I worry for my friend who smokes pot to deal with his break-up

DEAR DEIDRE: I’M worried the pandemic has pushed my friend over the edge and into bad habits.

He’s always had low self-esteem, but took a big knock last February when his boyfriend of two years dumped him.

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He handled it really well at first but then we went into lockdown.

The isolation gave him time to dwell on the break-up.

He’d call me most days in tears.

Now I’m hearing from his housemates that he’s started smoking weed, and is drinking a lot.

I haven’t told him I know because I don’t want him to think people are gossiping.

We’re both 22.

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DEIDRE SAYS: The best thing you can do is continue to reassure your friend he’s not alone.

When the drugs and alcohol do come up in conversation, avoid lecturing him, as this may push him away.

Suggest other ways he can escape. Maybe the two of you could try a new hobby now things are open again.

If he wants some help, get him to contact The Mix (themix.org.uk), who offer support and guidance to anyone under the age of 25.

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