Dear Straight Talk: My friend is smoking heroin. I told her to stop before she gets addicted, but she denies the problem. Her parents hate me and will accuse me of being the cause, so I’m not going to tell them. I don’t know how to get her to stop. She likes a boy in this crowd who uses. — Torie, 17, Stockton
Oston 18, Sebastopol: Two years ago I was heavily into drugs and smoked heroin a few times. Some friends used it regularly. Your first responsibility as a friend, is to be (with love) completely frank about your concerns. If she doesn’t stop, you have a choice: You can stand by as a support system and hope she’ll emerge from this path alive and well. OR, you can be brave and sit down with her parents. I had to face this choice myself, and unfortunately I chose to stand by because I was too afraid to speak to my friend’s parents. Four months later, I lost her.
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