Your friends are an integral, inseparable part of your life. And to see them in pain hurts you to the core. If you suspect your friend’s marijuana use has gotten out of control, now is the time to do something about it.

While your friend’s well-being is largely up to them, they may not be able to  get to a place of safety and away from harm by themselves.  When you see your friend suffering from the consequences of excessive  marijuana use, it’s your responsibility to  let them know how it affects you and offer to help find solutions.

There is hope for marijuana abuse . And the first step to finding help begins with you.

Signs to Notice

Bloodshot Eyes: A telltale sign of marijuana use is a reddish tint to the user’s eyes.

Increased Appetite: A marijuana user often eats voraciously after smoking or ingesting marijuana.

Lethargy: Many people who use marijuana often find their energy sapped, and spend time on the couch watching TV or playing video games instead of pursuing a more active lifestyle.

Distorted Perception: A marijuana user’s visual perception is distorted when under the influence of marijuana. Their sense of time, hearing and memory may also suffer temporarily.

Smell: Marijuana has a peculiar odor that smells like cabbage or skunk spray.

What to Say

Be Forceful, but Positive: What you say matters just as much as how you say it. Use positive, hopeful, inspiring language when talking to your friend.

Express Concern: Many people who use marijuana aren’t aware of the impact their drinking has on their family, friends or others. Show your concern for them and appeal to them emotionally.

Ask Open-Ended Questions: Don’t just preach—have an open-ended dialogue with them. Ask open-ended questions such as “what do you think?” to engage with them.

What Not to Say:

Making Judgements: Addiction is a disease, and making sweeping judgements about your friend is a hard thing to avoid. Don’t be judgemental. What would you like to hear if you were in their shoes?

Using Labels: Don’t assign labels when speaking to your friend. Your friend isn’t a drug addict, they’re a person struggling from drug issues. Use hopeful, embracing and accepting terms instead of confining, harmful ones.

Steps to Take

Before you have a conversation with your friend, find a resource to send them to. It’s not fair to confront someone without having a next step. When the time is right, have a firm but loving conversation about your choice to have them seek help. Make sure you use encouraging and non-judgemental languagethroughout your conversation. And—above all—be a parent, not a preacher. They need your help, not your admonishment, and it’s your job to get them the help they need.

Finding the Right Resource

Everyone who is trying to defeat their issues with marijuana needs a resource to help. Marijuana abuse may not be something your friend can conquer by themselves. When determining the right place to recommend to your friend, consider these four things:

  • Is the behavioral services facility CARF accredited?
  • Are they committed to enhancing your quality of life?
  • Can they help your friend meet their personal recovery goals?
  • Can they create a custom recovery plan to help them on their recovery journey?

The journey to manage addiction may not be quick, but it’s an important mission. There is hope, and your friend can find help at Prelude.