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What's the best way to try and stop friends from using drugs?

Discussion in 'Share Your Story Here' started by Nelja Lerob, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. Nelja Lerob

    Nelja Lerob Member

    I just found out that some of my friends use drugs. I'm very anti-drug use (except for prescribed or over-the-counter) so it killed me when I found out about it. It was very saddening to find out about their substance abuse, and I really want them to stop so they won't die of drug overdoses. What's the best way to get them to stop?
  2. Optimismo

    Optimismo Member

    There's a lot of things you have to ask yourself. For instance, what kind of drugs are they doing? You need to know their poison before you try to tackle it. If you know the drug, you can show them various ways it can affect their life. You can show them how the drug can affect their career or social life. Random drug tests are in place in many work environments and sports teams so drug use can be a very extreme risk if they value their job or recreational activities in their life. You can also tell them about the medical disadvantages of drug use but younger people may tend to ignore this. You can appeal to vanity by showing how drugs will make their appearance look as well.

    I think the easiest way is to pinpoint the drugs your friend is using and show how they directly correlate to his/her life, and how much is at stake by using drugs.
  3. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Community Champion

    Although you can always talk to your friends about your concerns having them using drugs, they may laugh at you and call you "green" or something else for your anti-drug attitude.

    Depends on their involvement with drugs, might not be easy get them quitting, but you can always try to talk to them about the health risks they are exposed to, only that you may need to do this in the right moment.

    Not an easy task because most of the times people doing drugs are in denial and they may say nothing bad is happening, that they are doing drugs just for having some relaxing time or else.
    deanokat and gracer like this.
  4. gracer

    gracer Community Champion

    Hi @Nelja Lerob! Welocme to this forum and thank you for seeking our advice regarding your concern. :)

    @Optimismo has pointed out factors there that your friends could consider thinking about especially if they have careers to take care of or important roles to consider with regards to drug use. Them abusing drugs could ruin what they they have long molded and taken care of. There are many negative effects of drugs that can be pointed out but the most important thing is their willingness to listen and your perseverance to talk them out of using drugs.

    As what @MyDigitalpoint has said, some addicts are actually in denial and they might not even listen to you in the first place. The fact that you're outnumbered even makes it harder for you to influence them on stopping. This is not to discourage you but if you feel like your efforts are going nowhere and you end up being the one who's absorbing negatively from them, that's the time you should think about avoiding them and looking for other like minded friends who could influence you positively. Losing friendships is one of the risk of taking drugs and you shouldn't be afraid to take that risk if you yourself feel that you need toget out from their circle.
    MyDigitalpoint likes this.
  5. Matthodge1

    Matthodge1 Community Champion

    Welcome to the forums! Sit down and have an earnest talk with them. Make it known that you are not approving of their lifestyle choices and make it known that they are decaying their bodies with their bad decisions. Be supportive, but stern.
    deanokat likes this.
  6. Matthodge1

    Matthodge1 Community Champion

    Yep, this is all true, especially that last paragraph. So many people enter a stage of denial whenever they do drugs and it sucks.
    deanokat and MyDigitalpoint like this.
  7. Profit5500

    Profit5500 Senior Contributor

    That is the main problem with most people do not take his or her drug problem seriously when you confront them about it. It is common for people to ignore that they have a problem until it really hits them. I just tell myself every day that drugs are not worth it even if life is frowning on you just try to be positive.
    MyDigitalpoint likes this.
  8. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    You can try talking about that with them and show your care and concern. But their reactions might not be all positive or they might just neglect you. Advising them or helping them having new things to do could be some things that you can do for them. They should realize that there is a problem with their using of drugs.
    deanokat likes this.
  9. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    The best way to get them to stop is not to worry. It is their reality and problem not yours. Don't take it personally. The hands down best support is to not join in and still love them. Your avoidance will say it all. If you are hanging out and somebody breaks out some drugs. Politely excuse yourself and leave. Distance yourself from talking to them etc.
    Wait and watch how they respond. They might hide it and in this sense. Sort of break off ties to show a strong message, with the door open.
    Don't be disappointed because you feel so strongly about anyone not being a drug addict you actually have invited it. Attempt to adapt to an indifference to it even though you loathe it. Think of them as rockstars. Who cares if they want to waste their life. Some people when they find out you don't like something. It makes them want to do it more. They call this sadistic. They want to watch you squirm and see if you will join in. This is why it's better to step away and distance yourself.
  10. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    I think the best way to do as a friend to these drug abusers is to try encouraging them to stop/quit for good. Tell them you are really concerned about their health and also, about their future, and you don't want to see them wasting their lives away. Be frank but don't be too mean about it. Just let them realize that life would be better without drugs. I wish you all the best and luck! Have faith.
  11. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Nelja Lerob... I'm glad you came to the forum and shared your concern about your friends with us. You must be an amazing friend.

    @Matthodge1's idea is what I would suggest, too. Sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk with them. Tell them that you care about them and that you're concerned about their health and well-being. Tell them how their drug use makes you feel. Be supportive and empathetic, but not angry. (Anger will only breed more anger and resentment.) Also, you have to be prepared that they will not agree with what you have to say; or that they will totally deny even having a problem.

    The last sentence of your original post reads: "What's the best way to get them to stop?" The truth is, you can't get them to stop. Only they can make the decision to stop. That's the hardest part about caring about someone who has issues with substance abuse. Like Al-Anon says, we didn't cause it, we can't control it, and we can't cure it.

    Try talking to your friends and see what happens. If things move in a positive direction, that will be awesome. If they don't, though, please don't let it get you down.

    Thanks again for sharing. Keeping you and your friends in my thoughts and prayers. Keep coming back if you need more support. That's what we're here for.
    MyDigitalpoint likes this.
  12. Damien Lee

    Damien Lee Community Champion

    This is a very difficult task that I've been dealing with for some time now with a close friend of mine. It's hard to convince someone who is not at that point where they know they need to stop. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't try to convince them to stop, as a friend you have to be on their side every step of the way. They can be stubborn and continue to make their life and your life difficult. The important thing is just not to give up on them.
    deanokat likes this.
  13. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    @Damien Lee is right. Don't give up on them. And love them unconditionally.
  14. Matthodge1

    Matthodge1 Community Champion

    This is definitely some good advice. I suggest you follow this.
  15. Matthodge1

    Matthodge1 Community Champion

    That last sentence is extremely important. You need to make sure that they know that they are loved in the first place.
    deanokat likes this.
  16. deanokat

    deanokat Community Organizer Community Listener

    You would never stop loving someone because they have diabetes or cancer or AIDS or a brain tumor. Addiction is no different. Unconditional love is the purest form of love, and it's what people with substance use disorders need. Actually, it's what everyone needs. :)