How To Approach Someone You Suspect Has Drug Problem

So, you suspect that your friend has a drug problem.  Should you intervene or mind your own business? If you decide to talk to them, what’s the best way to do so?  Listen in to an opiate recovery group discuss their opinion and share their experiences.  This is very helpful and interesting Podcast.  We are brought this by Gail with, who has become an affiliated organization of HEROin Me.  We are joining forces to help bring additional awareness to the opiate and heroin epidemic this country now faces.

Discussion Guide:

  1. Did your friends talk to you about your drug problem? If so, was it helpful?
  2. What are the signs of opiate abuse?
  3. Have you talked to others whom you suspected had a drug problem? If so, are you glad you did?
  4. How do you start this conversation? In what manner would you approach them?

Within the Podcast provided below, you will listen to real, live opiate addicts who are in recovery discuss this specific topic.  They discuss different topics during each session and we will be providing these to you on a recurring basis.  We feel that it is so important to look into the minds of an addict and try to learn more about this disease.

Our goal is to increase Awareness & Prevention, provide better Treatments, decrease relapses when it comes to Recovery and then offer real Opportunities for addicts to use their potential to be prosperous and successful.  Addicts have more to offer than the normal person because they have acquired qualities and characteristics while beating their addiction that most other people never deal with or understand.  We want to compensate on these special qualities of theirs to make them successful and productive in life.


  “How To Approach Someone That You Suspect Has A Drug Problem”    —> CLICK THIS LINK.  THEN ONCE ON PAGE CLICK ON “PLAY THIS” 

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  1. Talking to someone who has addictions about your problem can be very difficult and painful if that person is close to you. So in my opinion as a doctor, I would recommend that you approach a professional first to know how you can approach the topic and be able to help this person. It is a great article, but I would like to hear about the topic from a drug therapist.

    1. Thank you for sharing your opinion about approaching an addict. I agree and our site proclaims that the first action should be to recommend to a potential addict that they seek professional help. However, in the real world many addicts refuse to go get professional help and the loved ones around them are stuck dealing face-to-face with the addict. It becomes the loved ones role (whether they like it or not) to speak with the addict, coach the addict, help the addict.

      There are NOT always drug therapist leaders around to help the situation. This is why we were provding guidance to people about how best to approach an addict if you become stuck in that situation. Another option, which sadly many people take, is to ignore the addict and let them die or over-dose. Tough love works in some cases with alcohol and drugs, but no always. Sometimes this can cause the addict to push away and deny approaching anyone about the topic. They are on drugs, for Godsake, therefore they do not care if they alienate their loved ones. They are not in their right mind.

      If a person is dealing with a loved one, friend, colleague, neighbor, etc. who they suspect is an addict,…Sure, it would be a great idea to contact your local Doctor or drug addiction specialist and ask them what you should say and not say. Ask them how you should deal with the addict specifically. However, not all of us are Doctors and not all of us have access to drug therapists to readily request an education from them concerning how to mentor, coach or treat an addict close to them. People cant just go into the Doctors office and request an hour long meeting with the doctor to discuss this topic. Not especially without being charged fees by the Doctor or therapist office. Most therapist and doctors do not give out free advice concerning addiction treatments and advice.

      Therefore, what is the next best option for someone in this situation? Locate a reputable informative website like HEROin Me and read all that you can read about addiction. Get yourself educated from addicts themselves who have been through this and beat the addiction. Go straight to the source and ask questions, make comments, and read numerous Posts and Pages about Heroin, Opiate Addiction and how to prevent, treat and recover from it. Thank for sharing my informative site at:

      http://WWW.HEROININME.COM —-> There is a HERO inside every single addict.

  2. This is such a delicate situation and truly needs to be handled very carefully. I think how to approach it really depends on your level of relationship and trust you have with the person involved. Since giving up drugs or alcohol cold turkey is dangerous, you definitely need to have patience and know that it’s not a problem that can be easily fixed. It will take a lot of time and patience, but any step in the right direction…towards a healthier path should be seen as a glimmer of hope. You said it right, “Never give up on them.”

