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Fact Sheet

If your friend has taken pills or hurt themselves

Photo by: Moni

Get help now

If your friend has taken a substance, no matter what the substance, get them help immediately. It is not always obvious what damage the substance may be causing.

If someone you know has seriously hurt him or herself or taken pills, you can call 911 for an ambulance and stay with them until help arrives.

Managing your reaction

It is normal to feel shocked, scared or sad if someone you know overdoses on drugs or does something to hurt him or herself. However, it is important that you deal with the feelings and reactions you are having, so that they don’t become overwhelming.

Talking to someone you trust may help you to manage your feelings. You may want to talk to a friend or family member or it may help to talk to someone neutral like a counselor or other mental health professional.  For more information about how a counselor may be helpful check out “Finding People to Help and Support You” in the Get Help section. The fact sheet on How talking to someone can help and Coping with a stressful event could also be helpful.

Understanding why someone close to you would want to hurt him or herself could also be difficult to deal with. It may be helpful to check out the fact sheets on Self-harm or Worried about a friend who is self-harming.

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