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To Sam

is it wrong to tell on my friend?


I've been recently worried about my friend who is doing a whole bunch of stuff that could get him in trouble. For example: taking (illegal ) drugs, drinking alcohol, and beating up various people as well as stealing from shops.

He's just getting worse. First he'd steal just a packet of crisp and now it's anything. Or he use to be against fighting but now he's seriously hurting many people. And he smokes more and more stuff and often carries alcohol with him and gets Angry or moody fast.

And he's too young for any sort of smoking or drinking and if something breaks the law then i should tell, right?

He's been my friend since i was seven and i thought i knew him well however i am concerned for him but don't want to break his trust or be disloyal to him.

I've been thinking about telling someone before he ends up doing something that could put him in prison. (such as: my parents, his parents or even police.)

I've asked my other friends about this and they say it's never okay to tell on a friend or get a friend in trouble. But I'm not sure not telling will be best for him.

Is it okay to tell on a friend to help them ?

And in this situation will it help if i do?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

When we're worried about a friend we want to do anything to help. Sometimes this means doing something that they might not like, such as telling another person or an adult. It's important that you do what you think is right because you also have to look after your own feelings too.

When a friend changes a lot and it seems like they're doing things which might be harmful for them, it can put you in a difficult position. As their friend you don't want to see them getting into trouble, but you also don't want them to be hurt or to hurt others. It's a tough choice to make but you have to decide what you think is best. We've got advice on helping a friend and you can get support from our counsellors.

It's important to remember that you're not responsible for your friend in any way and that anything that happens is down to their choices, not yours.

When making a difficult decision it can help to look at both sides - how would you feel if you did do something and how are you going to feel if you do nothing. If this is something that's on your mind a lot then it seems like it's important to make a choice so you can move on and focus on yourself again.

Sometimes getting a second opinion can help. If there is someone who knows both you and your friend, you could try talking to them and see what they think. Having another point of view and even asking an adult for help can be really useful when deciding what to do.

If you wanted to talk things through with a Childline counsellor, they'd be happy to help. They won't tell you what you should do, but they will help you to decide for yourself.

I hope that this reply has been useful.

Thanks for the letter,



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