Dear Abby: I'm a senior in high school. Every day during lunch, one of my friends goes outside and smokes weed with a couple of his friends. He comes back from lunch with red eyes, smelling of smoke and his behavior indicates that he's high. I'm not sure if they smoke on or off campus, but I know it isn't legal at their age (17), and especially not at school. I saw a joint in his pocket a couple of times and he told me to keep it a secret.
Abby, this has me very uncomfortable. If he wants me to keep it a secret, he must know it's wrong. I don't know how to tell someone or even who I should tell. I know he has depression and weed can "take the edge off," but that doesn't make it OK.
What should I do? Should I tell anyone? And if so, who and how?
Fretting in Washington State
It's surprising to me that your friend returns from lunch showing all of the signs of being stoned, and none of his teachers have picked up on it. Haven't his grades suffered?
While it is not uncommon for people who are depressed to try to self-medicate with illegal substances, it's not nearly as successful as dealing with their emotions by talking about them with a medical professional, and can sometimes make the problem worse. The person to confide this in would be a trusted teacher or school counselor. Please don't wait.