Does My Friend Have a problem?

Sometimes It's Hard to Tell

Sometimes it's hard to tell if your friend is having a problem with mental health or substance use. Most people won't walk up to someone they're close to and ask for help but there are certain warning signs that may indicate that a friend is having troubles with mental health and/or substance use.

Learning these signs will help you be there to support your friends when they need you!

Signs of a Substance Use Problem

Have You Noticed That Your Friend Is...

  • Having Relationship Problems?

    Has their substance use caused problems for them in relationships or friendships? Maybe they seem to get angry or aggressive when they drink, which causes fights or arguments that can lead to breakups or problems with friendships. Maybe they get too drunk all the time and you end up taking care of them every time you go out. Here is how you can help.

  • Doing Dangerous Things?

    Is your friend is doing dangerous things when under the influence? Maybe they hurt themselves or others but they continue to use even though bad things keep happening. Maybe they drive while drunk or high, get into fights at the bar, injure themselves by falling or doing stupid things, and these things end up getting them into trouble with the law or at school. Here is how you can help.

  • Using When They Shoudn't?

    Maybe they drink or smoke before driving, going to class or work, when they get up in the morning, or alone. Does it seem like every time your friends needs to study or write an exam they use substances to help them focus? Does their use mean they end up neglecting their responsibilities (e.g. too hung over to make it to class)? Here is how you can help.

  • Using Way Too Much?

    Does it seem like they can’t stop drinking once they have started? Maybe they lie about how much they drink, or when they are using? Maybe they drink more than they mean to or until they blackout and can’t remember what they did or said. Here is how you can help.

  • Using Substances to Deal with Problems?

    Does it seem like your friend uses alcohol to cope with stress or to avoid feeling depressed or anxious? Maybe they get high to forget about their problems, or maybe when they drink they talk about being depressed or suicidal. Here is how you can help.

Wondering if you or a friend might be struggling with a substance use problem?

Take this quiz to learn more about your drinking or marijuana use. (Coming soon!)

Track your drinking with this free app.

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Has your friend ever mentioned harming themselves or others?

Do they say things such as:

  • "I'd be better off dead"
  • "I wish I was never born"
  • "I can't take this anymore"

Have they mentioned suicide or death or being so overwhelmed they don't want to do it anymore?

Don't keep talk of suicide a secret.

Get help right away. Click here for a list of emergency services.

Signs of a Mental Health Problem

Have you noticed...

  • Social Changes?

    Does it seem like your friend never wants to hang out anymore? Maybe they prefer to be alone all of a sudden, or they seem distant and they don’t want to talk about why. Withdrawing socially is one of the signs that your friend might have a mental health problem. Here is how you can help.

  • Physical Changes?

    Have you noticed changes in your friends sleep, appetite, or hygiene? Does your friend complain of numerous physical ailments, such as stomach aches, headaches, or seems to feel under the weather all the time? Maybe they are sleeping a lot, or too little, or maybe they seem to be losing or gaining a lot of weight. Maybe they feel tired or exhausted all the time, or they seem to be neglecting their hygiene (e.g. showering). Here is how you can help.

  • Mood Changes?

    Does your friend seem moody? Are they excessively worrying, sad, fearful, or anxious? Do these moods seem to last a really long time, change abruptly, or keep reoccurring? If you notice prolonged periods of sadness or anxiety, your friend is worrying all the time, crying a lot but has difficult specifying the reasons, or their reactions are not in line with what is happening here is how you can help.

  • Motivational Changes?

    Is your friend having difficulty completing tasks or meeting responsibilities? Are they having trouble coping with daily problems and activities? Maybe they started skipping class or work. Here is how you can help.

  • Personality Changes?

    Do they seem more reckless or impulsive than usual? Does your friend seem to be using substances more than usual? Maybe they are spending a lot of money they don’t have, or drinking during the day or alone. Here is how you can help.

Wondering if you or a friend might be struggling with a mental health problem?

Take this quiz for yourself or a friend now!

Has your friend ever mentioned harming themselves or others?

Do they say things such as:

  • "I'd be better off dead"
  • "I wish I was never born"
  • "I can't take this anymore"

Have they mentioned suicide or death or being so overwhelmed they don't want to do it anymore?

Don't keep talk of suicide a secret.

Get help right away. Click here for a list of emergency services.