Addiction is a disease that affects not only the person who is addicted, but all the people who are around him or her. When you have a friend or loved one who is struggling with heroin addiction, it’s hard to know what to do. Talking with your friend or loved one is often the right thing to do, but you may be confronted with minimization, denial, or even anger.
Helping a Loved One Who is Addicted to Heroin
No one knows how it will go when you talk with your loved one about his or her heroin addiction. It’s important that you prepare and protect yourself when you decide it’s time to offer your help. Here are some suggestions that will help you do that:
Your friend may turn down your offer to help, perhaps even repeatedly, but you never know when he or she will have a change of heart. That’s why you need to educate yourself about heroin addiction. That way you will be ready to help when your friend is ready to accept it. Research how and where your friend can get professional help so that you are a knowledgeable resource when the time comes.
Don’t expect that your loved one will stop using heroin simply because you offer to help. Addiction doesn’t work that way. It usually takes professional help and a sincere willingness on the part of the addict for recovery to take hold. Until your loved one is willing and ready to seek professional help, be prepared for him or her to continue using or relapsing.
Get Support for Yourself
It’s difficult to see someone you care about suffering from addiction. The worry and stress can take a toll on you. That’s why it is so important that you find support for yourself. Perhaps you have other friends of the family who you can talk to about your loved one who is using heroin. You may also consider joining a support group for people with an addict in their lives.
Don’t Blame Yourself
Remember that you are not responsible for your loved one’s reaction. While he or she may not like what you have said, know that you shouldn’t feel bad about the reaction. Your loved one may not show any gratitude for your concerns because he or she is still in denial about the addiction. This is a normal reaction for an addict and is often an obstacle to seeking help. There is a chance though, that you have planted a seed about your friend’s heroin use and it may help down the road.
When Help for a Heroin Addict is a Desperate Need
When a friend or loved one in your life is addicted to heroin, you may come to the conclusion that getting help is a desperate need – maybe even a matter of life or death. At that point, you and other friends and family members may decide to stage an intervention.
Substance abuse interventions are carefully planned activities that are usually organized by an addict’s loved ones. Friends and family of the person with the drug or alcohol problem are present, sometimes with an addiction professional, therapist, doctor, clergy member, or interventionist.
The goal of the drug or alcohol intervention is to lovingly confront your loved one about the negative consequences of his or her addiction and to make an offer of addiction treatment. Loved ones take turns sharing how the individual’s addiction is causing destructive behaviors and how those are negatively impacting those around them. A prearranged offer of addiction rehabilitation or other treatment is often presented to the individual, followed by explanations from friends and family about what they will do if their loved one doesn’t accept the help they are offering.
The hope is that the person who is addicted will recognize the negative consequences of his or her addiction, and that he or she will no longer have the support of friends and family if his or her choice is to keep using, and that going to treatment is really the best choice.
Finding Help for Heroin Addiction
When your loved one is ready for treatment for heroin addiction, our addiction professionals at My Time Recovery can help. Addiction of any kind is treatable and can be managed when the addicted person is ready and willing to accept the help they need. Contact us today for help getting your loved one into the treatment he or she needs.