Every month, posted on this website are tips that you can use to keep yourself and others safe from prescription drug misuse. However, an essential topic in this discussion is how to ask for help when you find yourself struggling with prescription drug misuse. Unfortunately, there is a social stigma and bias in many communities regarding prescription drug misuse, which can pressure young adults into hiding their feelings and struggles. Still, we are here to remind you that your safety is most important.
Asking for help can look different based on your situation and what you are comfortable with. The most extreme case would be in the event of an overdose of you or a friend around you. It is tempting to take various alcohol and drugs when surrounded by individuals also misusing them in events like parties. While we encourage you not to misuse these substances, if you and others do, and you suspect that you or someone else is experiencing an overdose, do not hesitate to call the emergency medical professionals even if you are scared of getting into trouble. In the US, the Good Samaritan Law protects you from the legal consequences of being under the influence of such substances if you call for help in an emergency. As such, it is imperative to explain everything you may know to the medical professionals so they can care for you and others as best as possible. For example, if you believe your friend mixed alcohol and Xanax, which contributed to their overdose, give this information to the emergency services so they can respond accordingly, even if you are worried about your friend getting into trouble.
It is also essential to ask for help if you are misusing prescription drugs or are considering doing so, even if you feel like you are not in immediate danger. Your parents, guardians, and other professionals can help you determine better ways to manage stress and different feelings that may drive you to misuse prescription drugs. It may be stressful to reach out and ask for help, but it is the best way to protect yourself and your health in the long run. If you don’t feel comfortable asking a parent for assistance, reach out to another trusted adult, like a teacher or counselor, who can work with you to determine the next best steps. When asking for help, remember that the other person has your best interest at heart. Even if it is hard, try to give them the complete picture of what you are experiencing. For example, let them know what may have influenced you or led you to begin misusing prescription drugs and other drugs and what medications you are misusing. Please remember that addiction is a disease and is not your fault, so please do not be ashamed of asking someone to guide you through recovery. If you ever want more advice or guidance, please reach out through the NCAPDA Youth Corner Blog or on the NCAPDA’s main page.