This is a transcript of two conversations about talking to a friend or family member about substance use. Phil, a man in his 30s, will be having two separate conversations - one with his co-worker and friend, Jordan; the other with his cousin Donna. In each of the conversations, Phil’s goals are to:
- Gather information about what is causing the peer’s behavior
- Get the peer to consider changing their behavior
- Raise awareness of resources they might find helpful
Phil will practice expressing general concern and support, listening to understand the peer’s perspective, and asking questions to prompt them to consider the benefits of change. All while avoiding judgmental statements, giving unsolicited advice, taking a “tough love” approach, and pushing for too much change too quickly.
While listening to these conversations you will learn about the following themes:
- What seems like “normal” substance use could still have risks and consequences.
- Using any amount of alcohol, marijuana, or other substances comes with risks. It can affect one’s physical health, mental health, social health, and motivation.
- If a person is concerned about how their substance use might be affecting their health or wellbeing, the earlier they seek help the better. You should find out how use could be affecting your health.
- Substance use is a healthcare issue that can be discussed with healthcare providers. Bringing it up with one’s primary care provider is a great place to start.
- There are many other resources and services that can help with substance use issues, and they often involve addressing underlying issues. “Help” doesn’t necessarily mean substance use treatment (“rehab”); it could be any number of things like counseling, peer support groups, etc.