Helping Someone You Love with Overcoming a Heroin Addiction
When a person you care about is addicted to heroin, all you want to do is help them. You know how dangerous the drug is, and how important sobriety is. You should also know that overcoming heroin addiction is a long, difficult process. Your loved one might relapse or otherwise, struggle with leaving drugs behind. You are not the only person going through this challenging time, and there are a few ways you can be a big help to the drug user in your life. You are not in charge of their addiction, but you can help them move through it.
If they haven’t acknowledged the problem yet:
Confront them in the kindest, most loving way possible. Talk about their drug use as an illness, and something that is hurting them – not something that is wrong with them. By lessening the stigma of drug use, you can encourage them to seek professional help with overcoming heroin addiction. Depending on your relationship, there are always thoughtful but straightforward ways to talk to the user.
Learn as much as you can
eResearch heroin, its impacts, and the signs of addiction. When you understand what heroin does to the body, you can notice when the person you love has relapsed. The more you understand, the more helpful you can be. You will also notice that most heroin addicts have a cycle, where they get sick from withdrawal symptoms and then become desperate for more drugs. As with anything, knowledge is power, and there are many great resources for information on the impacts of heroin.
Remember this is a disease
eYour loved one is not using heroin to hurt you. These drugs are incredibly addictive, and while the user certainly made the choice to try heroin in the first place, they did not choose to become addicted. Some people are more susceptible to these addictive substances, and once you are addicted, you can’t just turn it off. Just like someone with diabetes or cancer, there are steps they can take to get better, but remember that the addiction is not an active choice.
Of course, if you care about this person, you want them to be safe and fed and clothed. Sadly, for the heroin addict, this kind of help only feeds their addiction. Giving an addict money, clothes, transportation, or a place to live allows them to use their limited resources for drugs. Saying no is hard, especially when it can result in homelessness, but the earlier you draw the line, the earlier they’ll hit their “rock bottom” and be able to start overcoming their heroin addiction.
Get support for yourself
Of course, the heroin addict in your life needs outside help, but if you are their primary support system, you need help as well. Most of your family friends, if they haven’t gone through this themselves, won’t understand what you are dealing with. Support groups, therapists, and even online communities can be great resources for finding people who are further along in their journey. This burden is not yours to carry alone.
Overcoming heroin addiction is a long and challenging road. Your loved one may even overcome the addiction and then relapse months or years later. This is a long process, and your loved one needs your support in overcoming heroin addiction. By learning as much as you can, talking to them with compassion, and staying firm, you can significantly impact the life of a heroin addict. Just the fact that you are on this website is proof that you care – stand your ground and the person you love has an excellent chance of getting clean.