I'm worried about someone's drug use

It can be frightening and lonely when someone you care about is struggling with their use of alcohol or other drugs. Stress is put on your relationship with this person and potentially other family members. The worst thing is that it can feel like there's nothing you can do.

If you're worried about someone else's drug use, there is help and support available.

AnnaAddiction is not your problem. It's their problem. You can't control them. You can't make them stop.

More stories

Tips for loved ones

  • Accept the person has a problem needing attention.

  • Don't try to talk to the person about your concerns when they are under the influence of drugs/alcohol.

  • Don't cover up or make excuses for the mistakes they make when they are intoxicated.

  • At every opportunity, let the person see the consequences of his or her behaviour.

  • Don't nag, scream or lecture. It will only cause feelings of anger and resentment.

  • Don't accept rude or physically abusive behaviour as normal or understandable. It is never OK for you to be mistreated by anyone.

  • Don't feel guilty if you are upset because they have broken a promise to you. People with drug problems often make promises that they can't keep, and it is natural that you would feel disappointed or hurt.

  • Don't judge the person as weak, stupid or lacking in willpower because they can't control their drug use. Drug dependency can happen to anyone.

  • Don't feel sorry for the person with the drug problem. When you feel pity, it is more likely that you will try to take care of the person rather than encourage them to get the help they need.

  • Don't blame yourself for the problem. Other people's actions do not cause drug dependency.

  • Do learn all you can about drug problems.

  • Do make sure you have at least one person who you can talk to about your feelings and worries.

  • When the person opens up and admits they need help, assist them to access appropriate support services.

Previous tip Next tip

There were times where I would always just think – right now, I wish I was just in my bed you know – at home with my Mum and my Dad.

Bob