Below are past articles previously published in Drugs & Addiction Magazine. These are filled with current and relevant information and statistics and can be used as great conversation starters with youth.
It’s Bell Let’s Talk Day!January 30, 2019
Former Insys CEO pleads guilty to opioid kickback schemeJanuary 17, 2019
Resolve to Detox Your Social CircleJanuary 16, 2019
Easing test anxiety boosts low-income students’ biology gradesJanuary 15, 2019
Craving insight into addictionJanuary 14, 2019
People with low self-esteem tend to seek support in ways that backfire, study findsJanuary 10, 2019
Ban on cigarette sales in NYC pharmacies starts Jan. 1January 9, 2019
Too many problems? Maybe coping isn’t the answerJanuary 8, 2019
Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14January 3, 2019
Sexting TeensDecember 19, 2018
Screen Addiction: Today’s Biggest Threat to Schooling?December 19, 2018
Texting Etiquette & Safety: 5 Rules for Keeping Your Kids & Teens Secure & Drama-FreeDecember 17, 2018
Amnesty International: Indigenous Peoples’ rightsDecember 17, 2018
New Canadians sworn in as Winnipeg museum celebrates International Human Rights DayDecember 13, 2018
Statement by the Prime Minister on Human Rights DayDecember 12, 2018
Fentanyl is the deadliest drug in America, CDC confirmsDecember 12, 2018
The Illustrated Version of the Universal Declaration of Human RightsDecember 11, 2018
Homeless man with terminal cancer donates to holiday toy driveDecember 10, 2018
Boy gets Colorado town to overturn snowball fight banDecember 6, 2018
Fortnite addiction is forcing kids into video game rehabDecember 5, 2018
Clarity on CannabisDecember 4, 2018
Mental health education recommended for RCMP members following inquestNovember 30, 2018
Social Media – 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based ViolenceNovember 28, 2018
Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based ViolenceNovember 27, 2018
#GIVINGTUESDAY TODAY ONLY YOUR GIFT CAN BE MATCHEDNovember 27, 2018
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based ViolenceNovember 26, 2018
#ENDViolence in schoolsNovember 23, 2018
Statement by Minister MacLeod on National Child DayNovember 22, 2018
November 20th marks National Children’s Day across CanadaNovember 21, 2018
National Child DayNovember 20, 2018
Facts & FiguresNovember 16, 2018
The Push For Change®November 15, 2018
Winter Giving 101November 14, 2018
First came the stroke, then the inspiration…November 13, 2018
Canadian Youth Speakers Bureau: Scott HammellNovember 9, 2018
John Connors’ brilliant IFTA Award speechNovember 9, 2018
Crisis Text Line powered by Kids Help PhoneNovember 8, 2018
This teen pizzeria employee traveled 3 hours to deliver pizza to a man with terminal cancerNovember 6, 2018
Video captures joyful law student’s reaction to passing her bar examNovember 5, 2018
MADD Canada launches annual red ribbon campaign in HalifaxNovember 2, 2018
Nova Scotia’s Health Department says talks underway for province’s first overdose prevention siteOctober 31, 2018
Crystal meth eclipsing opioids on the Prairies: ‘There’s no lack of meth on the street’October 29, 2018
Opioids Don’t Discriminate: An Interactive Experience.October 26, 2018
Guelph police warn drug users of spike in purple fentanylOctober 25, 2018
What exactly are you inhaling when you vape?October 23, 2018
Study ADHD Medication OverdosesJune 14, 2018
A Cry for GuidanceJanuary 18, 2018
Your Friend’s Substance AbuseSeptember 15, 2017
DepressionSeptember 15, 2017
MethamphetaminesSeptember 15, 2017
AlcoholSeptember 15, 2017
25 Healthy Ways to Feel BetterSeptember 15, 2017
Your Friend’s Substance AbuseSeptember 15, 2017
The Risks at Hand
When a friend develops a problem with drinking or drug use, it can be upsetting and confusing. The person who you thought you knew so well seems different. Her moods might be less predictable, and she may seem more irritable. She could be treating you differently than she used to, or may even be pushing you away.
If you are worried about a friend’s substance use, you may have thought about bringing it up, but you’re afraid of saying the wrong thing. That’s understandable – you don’t want to risk losing the friendship!
When you approach a friend with your concerns, you will want to come across as supportive and non-judgmental. Your friend might or might not be ready to change. He might not even be ready to admit that she his substance use is a problem! But if you approach these conversations with sensitivity, he will start to see you a person whom he can trust and open up to. Keep in mind these essential tips for talking to friends about their drug and alcohol use.
Approach her when she is sober. Not only will she remember the conversation better, but she will also be in a better headspace to reflect and absorb the concerns you are expressing.
You’re not trying to convince him that he has a problem. If you relentlessly point out to your friend all of the evidence that he has an addiction, you will almost certainly put him on the defence. A better approach is to share an observation – for example, “it seems like every time you drink lately you black out.” Follow this up with an expression of concern, such as “Are things going all right?”
Don’t make assumptions. You might think you know why your friend is using, and you may even be onto something. But it is your friend – not you – who is the real expert on her life. Treat her that way! For more insight into why your friend smokes weed everyday before school, you might ask her: “what do you like about it?” or “how does it help you?” This helps her to see that you are trying to understand her problem from her perspective, and makes it more likely that she will open up to you.
Emphasize specific consequences – with compassion. Alcohol and drug use comes with consequences. Share with your friend what consequences you’ve noticed. Be specific, but gentle. You may notice that your friend has failed a class or gotten into a fight at a party, and ask if this is due to his substance use. Prefacing these observations with “I’m worried that…” or “I wonder…” helps remind your friend that you are bringing this up because you care.
Understand that change is dependent on readiness. When you raise your concerns with your friend, it will start to become clear if she shares your concern about her problem – and if she is ready to do something about it. If your friend is ready to act, you can offer to help her find the help that she needs – counselling or other resources. If she does not see her use as a problem, you can continue to relay the message that while you see her substance use as a problem, you care about her. This way, if and when she is ready to seek help, she knows that she can come to you for support.