If you suspect that any of your friends is into these harmful habits, here are few things you need to follow to help your friend come out of them.
Find the signs of alcohol or substance abuse
Observe the signs of alcohol or substance abuse in your friend. Check for behavioral changes like frequent absences from college or office, engaging in parties frequently, changing friendships and hanging out with drug abusing friends; neglecting favorite hobbies and interests; often involving in fights, illegal activities and accidents; and engaging in secretive and suspicious behaviors. A drug abuser also suffers from severe mood swings, depression and shows suicidal tendencies.
Check for physical symptoms like bloodshot eyes, running nose, deterioration in physical appearance, lack of interest in personal grooming habits, tremors and so on.
Confirm the abuse
Don’t neglect if you find these symptoms. Communicate straightforwardly and know if he is really abusing alcohol or illicit drugs. It is also better to confirm the habit of substance abuse by conducting drug testing. Convince him to take drug tests. Many drug testing kits are available in the market which can be used in privacy of the home.
How to talk to a troubled friend?
Once you are confirmed that your friend is abusing harmful substances, take initiative and talk to him. Remember, a troubled friend needs right companionship. Maintain a careful, loving and affectionate communication with your friend. Show your concern towards him. Allow him to share the stress, problems or any other issues. Do not talk to him when he is under the influence of drugs. He may become angry or turn violent.
Discuss about harmful effects
Have patience and discuss about the harmful effects of drug or alcohol abuse in detail. Explain how unhealthy habits can affect his individual and social life. Discuss the problems his parents or family members might face as a result of his habits. If your friend is a heavy drug user, take him to a healthcare professional to make him aware of the serious health issues related to illicit drug usage.
Encourage him to practice healthy habits
Explain the importance of healthy living to your friend and ask him to practice healthy habits. Take him along with you for walking, jogging or any other exercising activity. Try to engage him in sports. Extend your moral support to him while he is trying to change his previous lifestyle.
A friend influences a person more than his parents. Hence, your timely effort can help your friend break unhealthy habits.