Even when you are confident in your decision not to use drugs or alcohol, it can be hard when it’s your friend who is offering. A lot of times, a simple “no thanks” may be enough. But sometimes it’s not. It can get intense, especially if the people who want you to join in on a bad idea feel judged.

The best thing parents can do to help prevent drug and alcohol use by their children is to get involved before a problem begins. Starting when your child is age 5 or 6, talk with him or her about how these substances are harmful to kids. Talk honestly and openly about all kinds of tobacco, drugs, and alcohol as well as other things kids may do to cope with stress in their lives. Using any kind of substance is just one way that children try to deal with things that bother them.

Natural methods for escaping drug addiction exist, and essentially act as an alternative to traditional rehabilitation. For those with an ample desire to beat addiction and the right tools, self-guided recovery is possible. However, attempting to stop using drugs without any form of professional help can be extremely difficult.

Have you ever become angry when thinking about how a loved one just cannot seem to quit using drugs? If so, you are not alone. It is easy to hold contempt for a “weak” or “immoral” person who always seems to take the easy way out by making bad choice after bad choice. Before you judge, however, remember that unless you have walked in the shoes of an addict, you likely will not understand why quitting drugs is such a challenge.

Helping a friend or loved one struggling with drug or alcohol addiction is often a long and heartbreaking journey. At times, it can be so overwhelming that ignoring the situation may seem like an easier solution. However, sweeping the issue under the rug can be damaging to you, your family and the person you’re concerned about. As painful as it may be, it’s important that you take the time to encourage your loved one to get the help they need.

Caring for someone with a drug problem can be very stressful. You may feel anxious, depressed or ashamed because of their drug use. But remember, you're not alone. There is support available for you and the person you care for.