Asking for help

It’s important to think about why and how much you’re using, and when to ask for help.

There are many reasons why someone may want to cut down on their drug use, including reasons like their health, lifestyle, or to save money. Some people may want to use less because their drug use is changing them in ways they don't like.

The NZ Drug Foundation offers some helpful advice to help recognise the signs and symptoms that drug use is becoming problematic.

Signs and symptoms that drug use is becoming an issue

You’re using more than you want to, for longer periods

This might include spending most of your time getting and using the drug or recovering from its use.

Wanting to use less but not being able to cut down

It is a good idea to talk to a supportive friend or family member about cutting down. You could also talk with a GP, or drug and alcohol counsellor about what you can expect when you start to use less or quit. The Alcohol Drug Helpline (0800 787 797) offers confidential, non-judgemental and free service. It is available 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Using even though it’s causing you problems

This might include not showing up for work, school, family or, other social events, or failing to meet regular obligations.

You are using in dangerous situations, for example drink driving.

These may be signs your drug use is affecting your life negatively and it might be time to make changes or ask for help.

You can get in touch with the Alcohol Drug Helpline by calling 0800 787 797, or texting 8681, to speak with a trained counsellor – they’ll be able to provide you with helpful information, insight and support. They’re available 24/7, all calls are free and confidential.

You can also chat to the Alcohol Drug Helpline team online through the website, or:

  • Call the Māori Line on 0800 787 798 for advice and referral to kaupapa Māori services.
  • Call the Pasifika Line on 0800 787 799 for advice and referral to services developed for Pacific people.
  • Call the Youth Line on 0800 787 984 for advice and referral to services for young people.

 This article originally appeared on the NZ Drug Foundation website.