What To Do If Your Loved One Uses Heroin

November 29, 2018

Knowledge is power

Spend some time researching heroin addiction.  Make yourself familiar with the signs of heroin usage.

Confront your loved one in a nonjudgmental manner

Ask them what kind of help they feel they need.

Research substance abuse treatment options

Due to the strong physical addiction heroin causes, an inpatient hospitalization is commonly medically necessary.  There are various drug treatment options that are short or long term, some of which are in a hospital while others are in a residential setting.  A psychiatrist and a therapist can provide services that will provide a better outcome after the addict is released from inpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment is commonly called an “IOP,” which stands for “intensive outpatient program.”  IOP’s typically meet three days a week for about three hours. Acupuncture post detox can greatly decrease the likelihood of relapse.

Connect with local resources

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a free community resource that has helped millions of addicts since it first began in 1953.  There are now heroin specific groups similar to NA, as well as online blog communities and discussion forums.  Many people find online resources to be helpful due to convenience and anonymity.  However, in person services can be invaluable.

Avoid enabling the addict

This can become tricky depending on the relationship you have with the person.  Ask yourself, “How can I support him or her without making it easier for them to continue using drugs?”

Be prepared to experience the lack of empathy that addicts and their families face

It appears that the general public is more likely to interpret substance abuse issues as a choice despite studies showing addiction is a disease.

Surround yourself with support

It is common for loved ones of addict to feel a variety of intense emotions.  Remain cautious that you do not become too engrossed in helping someone that you yourself suffer.


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