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Drugs & Health Blog

How To Help a Friend in Need

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
Sara Bellum

Figuring out what to do when a friend or someone you know is having trouble with drugs or alcohol can be tricky. You want to help, but you might not know how to bring it up. Here are some tips.

Listen. If he talks to you, just be there for him. Admitting a problem—never mind talking to someone about it—is really hard. Listen to what he has to say about his drug use without making judgments.

Encourage. Suggest that she talk to an adult she trusts—a coach or teacher, a school counselor, a relative, or a doctor.

Share. Maybe your friend doesn’t see his or her drug use as a bad thing. But plenty of real scientific information about what drugs can do to a person is on the NIDA Web site. Once your friend understands how drugs affect the brain, body, and life, it might open their eyes.

Inform. When he’s ready to make a change and seek treatment, help him find a doctor, therapist, support group, or treatment program. You can use SAMHSA’s Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator or call 1–800–662–HELP.

Support. Don’t give up on your friend, even if she isn’t ready to get help. Keep reaching out. Encourage them to get treatment, and support them along the way—that’s the best way to help someone you care about who is struggling with addiction.

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


This is very helpful.
In case someone needs to help a friend through drug abuse, this will help.

Im adicted to drugs marijuawan i cant eat without need help

Thabo, it can be scary to admit you might be addicted to drugs—you've made a brave first step.  To find help near you, call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit  Good luck!

Could someone pkease help me answer a question im new to this i tried a couple lines now i found my self having sores i removed a small fetus shaped bug w claws out of my skin and now i have red circle bumb everywhere im on antibiotics and steroid but still having itching and marks what can i do

We recommend you seek medical care as soon as possible for this. Having an honest conversation with a health care provider can help put your mind at ease and answer your questions.

you know what's harder? when I've done all these things and my friend really still have this mindset of not giving up his bad habits and doesn't want to stick w a medical help. I don't want to force them but how could i help in other ways if i have done all of these already?

It sounds like you’re a great friend. It can be hard to watch someone you care for have problems with drugs. You want to help, but you’re not sure how. You could start by sharing your concerns with them, because drug use can have serious consequences. Listen to them without making judgments. And share scientific information about what drugs can do to a person. Get the latest on how drugs affect the brain and body here:

You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. They don't just talk about suicide—they cover a lot of issues and will help put you in touch with someone close by.

i think no one should ever give up on family friends bf/gf it don't matter if you really love them you will do whatever it takes to help them with there addiction or problem that they have. just remember neve give up on no one no matter what friend or not good or bad never help them be the better person and help people that need it.

drugs will take all your dreams and life away so please don't do drugs

It's good and meaningful in so many articles like this

this is really a good post. following this will definitely help our loved who are experiencing depression.

Andrew S. Mancilla
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This is a very helpful resource. Thankyou. [commercial link removed, per guidelines]

I have bookmarked you blog page to read more from you.
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This all helps us so much. Drugs are harmfull for us.

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Friend ship is a part of our life which it have a different is most beautiful post.Wonderful and so exciting i have read this post with deeply.It is very informative and helpful in our busy life thanks for sharing this post.

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What I've noticed is that you keep saying "He" in your blogs/articles, and I think that is a little sexist in a way because it can happen to both girls and boys. You should fix that.
My boyfriend who is 21 (I am 19) has just started snorting heroin. He has an addiction to opiates such as Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Oxymorphone and Buprenorphine. He usually needs around 70-80mg of Oxy in order to feel the high. Without it the withdraws are horrible for him. He experiences painful body aches, extreme tiredness, strong cravings, puking and irritability. He does not have a job so he recently switched to snorting heroin because it is cheaper. I have no idea what to do.. He doesn't want to talk about it with me and gets very angry if I bring it up. I asked him if he wanted help and he said no. I asked him if he wanted to stop and he again told me no. Should I tell his parents? I am terrified for him :(!!!!!! Please help me!

You can't make someone stop misusing drugs, but you can tell your boyfriend that you're concerned and share some of the information about drug risks from this site:

If you think your boyfriend has a problem, you might consider discussing it with his parents or other trusted adults who are in a position to help. Take a look at our Step by Step Guide designed to help you determine if someone you love has a problem:

If you aren't sure what to do or just want to talk to someone, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at

This is actually a really good resource. I'm trying to help my friend start making good decisions because I love him like my brother, but he doesn't want me to care about him. It's hard.