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Often the initial introduction to drugs such as heroin will occur between friends or acquaintances in social situations, such as a party. The introduction is often a relatively casual question asking if you’d like to try it.

Logically, anyone who knows about the dangers of heroin would automatically refuse. The best response, indeed the only intelligent response to being offered heroin or prescription painkillers is to turn them down. But how?

  Here are some strategies you can try:  
Steer Clear.

This is not always an option, but when possible, avoid environments and situations in which you know drugs such as heroin will be. Many who have made poor decisions, such as trying heroin, look back and realize their first mistake was allowing themselves to be in an environment or situation that they shouldn’t have been in, in the first place.

Trust your instincts, if you’re with someone who doesn’t feel right or safe, if you’re in a place or environment that doesn’t feel right or safe due to what’s going on, sometimes the best and easiest thing to do is walk away - get away as quickly as you can with as little drama or strife as possible.

Sometimes just quietly leaving a party or a situation is the best and easiest way to avoid situations you may well regret later. Don’t concern yourself with what others think, just concern yourself with what you will think, later. Think it through…how are you going to feel tomorrow about what you did, today?

Say NO, and mean it!

"No thanks, I’m just not interested in that stuff." You may have to refuse more than once. Sometimes drug users, especially those already under the influence of something, can be very pushy or insistent you join them. This can also be true of those who are distributing or selling drugs.


If necessary, move or walk away from them after saying no once or twice. Most often they will get the message and move on to someone else. If they don’t get the message, give them the cold shoulder.

Use a reason or excuse.

"I can’t, thanks. I’ve got a lot to do later, I don’t want to get messed up right now."

Reverse the pressure.

Say "Why are you pressuring me?" or "If you were my friend, you wouldn’t try to get me to do that stuff."

State the facts.

Besides doing the best thing for yourself you might be helping someone else. Let them know what the reality is. "That stuff kills people" or "This gets people put in prison…no thanks!"

Use humor.

It’s not always necessary to be heavy-handed about turning down a drug. Sometimes a light-hearted response will work: "Ah, no thanks. Stuff like that makes me crazy and I’m crazy enough already."


  Remember - if you successfully turn down a drug once, you can do it again.  

Turning down drugs is a decision you can feel good about!