You can prevent someone near you from getting hooked on drugs or stopping an addiction with not a lot of effort and talent. Start with honing your communication skills. Decide to get into a conversation about the dire effects upon the mind and body with the person you love or know has a problem.
But how to do it?
First, consider what NOT to do: Do not overload him or her with too many statistics or with a preacher-like lecture. There is an old saying that “A mind that ‘s changed against its will is of the same opinion still.” There’s a lot of truth in that bit of wisdom. Rather start any conversation establishing agreement (on any subject). Establish agreement so that the person feels comfortable with you in the conversation rather than being on the defensive because of the overload of information being shoved at him or her in a too-long lecture. A lecture is not a real communication.
A real communication is a two-way street in which information is both sent out, received with understanding, and then completed with an answer that deals with the subject at hand.
Also, any real communication is done by keeping a “low gradient” on the subject. In other words, start with a subject, such as the weather, sports, or another area of common interest in which agreement can be sought easily with no disagreement whatsoever. Instead of hammering a person with a ton of statistics about how bad drugs are, how much drug abuse is associated with crime, violence, unhappiness, etc., etc., etc., statistic, statistic, statistic, just keep the message easy to understand and with a minimum of emotion. You will know when you are successful at communicating when the two-way conversation is comfortable between the two of you. With a youngster, that may take awhile and might take several conversations spread over days or weeks.
When your youngster or other friend is comfortable talking to you about the dangers of street-drug abuse, you wil find that you need reference materials that are easy to read and understand. They, in effect, are third party influences that do not come from “mom and dad.” Instead, the youngster is more willing to accept the “third party” authority of the booklets that you can give them. (After all, what do mom and dad or grandpa and grandma know about anything anyway?)
Also, know that your children looks up to you more than you realize, even though they would never admit it.
Concurrently, they also face peer pressure so intense that you have to do something positive to offset it. You can also use the booklets to role-play situations in which your child is confronted by an overbearing drug-pusher. When your child stops the pusher in his tracks with a resounding “no,” you will have succeeded even though you were never told what happened.