But having to watch your son or daughter die because of their addiction is hard for most of us to fathom.
Just ask Hilary Mills, whose 27-year-old son Ben suffered a cardiac arrest from taking heroin.
She sat agonisingly by his hospital bedside every day for the next three weeks before doctors said there was nothing more they could do for him.
That was almost a year ago but the hurt will never go away after having to watch her son struggle with his addiction and to have to lay him to rest.
Hilary now wants to turn what was a tragedy for her and her family into something that can perhaps just save the life of another person who has experimented with drugs and that experimentation has lead to a situation that is spiralling out of control.
Knowing her son was taking drugs, she was on edge all the time and always feared getting that dreaded phone call.
She said: ‘Seeing my son in a hospital bed wired up to life support was horrendous. I sat next to his bedside every day for the next three weeks before the doctor told me there was nothing more they could do.
Hilary is now launching a campaign called Think Twice to make youngsters think about what they are doing.
She wants to go into schools and talk about what happened to her son and the effects it had on her and Ben’s brothers and sisters.
Hilary said: ‘I think people sometimes forget the effect drug addiction can have on everyone around that person and including that person.’
The mother-of-four should be applauded for turning a dark period in her and her family’s lives into something that could make all the difference to another family.