Safety Tips and Other Resources

Pressure from friends and classmates to try drugs can be difficult to face.

If you think the pressure is beginning to get to you, here are some suggestions that can help…

Here are a few ways you might say “no” if someone offers you alcohol or drugs…

“No thanks, I have to help my dad early in the morning and I don’t want to be hungover.”

“Sorry, I have to drive home.”

“No way, my game is tomorrow and I’m not going to give the other team any chances.”

If someone keeps pressuring you or tries to justify ignoring your feelings, remove yourself from the situation as soon as you can.

How to Help a Friend

Talking to a friend about drinking or using drugs may be one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do, but it can change their life for the better.

If you think a friend needs help, start by telling them that they matter in your life and that you’re concerned about their well-being. Let them know that you’re there for them and that they’re never alone. Offer fun alternatives or other hobbies they might like.

If you can, talk to an adult you trust and let them know about the situation. If you think your friend is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.

Spot the Signs of Substance Use

Figuring out if someone in your life is abusing substances can be challenging, but it’s best to err on the side of caution and potentially save a life. Keeping a lookout for key red-flag behaviors will give you a starting point to discussing what’s going on with those in your life.
notes the following as red flags to help spot problems:


Shifts in mood and personality

  • Withdrawn or depressed
  • Less motivated
  • Silent or uncommunicative
  • Hostile, angry, or uncooperative
  • Unable to focus
  • Secretive
  • Hyperactive or unusually elated

Hygiene and appearance

  • Messier than usual
  • Starts wearing long sleeve shirts during warmer months
  • Burn marks or soot on fingers or lips
  • The smell of smoke or other unusual odors

Behavior changes

  • New or abrupt ending of relationships with friends or family members
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Loss of interest in school or hobbies
  • Disappearing for long periods of time
  • New habits including gum chewing, using breath mints, or using eye drops
  • Changes in sleep behavior

Physical health

  • Slurred or rapid-fire speech
  • Nosebleeds or runny noses not caused by allergies
  • Sores around the mouth
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Frequent sickness
  • Bruising

Helpful Resources

Throughout the years we’ve collected a few trusted resources to consult if you find yourself, a friend, or a young person in your life struggling with substance abuse.

Here are some of our favorites…