Do you have a friend, schoolmate or family member that is struggling with drugs or alcohol? Often, teens can feel as though they don’t have the power or the permission to speak up and help that person to make change. Or maybe they’re scared to bring it up with the person.
But stepping up and reaching out can help save a life — addiction is a deadly disease. Listening, encouraging, and supporting — as well as having a list of local or online resources at the ready — are important tools to bring to the conversation. Choosing the right time to talk is important, as well as engaging allies — trusted adults, counselors, and other sympathetic adults or peers can help, as well.
NIDA for teens has some helpful advice on how to help a friend in need, and Above the Influence offers an online guide and list of helpful resources. Ventura County Limits has a downloadable brochure on youth services that are available in Ventura County.
The links below are a good place to get started on preparing to help your friend. It’s important to be involved and make change — you can be a lifesaver!
- How to Help a Friend – Above the Influence
- Helping a friend with a drinking problem – Reach Out
- NIDA for Teens
- Youth Services – Ventura County Limits