If you think someone you know is using alcohol or drugs, the key is to look at any changes in physical appearance, attitudes and behaviour. Physical and behavioural signs are not always related to drug use but finding equipment to use drugs, stealing money, increased paranoia will highlight the need to generate some change talk with the user.

Drugs are widely used across Ireland, those using can and do recover. Some use drugs recreationally and do not come to harm. Being informed about drugs and basic drug awareness will be important if you want to help someone.

Talk to your relative or friend and tell them that you are concerned. Helping them talk about it is a great start. Starting this conversation may seem daunting. If it is an adult or teenager please download our drug/alcohol guide (link booklet)

It is important for users and supporting family or friends tobe aware of the types of drugs and their possible harms and effects – see linked guide..

Cannabis can be smoked or eaten. If eaten, it can take a long time to be absorbed into the blood stream.

E tablets or MDMA are widely circulated and there are have nearly 100 different types. The chemical breakdown in E tablets will always vary, so it is impossible to say what is safe or not.Recently the strength of E tablets has shown an increase in MDMA therefore taking it in quantity can lead to a real overdose risk.

If you want to help someone, you must remember that you cannot force someone to change their behaviour unless they want to and are ready to do so. Sharing concerns with users is important but keep calm and don’t force them to change. Important motivational interviewing techniques can be used a list of these can be accessed by using ….

When there is a need to support change in users, listening is essential . Show that you care and are concerned. There is a need for support to drug users to be inclusive. Family and friends need to be careful about exhausting themselves in the change or support process.

Harm reduction services are available and contacts can be reached through our services directories. Harm reduction services do not promote drug use but offer support to those who wish to change their behaviour hence avoiding or reducing drug related deaths. Drug users are responsible for their behaviour and only they can change their behaviour.