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DEAR CAROL: My Friend Does Drugs

Dear Carol,

My 13-year-old friend is into drugs. She’s tried to quit, but kids at school ask her for drugs and she gets back into it. I’ve told her that drugs will ruin her life, but she says there’s no use in quitting because her life is already ruined.

What can I do to help? And please don’t say ‘Talk to an adult,’ because it doesn’t work. Sometimes involving adults could just cause more trouble.

 -Sad and Confused

Dear S and C,

I’m so sorry that your friend feels so hopeless. You’re obviously a concerned friend and you should be. Feeling hopeless and helpless can indicate depression—which can be especially dangerous when paired with drug use. She needs major help—professional help—more help than you can offer. And you shouldn’t feel like you have to handle this alone.

While I won’t just say, “Talk to an adult,” can you confide in your mom or your doctor—or someone who is discreet and understanding? You need to talk with someone who won’t turn your friend’s addiction into front-page news, or use it as an excuse to punish either of you. Basically, you need to talk with a cool, resourceful adult. Remind yourself that you’re not trying to get her in trouble, you’re trying to get her out of trouble, and get her healthy and happy again. Will this be easy? No. But she needs therapy. If finding a cool adult isn’t an option, call—or have your friend call—a hotline. The National Youth Crisis Hotline at 800-448-4663 can help, or to locate a helpful organization near you, try 800-662-HELP or visit The numbers do not show up on phone bills.

Can't solve a catastrophe? Stop stressin'. Carol's got ya covered! Just click SEND A QUESTION to get Carol's expert advice.

POSTED ON 1/23/2010 7:00:00 AM


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