Offering Support

There are many ways to provide support to someone who is struggling with opioid misuse. Learn how you can start the conversation and connect them with resources to help.

Ways to offer support to a loved one

Reach out

Reach out if you think someone you know has a problem. Talk to family members, friends, or a healthcare provider. Be supportive, not judgmental, if a loved one has a problem. Recognize that a substance use disorder is not a moral failing, but a medical disease.

For resources to help, visit this website.

Do not let a loved one use alone

The risk of death by a drug overdose largely increases when people use drugs alone. Talk to your loved ones about their drug use habits and get helpful tools such as Narcan. It could save a life.

To learn more about safe practices, visit this website.

Help them find treatment or recovery services

Find behavioral health and treatment services below:

Find a treatment clinic. Medication assisted treatment centers

Find a crisis center. Statewide Crisis Centers

Find a family support group. For Nar-Anon support groups call 1-800-477-6291 or visit

For more information on treatment and recovery services, visit the 2-1-1 CareLine Health, Behavioral Health and Substance Use Disorder page

Your words matter.

Help reduce stigma. Stigma is a mark of disgrace on a person's reputation and can lead to stereotyping and discrimination. For people with substance use disorders, stigma can mean they are less likely to seek help and more likely to drop out of treatment. 

Learn more at the National Institute of Health website.

Instead of…



Drug addict

Person with substance use disorder (SUD)

“Person-first language” recognizes a person has a problem, rather than is the problem. Addiction is a disease, not a moral failing.

Drug user/ abuser

Person who uses/ injects drugs

Recovery from substance use disorder is possible. Help is available.

Habit Substance Use Disorder

“Habit” suggests a person using drugs is doing so by choice and can choose when to stop.

Drug seeking Person's needs are not being met

The second phrase identifies people who currently do not have effective pain management options.