Finding out your loved one has an addiction problem can be a difficult and heartbreaking moment.

there are things you can do to help

How can I tell if my loved one has an addiction problem?

Addiction is a progressive disease. Their drug use may start with alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, or prescription painkillers, and there are tell-tale signs that your loved one may have a problem.

Pay attention to significant changes in their physical appearance, attitude and behavior.

Physical signs

Physical appearance (may show signs of weight loss, appear sickly)

Intense flu-like symptoms like nausea, vomiting, sweating, shaky hands, feet or head and large pupils

Small pupils



Changes in appetite

Changes in weight

Wearing long-sleeves or hiding arms

Behavioral signs

Change in attitude and/or personality

Isolation and secretive behavior

Drop in performance at school and/or at work

Moodiness, irritability, nervousness, aggression, increased secrecy or time spent alone

Tendency to avoid contact with family & friends

Advanced Warning Signs

Missing Medications

Burnt or missing spoons and/or bottle caps, cotton balls, Q-tips, cut straws

Finding potential drug paraphernalia (syringes, tubes, scale, baggies, etc.)

Missing shoe laces and/or belts

I Know My Loved One Has a Substance Abuse Problem, How Can I Talk to Them About It?

Talking to your loved one about their substance abuse issues is a challenging and emotional task, but it can possibly save their life. Here are some tips on beginning the conversation.

women talking on the couch with cofee cups

Start with something engaging:

“I’ve heard about the opioid epidemic. What do you think?”
“How do you feel about (insert name) death from heroin?”
“What do you think about the drug problem on Staten Island?”

girl with head in her hands upset and mom with her hand on her shoulder

Be open to discussion, and be supportive:

“Don’t be ashamed, I know how hard it is and that it is out of your control."
"There are so many people who love and care about you, we all want to help you get through this."
"We can get through this fight together, you are not alone."

younger girl and woman wuth arms around each other

Ask what you can do to help; if they deny having a problem, voice your concerns about their well-being:

“I care about you and I care about our family, what can we do to help?"
"Can I bring you to a resource and recovery center to talk to someone?"
“What do you think about the drug problem on Staten Island?”

girl turned away from mom looking at her phone and mom frustrated on the couch behind her

Avoid questions that are negative and come from an authoritarian place. Avoid anything that seems condescending or accusatory. Although you may be frustrated, do not say any of the following:

“I hear you have been doing drugs, what’s the matter with you?"
"Why would you be so stupid to do something like that?"
"Don’t you realize you’re destroying yourself and your family?"

Take the First Steps Toward Recovery

The centers below can help those struggling with addiction find the right resource. They offer a variety of options, and can help locate the appropriate help.

South Shore Center
3911 Richmond Ave
Staten Island, NY 10312
(718) 948-3232
Hours: (M - F ) 9am - 9pm
(Sat) 9am-5pm

North Shore Center
285 Vanderbilt Ave
Staten Island, NY 10304
(718) 981-4382
Hours: (M - F) 9am - 9pm

Since 1980, YMCA Counseling Service has provided the Staten Island community with comprehensive prevention and treatment services that promote the development of spirit, mind and body. Their state-licensed outpatient program includes treatment services for adults and older teens, prevention services for at-risk youth, and counseling services for children whose lives have been affected by a family member’s addiction.

Learn more

26 Bay Street, 3rd Floor
Staten Island, NY 10301
(718) 808-1450
Hours; Open 24 hours a day / 7 Days a Week

The Next Step Resource & Recovery Center offers a broad range of services to support Staten Islanders affected by substance use and their families in a welcoming and warm setting. As a pro-recovery community center space with workshops about wellness and life skills, The Next Step Resource & Recovery Center hosts support & self-help groups, and substance-free social events.

Recovery community members participate in sessions such as yoga, men’s and women’s groups, relapse prevention, naloxone training, and on-site 12 step groups. The Center is LGBT-friendly, and activities are led by peers, staff, and community volunteers. They are open 24/7. People struggling with addiction or their family members may walk in without an appointment to get information, support, and get linked with treatment and other community resources.

Learn more

4521 Arthur Kill Road, 3rd Floor
Staten Island, NY 10309
(718) 605-1989

Hours; Open 24 hours a day / 7 Days a Week

Christopher’s Reason is a place where all are welcome to explore their substance use issues. It is a safe place to spend the day with other recovering individuals. The staff at Christopher’s Reason assists and helps anyone who walks through the door, from substance users, parents, to families. Christopher’s Reason will take the time out to help any individual through this lifetime recovery process.

Christopher’s Reason is named after Christopher Perrotto, who passed away early in this epidemic, on April 10th, 2011. Christopher’s mother, Ann Marie Perrotto, has been passionately sharing her loss for the purpose of helping others. She is now teamed up with Donna Mae DePola, Founder & CEO/President of the The Resource Training & Counseling Center.

Naloxone Training & Kit

Peer Services

Family Support

Licensed Counselors

Resource & Recovery Center

Outpatient Treatment Services

Find Resource And Recovery Support Near You

The map below has a complete listing of all addiction and recovery services on Staten Island.

If you or someone you know operates an addiction or recovery service on Staten Island and is not listed here, please email sihopecampaign@gmail.com.

Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services logo

To find recovery & treatment options in other parts of New York State, please visit the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Treatment Availability Dashboard Here: Here

group of people with their arms aroud each other showing each other support

Staten Island Self-Help Groups

Staten Island is home to many self-help groups for those suffering from addiction and for those whose lives have been impacted by their loved one’s addiction. These groups are completely anonymous and cost-free.

Support Groups For People Struggling With Addiction

Staten Island Alcoholics Anonymous

Find A Meeting

Pills Anonymous

(718) 755-0903

*press ctrl f and type in Staten Island to find meeting times and locations.

Become Trained in the Use of Life-Saving Naloxone (Narcan)

The opioid overdose reversal drug Naloxone (Narcan) is widely available across Staten Island. Find out more below.

naloxone box and nose injection medicine naloxone box and nose injection medicine picture for mobile version

Naloxone (often called by the brand name Narcan) is a safe medication that reverses opioid overdoses and saves lives. When someone is experiencing an overdose, they are at a high risk of death. By administering naloxone, you are helping keep that person alive until emergency medical attention arrives.

Always call 911 if you think someone is overdosing, even if you give naloxone.

The NYS 911 Good Samaritan Law protects you from criminal liability if you call 911 in a life or death situation.

Where to get naloxone:

Many community-based organizations offer naloxone & trainings for free. Please contact the Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness for more information.

Most pharmacies on Staten Island offer naloxone without a prescription. To find the location nearest you, click here