How to Help Someone Struggling with Heroin Addiction
If someone you know and care for is addicted to heroin, overcoming that addiction is going to be a long and challenging road. While they have to do most of the work themselves, there are ways that you can help.
The first step is to figure out if they are ready for help. Heroin addiction help is only successful if it is well-received, so have a loving and firm conversation first. Make sure that the addict in your life recognizes that they have a problem, and is ready to start doing everything they can to overcome it. You should come to this conversation armed with resources to guide them toward, such as rehab centers or counselors.
If you are wondering how to help a heroin addict, chances are, you are quite stressed out about this person’s drug addiction and want to do everything you can to help. It is easy to convince ourselves that the best way to do this is by making sure that the person is fed, clothed, housed, and safe. After all, when we care about someone, we don’t want them to be in harm’s way. However, this is sadly not the best track to take if you are genuinely interested in helping.
An addict will likely use all of their available resources for more drugs, and by providing for some of their needs, you are only freeing up more resources for heroin. It can be incredibly painful to see a friend or family member become homeless or start going to a food bank, but many heroin addicts need to hit rock bottom before they are truly willing to take control of their lives again.
There are many ways that you can offer heroin addiction help. While you need to be firm with the addict, you also need to make sure they understand that you still care about them. Drug addiction, just like diabetes, is a disease. Yes, the addict may have brought this on themselves in some ways (just like a diabetic might with a bad diet), but they are now in the grasps of a terrible disease. They can help heal themselves, but remember that they are not a bad person because they are an addict. In our society, drug addiction has a terrible connotation, as it should – but it also results in judgement of the people impacted by it. Reminding them that they are loved, no matter what is how to help a heroin addict.
If you are providing heroin addiction help, remember that you may need help yourself. This is an incredibly stressful thing to go through, and you are bearing a major burden. Many of your friends, coworkers, and family members will have no idea how to support you in this journey unless they have been through it themselves. Just as there is no shame in an addict going to rehab, there is no shame in you seeking professional support yourself, possibly in the form of counseling or a support group. This support can help you stay strong in your decision to avoid enabling the addict while still providing them with love.
Remember that no matter how well intentioned you are; you cannot force a drug addict to become sober. You can provide them with love, support, and referrals to resources, but you cannot control their choices. Heroin addiction help can go a long way toward getting someone back on track in their life, but remember that it is not your fault if they do not get clean. Just the effort that you are making to help is enough.