Ideas for supporting friends

If you have a friend, family member or someone else who you think is on drugs, here are some things you can do to support them with their problem.

Listen to them – you don't even have to come up with answers or solutions. Sometimes the person just needs someone to talk to.

Don't judge the person or tell them what to do – when people are having a hard time, the last thing they need is a lecture.

Make sure that they are not being too hard on themselves – remind them that we are all human, we all have problems and we all learn from our mistakes.

Be trustworthy and supportive – make sure the person knows that they can rely on you to be there when they need you, and to not talk about their issues with others behind their back.

Let the person know that you care about them – remind them that people care for them, and reinforce all of their good qualities.

Make sure they have a safe space to hang out – invite them over to your house and just let them chill out, have a nice meal or watch a movie.

Encourage them to get help – if talking to you about their problems makes them feel a bit better, maybe talking to a health professional or counsellor would help too.

Find things to distract them – by doing something you both enjoy such as shopping, going to the beach, the movies or just have a good laugh.

Remind the person of all the good things in their life – all the things they can be grateful for, and all the things that make them happy.

Tell them about Somazone - a website offering teens confidential advice and information about drugs, sex, mental health, body image and relationships.

If you believe someone you know is in serious danger because of drugs, let someone know, such as a parent or a trusted teacher. You can also call Lifeline (13 11 14), the Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) or CounsellingOnline (1800 88 8236).

Helping someone with problem cannabis use: Mental health first aid guidelines provides information on how you can help someone who is developing a problem with cannabis or is in a cannabis-related crisis.

Ideas for supporting friends - printable fact sheet (PDF 86 KB)

Back to Top

This page was last reviewed in March 2014.