    1. I agree, this situation should be handled by professionals whenever possible. People should recommend the addict go straight to a professional addiction counselor, clinic or Doctor.

      We appreciate your feedback about this Post and we hope that others will read it since you brought up such great points. As you said, approaching an addict would be different for everyone since the relationship is different. Some will be siblings or children. Others may be a friend or colleague or neighbor. Therefore, each relationship has a different dynamic and trust level. It is good to point out that what you should SAY or NOT SAY to an addict will depend on this trust level.

      The last thing you want is to alienate the addict so that they deny you ever speaking with them again. On this note, many people have no idea how to handle a situation like this and therefore they ignore it. They avoid the addict at all costs and ignore what is going on. This is more natural way to respond, but this is also the worst action you can take (inaction). Speaking from experience,.. {which is most of what our site at HEROin ME is….treatments, recovery methods, prevention ways coming straight from the source. People who have fought addiction and beat it. Others who are fighting now and some who continue to relapse.} when I was fully addicted to Fentanyl (which is stronger pain drug than heroin) I was totally controlled by this chemical. I did NOT want to be approached by anyone about my issue. This was because my particular situation was complex and different than most Heroin addicts (at least I though this at the time. Now, I know that I was in the exact same boat as they were, except I just took a different pathway to get there). I was coping with severe physical pain after 5 failed open reconstructive surgeries and nerve tumors. I felt I needed the Fentanyl so that I could function. NO one was telling me otherwise. But, in the back of my mind…I really wanted to be approached by anyone and everyone for help. I know that 99% of the current addicts out there will tell you they dont want help, they will reject or ignore you, they will fight against you when you approach them. But, deep inside, I guarantee you they want help. So, dont ever give up on them. They DO NOT want to live their life as an addict. It is a never ending horrific cycle of ups and downs, unhealthy choices, money issues, and mental anguish. Its living a life of hell and death, therefore I know that addicts wish they could be normal and off all drugs forever. But, they are not in control of any aspect of their life. The chemical or substance and this includes alcohol is running their life and making all the decisions.

      Our advice is to educate yourself as best you can regarding addiction. Learn, learn, learn and then you will better understand how to deal with and approach an addict that you love. We created HERO in Me because we know that there is a HERO inside every single addict. We also know that the number 1 people who are affected most are the loved ones surrounding the addict. So, read our Pages and read our Posts as they are designed to help people learn how to approach addicts. Thanks for sharing! – M.B>

  3. Approaching someone that you think has an addiction problem has to be handled very carefully. In my experience, many addicts will go through extreme measures to hide their addiction and won’t be receptive to even a very close friend or family member expressing their concern. It’s a hard conversation to have and may cause resentment and anger from the addict but it is so important to address the situation. The addict is usually in such denial. Great article.

    1. So true, Lynn. Thank you for contributing as this helps others to get involved and may help someone. Yes, addicts and people dealing with dependency issues do all they can to hide the problem. I was just recently talking with someone about this exact issue. People are afraid they will be ‘outed’, or get into trouble of some kind, or be rejected, or denied, or lose friends or destroy their reputation. All of the above. But, deep down inside the people need and usually WANT help. People dont want to be living like an addict, dependent upon drugs or alcohol or any other addiction for that matter. Its a terrible life to live. But, they get stuck…which is why its called addiction to the point where most cannot even help themselves anymore. Fixed inside a viscous cycle. So, I agree with you that the loved-ones around them must be careful what they say and not say. They must deal with the ‘addict’ properly as to not make things worse. It would be wise to read and research the best way to handle this situation before a loved-one attempts to help the addict. Strategically devise a plan that will provide good results and get the addict help or into a professional environment. Obviously, a reputable, licensed drug therapy or rehab center would be peoples best bet. That can be challenging however, as most addicts refuse rehab. Tough love might be an option but tread carefully. All in all, depending on the addiction…the person may or may not be able to treat themselves or go cold-turkey by stopping. With opiates, heroin and alcohol cold turkey is a bad, bad idea and usually results in failure or relapse. Keep trying to help your loved one and NEVER GIVE UP ON THEM.

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