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Drugs & Health Blog

Real Teens Ask: How Can I Help?

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated.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

During NIDA’s 2013 Drug Facts Chat Day, several teens shared touching stories about friends who are struggling with drug abuse and asked how they can help.

Real Teen Stories

A teen from Croatan High School in North Carolina sent this:

Someone I'm close to has been smoking the past year. I haven't told anyone because I don't want it to affect him at home. I'm glad he hasn't done anything around me but I'm not sure what to do about it.

A teen from C.H.Yoe High School in Texas submitted this:

I have a friend who is…just out of control. If he finds a pill…no matter what it is he will take it. I am trying to get him to alter his foolish ways. What do you suggest I do to help him?

Another teen from Croatan High School in North Carolina sent this:

My best friend of 7 years has smoked cigarettes, smoked marijuana, and tried other drugs since she was 11. She has dealt with social services, law enforcement, and was sent to a foster home for 3 months. She has been back home for a month and says she's going to change. I love her and don't want her to go back down the same road again, but she doesn't want to hear it when I talk to her about drugs. How can I help her?

Tips for Helping a Friend

It can be really upsetting and scary to have friends who are struggling with drug abuse and addiction. Here are some tips for helping them:

  1. Start by being a good friend, which you likely already are because you’re concerned. As a good friend, you’re someone who can be trusted to provide good advice and listen when your friend needs to talk.
  2. Educate yourself about drugs and alcohol, and the problems they can cause. Then, you can give your friend the facts and refer them to resources to help them learn more. A good place to start is the NIDA for Teens Web site. It has fact sheets about many different drugs and their effects.
  3. Next, encourage your friend to talk to an adult who they can trust: maybe a teacher, coach, or a parent of another friend. If your friend doesn't feel comfortable talking to a trusted adult but is ready to seek help, then you can check out treatment resources in your community (some are available just for teens). If your friend feels like they're is in crisis, then they (or you) can call 1-800-273-TALK to talk confidentially to a professional who can help.

Has a friend ever leaned on you for help staying away from drugs or other problems? Tell us in comments what you did to help them, and let us know if you have other questions about dealing with tough stuff.

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 some good advice
god bless you
yes, but you have to REALLY let your friend know that you are there for her, and that you will help her through this!!
I agree: Start by being a good friend, which you likely already are because you’re concerned. As a good friend, you’re someone who can be trusted to provide good advice and listen when your friend needs to talk.
I agree: Become a good friend, if you already are then be better then a good friend. Help them by being someone that they can trust, talk to and share things with. In the end you'll probably help them stop.
If you can quit every thing you do because drugs are not life they will distroy you if you don't quit so if you are cleaver stop every thing you do from now on and god will alway help you though your broblems just give your self to almigt god.
i quit within 6 weeks , just sit and talk to your friend , take her or him out to eat or shopping or even cruising just something that will get their mind off of the drug ... thats what help me , although there is rehabs that might be around your area , might try and find help there if you cant help them out ..
What kind of drugs were you using? How are things going for you now?
Plzz try to stop these all drug addiction in this country because it's harmful for now days
Young generation is going to destroy themselves ,, We should save them.
we should cerate the awareness for them who have the habit of drug addiction
I have a friend who does drugs and drinks I will try this and I'm worried about her.
I agree: Being a good friend will help you gain their trust. The closer you are to them, the more likely they will listen to you. Also, if they don't mind sharing their problem, you can ask other friends too, but if it turns into nagging, they may stop listening altogether.
thanks bro
This is really good advice for anyone who has a friend that does drugs or someone is forcing them to do drugs. You should always help your friends and never give up on them. Let your friends know they can talk to you and that they can trust you.
u now how u can help by tell them it is wrong for u take drugs and wait until ur 21 or old then u can drink but now weed is a medical now but u most have paperwork for it but beside that little fact there is so much to now about and new drugs discover everyday . reply back tell me what u think. ;)
I'm decided to quit smoking weed after using for 8 years I'm 19 but I have found I am struggling with everyday tasks and finding myself in a position where cocaine and mdma are becoming increasingly desirable and I'm finding myself not sleeping or eaten for days and find myself walking the streets and the times I do sleep I wake up to find I'm not. Actually where I thought I was if that makes sense? Please someone give me answers or advice to deal with this
Hi Jack, you can get information about drug abuse treatment programs at If you aren't sure what to do or just want to talk to someone, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at
Hi There People!!
I have tried more than 100 time but my friend saying that he doesn't do it and one time I was looking in his shirts and found alcohol and Marijuana . I got to him and i told him what are you doing is wrong but he got me out of his house I there is websites that I found that can help me and I called and they helped.
Also, you can warn them about the long-term life affects. One thing leads to another, bad focus due to addiction leads to bad grades in highschool... college may no longer be something realistic and getting a good job would be hopeless. Or worse, overdosing, and not even getting the opportunity to have a life.