Teenage is a time when an adolescent is curious about many things. Unfortunately, it is also the time when experimentation with drugs, alcohol and sex also begins. Therefore, as a friend it is important to be careful about your friends and keep an eye out for any sign or symptom that might indicate an addiction.
According to the Australian Secondary Students’ Alcohol and Drug survey, around 46 percent of teenagers aged between 12 and 17 years had consumed alcohol within the past year whereas 25 percent of them had consumed alcohol within the past month. Another survey observed that the average age of first-time alcohol consumption was around 15-16 years. In fact, alcohol was the first preferred choice of drugs among adolescents.
Helping a friend say no to drugs
Friends are an integral part of life and as a friend, it becomes your responsibility to protect their backs. No one likes to see their loved ones suffer. Some steps to help a friend overcome their drug habit can be as follows:
Accept your friend’s choices: One of the main reasons for drug use and subsequent addiction is peer pressure. Therefore, it is important to say NO at the first instance. Sometimes in a group of friends it is possible for a teen to find themselves in an uncomfortable position where they might find it hard to decline. But then, the friend should stay firm and you should also understand. You should remember that doing drugs is a personal choice and that no one needs to justify why they don’t want to do drugs to anybody but themselves. Sometimes subtle yet firm denial statements such as “I don’t like it” should be enough to convey your friends’ choices.
- Acknowledge the friend’s problem: It is important to accept that your friend has a problem; and every problem has a solution. Talk to your friend and make them understand that drug use is a serious issue that needs timely resolution.
- Talk about the problem: It is essential that you discuss the issue and let your friend know about the serious negative side effects of drugs. Let them know how their near and dear ones are affected by their drug use and how they can overcome their addiction.
- Show support: Let your friends know that you are always there for them. Acknowledge the positive things and don’t leave their support in case of a relapse. Plan out positive and healthy activities.
- Do not judge: Never ever make your friends feel bad about themselves nor try to bribe them to give up drug use. Don’t judge them. Instead try to help them think of solutions to overcome the problem.
- Seek professional help: If you feel that your efforts are not effective in helping your friends, then do not hesitate in seeking professional help. A professional drug addiction treatment center can help your friend overcome drug use with the help of evidence-based treatment modalities.
According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) report, there were approximately 916,000 adolescents aged between 12 and 17 who were suffering from a substance use disorder (SUD). Addiction to drugs if left untreated for a long time can lead to serious physical and mental health disorders. Drug addiction requires a medically supervised detox treatment to flush out the toxins from the body. Complimented with psychotherapy and counseling sessions, treatment can go a long way in helping one obtain long-term recovery.
The California Drug Addiction Helpline is a dedicated resource center that offers information, advice and help on substance abuse treatment options. In addition to helping you get familiar with drug addiction and its drawbacks; our team of representatives can also help you or your loved ones find the best residential rehabilitation treatment program basis your needs. To learn more about drug abuse and/or addiction or to locate the finest residential drug rehabilitation centers near you, call our 24/7 helpline number (855) 980-1946 or chat live online with our treatment advisors.