It is very important to look out for your mates. What we put into our body can have a massive effect on our mind, and cutting back on alcohol and other drug use can really boost our mood. You must support a friend, relative or someone you are mentoring if alcohol and other drugs are having a negative effect on their lives.
If your friend is drunk or high, it is important to watch out for them and make sure they are safe. If they are out or at a party make sure they are drinking water, have something to eat and have a safe way home. Also, if you think they could get into trouble or do something risky, it could be a good idea to take them aside to talk about something else.
If your friend or someone you know has mentioned that their drinking or drug-taking is having a big impact on their life, it is worth talking about it with them. Make your priority listening to them, then, in a non-judgmental way, ask them if there’s any way you can help.
Building up trust, and letting them know that you are there to listen is the most important thing. Nobody likes being told what to do – do not assume that you know the right thing for them. At the same time, it is okay to point people to support and resources that could help them, share knowledge that you have, and let them know your honest worry.
It can be very hard cutting back on alcohol or other drugs, so it is important to not make it harder. Even if you do not see someone else’s substance use as problematic, as if they use less than you do, it is important to support and respect their decision.
If your friend with who you regularly drink or get high, is decided to cut back, you might feel disappointed and even defensive. But it is important to remember that their decision is not a judgment on your actions, because alcohol and other drugs affect each of us differently.
Many young people get attached to bad habits of alcohol and other drug use because they associate it with the friends and fun times they have when they are drunk or high. But there is a huge range of other social activities you and your mates can do together sober. That includes almost everything you do currently from watching movies through to dancing as well as playing games, sports or having deeper conversations.
For young person who are struggling with their substance use hanging out with a clear head make a real difference.
There are lots of resources available for young persons who want to reduce their use of alcohol or other drugs. If a young person you know would like to speak to someone in person, why not put in them in touch with their doctor or local medical center?