talking face-to-face.
- Try and use the correct tone – how you say something is as important as what you say. A supportive, caring tone usually works best. Be assertive, not aggressive.
- Back up your case – your friend may think you’re just being critical, so try to give examples of how you feel when you see him or her use drugs. For example, “You are my best friend but I feel like you’re a different person when you’re high.”
- If they become angry, suggest that you talk about it at another time, or that they seek help from a trusted source like Know the Score.