Tips: Talk to Your Friends About Heroin Addiction

Watching a loved one struggle with addiction can be one of the hardest things to experience. This can be especially true if it’s a friend since people suffering from addiction can be quick to cut people off. The stigma surrounding addiction makes it difficult for addiction sufferers to get the help they need. In addition, family members can often be the ones enabling the heroin user. This leaves their friends to be the ones to help them. Luckily, there are ways you can talk to your friends about heroin addiction without coming off as judgemental, but rather, as a loving and supportive friend.

Show Love and Support

The most important thing to do when you’re ready to talk to your friends about heroin addiction is to come from a place of love and support. It can be hard for people to look in the mirror or realize they have a problem when someone is bringing it up to them. People tend to get defensive, so just keep this in mind and remind your friend that you are having this conversation out of love and genuine concern.

Do Research First

Research shows that when presented with well-thought-out options for treatment, people are more likely to accept it. If someone is being spoken to about their addiction without a solution or suggestion for treatment, they are far less likely to seek it on their own. This is because it is very easy for people suffering from addiction to put up their own roadblocks, such as:

  • There are too many options to choose from, and I don’t know which one I need
  • I can’t afford it
  • It is too far away
  • I can’t be away from family and/or my job for that long

As a friend, it can be beneficial if you fully research treatment facilities and work out the logistics for them so that they can’t put up any roadblocks. Our admissions specialists are on-hand 24 hours a day to talk with you about the process, work out logistics and even negotiate the cost with insurance companies. That way, all your friend has to do is accept the help – the hard part has already been done for them.

How to Open the Conversation

Once you have done your research, it is time to actually talk to your friends about heroin addiction. Chances are, your friend might not be receptive and open to this conversation. That is why it is so important to approach it carefully and lovingly so that they do not feel judged.

Talk to Your Friends About Heroin Addiction When They’re Sober

When your friend is under the influence, they might be less likely to fully understand the conversation or the seriousness of it. Try your best to talk to your friend when they are sober by setting a time and place. Depending on the severity of your friend’s heroin addiction, it might be difficult to find a time when they are sober.

Write a Letter

Heroin can cause people to act or speak in ways that they normally wouldn’t. Conversations in person about heroin addiction can quickly turn loud, volatile and dangerous. If you are worried about how your friend may react, or if you have previously tried to talk to your friends about heroin addiction unsuccessfully, writing a letter might work better.

Writing a letter takes off a lot of pressure, and allows you to convey all your thoughts and feelings without feeling overwhelmed or interrupted. In addition, your friend might be more comfortable not having a face-to-face conversation due to their own perceived embarrassment, so they might be more receptive to accepting treatment this way.

What to Do If They’re Not Ready for Help

It is possible that no matter how you talk to your friends about heroin addiction, they will refuse the help they need. If this is the case for you, there are four things you can still do to help them.

  • Hire an interventionist. For some people, the stigma of addiction is too great and their pride will get in the way of ever admitting to a loved one that they have a problem. It might be better for you to bring in a professional, 3rd party person who can help them agree to treatment.
  • Continue to offer your support. Even if they won’t listen when you try to talk to your friends about heroin addiction, you can still be their support. Check in on them every now and then to make sure they are okay, and to let them know that you are always there for them.
  • Stop enabling. If you provide your friends with a place to stay, transportation, money or any other resources that can enable their use, make sure you stop. Tell them that it is coming from a place of love and that you would much rather them use you as a resource for getting help than for fueling their use.
  • Talk to their family. Sometimes, a family can be in the dark about their family member’s heroin use. It might be time for you to sit down with their family to let them know so that they can step in and help your friend on a more serious level.

About Pinelands Recovery Center

It can be difficult to figure out how to talk to your friends about heroin addiction. It is such a sensitive subject for many people, however, there is no downside to having the conversation. Addiction is a chronic disease, so make sure you speak up and try to get them help as best as you can.

Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford is widely known as one of New Jersey’s finest, most respected addiction treatment facilities. With comfortable 30-bed accommodations and 24-hour professional staff, we can offer clients a serene, relaxing environment amid the lush piney woods. This stress-free setting with its sense of warmth and welcoming enables you to feel comfortable and confident about your clean and sober life ahead.

We will establish clear goals, both general in nature and specific to your needs. In addition, we continue to monitor those goals, to make sure that our clients are progressing and buying into their recovery plan. We thrive on assisting clients in feeling connected to the recovery community, share and demonstrate effective coping techniques, help clients to modify attitudes and patterns of behavior and everything else you will need to be happy and productive living a sober, healthy life.

We ensure that clients complete their planned concrete tasks, encourage hope, optimism and
healthy living. Our recovery program is not a revolving door treatment program; it is a recovery model designed to help clients go on to lead productive, happy lives. For more information, visit