How to Talk to a Friend with a Drug Problem
Cannabis is not addictive, but people who suffer with addictive personalities can develop a reliance on the routine of using cannabis, as well as other drugs, to get through their day-to-day life. Where pain is concerned, cannabis can provide a great deal of relief for chronic and inflammatory pain, but over time, patients may become resistant to certain strains of cannabis, CBD oils, and other medicinal variations of cannabis. This loss of affect can cause people to want to use more drugs, different drugs, and may, in time, develop an addiction. If you find yourself trying to help a friend who has found themselves in this situation, we want to help. We’ve put together a short guide on how you can talk to a friend who has developed a drug problem.
Speak from the heart.
Whether you are dealing with someone who uses cannabis or other drugs recreationally or you are dealing with a full-blown addict, the conversation should always start the same: you should focus on your concern for their well-being. It’s important not to point fingers or tell them they are wrong in the way they live their life. Even recreational cannabis users can catch flack for lighting up once in a while. Remember that is your objection to their actions, not their objections. You need to be supportive while trying to get someone to see your point of view on the subject.
Talk about the way you feel.
When discussing possible drug problems and addictions, it’s important that you speak only of yourself. Don’t put words in their mouths and don’t make assumptions based on their behalf. You need to remember to keep your concerns about your and them aligned with your words and remember that they are not responsible for how you feel. The way you are interpreting the situation, and yes, even a drug problem, is strictly your own opinion. They may not want to hear you out, and it is likely they won’t entertain your first attempt to get them to stop. Perhaps, as you go through the motions of trying to get them to give up on the drugs they use, you consider why it is important to you that they stop.
Don’t blame them for anything.
Remember that you and only you are responsible for how you feel about someone else’s life. They do not make you feel a certain way. You make that meaning yourself. Be clear with your friend, family member or whoever it is you are trying to help that you don’t blame them for your feelings and thoughts. As much as this is about helping them, it has to be about you owning your thoughts and actions. Speak to them using “I” language and don’t get caught up in the drama of what you are doing. If you really care, you’ll be sure to keep yourself in check.
Give them space.
Talk to someone about a potential drug problem is never easy. Although there are no studies that show cannabis is addictive, there is evidence that suggests it can lead to other drug use down the road. However, it is important to not blanket every cannabis user with this label. Painting everyone with the same brush can make an insignificant problem into a bigger problem. While cannabis has been made legal in some countries, it is still classified as a drug and needs to be treated as such. The risks are as much a reality as the rewards. If you’ve tried to speak to your friend about their drug problem, don’t demand any action from them. Let them have time and space to consider your thoughts and concerns and make up their own mind. If there’s one thing that is true about drug use, abuse, and addiction, it’s that the person who is using needs to be ready to receive help. This may be just the first of many conversations you have with them.