What can I do?

Remember, dependence and addiction get worse if untreated. And the longer your friend uses, the more dangerous the situation becomes, for your friend and for others.

So you’re doing the right thing by trying to get help. But you can’t do it by yourself!

  • Don’t go it alone. No one can handle this alone. You need to get help from people you can trust, such as a medical professional, counselor, parents, a teacher, or religious leader. They can help you figure out the best way to help your friend. If you are afraid of revealing confidential information, you can ask for advice without saying your friend’s name. Explain that you have a friend who has a problem but you can’t tell them their name. Explain why you are so worried. Ask for advice.
  • Show your support. Talk with your friend. Tell them how much you care about them. Don’t criticize or be judgmental. Listen. Offer to go with them to talk with a counselor or maybe their parents or other adult.

WARNING: Withdrawal can be dangerous.

It's important for a person who is trying to quit using drugs or alcohol to get medical help and treatment. When a person is in treatment, their withdrawal is monitored so that they can come off the drug safely.

If a person suddenly stops taking a drug, they can have serious withdrawal symptoms like:

  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Cold flashes with goose bumps
  • Involuntary leg movements
  • Irritability, loss of concentration, paranoia and depression