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My friend started doing coke

Hi, my friend recently has began to take drugs, starting on weed, but has now quickly started to do cocaine, I really don‘t want to grass on him, yet am really scared for his wellbeing, please, is there anything I can do, I’ve tried jokingly talking to him to put him off but he won’t listen, please help.

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Sam

Hi there,

All drugs can effect your physical and mental health, especially when you’re still growing. Drugs that a doctor prescribes are carefully chosen and measured to make sure they’re not harmful, but any drugs bought on the street are illegal and might not be what you’re told they are. It’s difficult watching someone else make harmful choices but you can only do so much to help.

Weed and cocaine are both illegal to have, give to someone else or to sell and it’s possible to become addicted to them. Weed can make you feel less motivated to do things, make you feel anxious, paranoid and increase the chances of developing mental health problems like schizophrenia. Cocaine use can put you at risk of heart problems and can make you feel depressed, anxious or paranoid. You can overdose on cocaine without realising it which can be fatal and it’s possible to become addicted.

Despite all the dangers there could be reasons your friend’s taking drugs. It could be because they want to socialise, relax or to try to fit in with their friends. Or your friend might take drugs to forget difficult feelings, like struggling to cope with depression, anxiety or feeling bad about themselves. They might think that taking drugs is helping them and they might not realise it could be making things worse and making it harder for them to get the right help and support.

Someone who’ s taking drugs might not understand the dangers and they might try to justify their drug use or act as if everything is okay when you tell them that you’re worried.  It’s your decision how much support you’re able to give them and there is only so much help you can give. You might decide to stay friends but not see them when they’re taking drugs. If you feel like they are having a negative effect on you, then you might decide not to see them anymore.

If you want to talk to your friend about their drug use, it might help by asking about what makes them want to take them. Understanding someone else’s point of view is often a good first step towards helping them. Find a time when you’re not in a rush, when neither of you have taken drugs or alcohol and to find somewhere safe and private to talk.

Try not to judge them, take your time and be patient and tell them how you feel about what they’re doing. Your friend might not be ready to listen at first and you might need to accept that they don’t want help at the moment but you could try talking again another time.

Remember, you can’t make your friend do something they don’t want to do. You can suggest that they talk to an adult they trust like a parent or to their doctor, or you can suggest they call a helpline like Talk to Frank or Childline. But it will be their decision whether they do or not.

I hope this advice is helpful and you can talk to a Childline counsellor any time or post on our message boards to get support from other young people.

Thanks for your letter.

Take care,

Sam

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