Cyberspace is the New Frontier in Fighting Drug Abuse

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Drugs: Shattering the Myths logo.

So you’re friends with 100 or more people on Facebook, right? What are the chances that someone you know or a family member is in trouble with drugs or alcohol? Or thinking about trying something they wouldn’t do if they knew the facts?

You could try talking to your friend, or asking if they need help. But what are the chances they’d listen? Would you know the right thing to say?

That old cliché—tell an adult—may sound like good advice. But you don’t want to rat out your friend. So what do you do?

Today you can reach out in ways that didn’t even exist 5 years ago. Interactive online social networks and blogs like this one let you help without feeling you’ve betrayed your friend. You can even get involved in the conversation, like commenting here on SBB.

Using resources like this blog, you can get the latest science on drugs, alcohol, and addiction, and link people to additional science-backed information—anonymously. Facebook, including NIDA’s Facebook page, is another way to find and share trusted information.

Here are some other recommendations for Facebook friends that SBB trusts—and you can, too.

Government agencies with Facebook pages:

Treatment help:

Organizations:

Many of these organizations are also tweeting and blogging. You can find a blogroll of those talking about drugs, alcohol, and addiction issues on the Sara Bellum Blog home page by scrolling down and looking in the blogroll to the right of this post: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/blog/

So when you’re wondering what you can do to support a friend or family member, here’s an update for your own Facebook status: Friends don’t let friends stay in the pit with drugs.

One hand reaching out of a laptop reaching out to another hand coming out of a different laptop.

Find Help Near You

Use the SAMHSA Treatment Locator to find substance use or other mental health services in your area. If you are in an emergency situation, this toll-free, 24-hour hotline can help you get through this difficult time: call 1-800-273-TALK, or visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We also have step by step guides on what to do to help yourself, a friend or a family member.

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