Are Heroin Addicts Capable of Love?

For people who have someone close to them battling a heroin addiction, a common question often heard is “are heroin addicts capable of love.” There is often the wonder if someone who is the midst of an addiction problem has the capability to love another person, as it would seem outwardly the answer is no. The answer to the question is a complex one, and it’s not easy to answer. When someone is addicted to a drug like heroin, it can seem as if you don’t even recognize the person you once loved. People often say that it’s like their loved one has two personalities, one of which they love, and the other of which is the addict.

Are Heroin Addicts Capable of Love?
First when answering “are heroin addicts capable of love,” it’s important to see how heroin and addiction, in general, destroy relationships.

Someone who has an addiction will often start showing outward signs of their substance abuse problem in the initial stages when they withdraw from loved ones. People who are developing a drug or substance abuse problem typically avoid social situations and interactions even with people very close to them, and they may instead prefer to be alone or find a new social group that also abuses drugs.

The interpersonal relationships of a person tend to be the very first thing that starts to suffer as they slide into an addiction.

All-too-often there is a misunderstanding of how heroin addiction is a disease, as with other addictions. Understanding how an addiction to heroin works can be valuable to help you understand what it’s like to love an addict.

When someone initially uses heroin, their brain is flooded with the chemical dopamine, creating the euphoric high users say they experience. Their brain then creates a memory of using heroin, and it’s seen as a rewarding, pleasurable experience. The brain is wired to want to keep seeking out activities that bring pleasure, and the rush of heroin is unlike any type of natural pleasure a person could experience.

That’s what stimulates the cravings and other characteristics of addiction. The person’s brain who is addicted to heroin becomes rewired to continue drug-seeking behaviors, and the physiological desire to use drugs becomes the prime driver of the person’s life. Most people who are addicted to heroin feel they can only be normal or happy when they’re high, so they’re entirely driven to keep trying to get the drugs.

Why understanding addiction is important to answering “are heroin addicts capable of love” is because it can seem like an addict is making the choice of drugs over you and your relationship, but that’s not the case. They’re picking the drug over everything. To a heroin addict, the drug is more important not just than love and relationships, but also even basic needs like food and shelter.

There’s a loss of control on the part of the addict because of their brain chemistry, and in a sense no, heroin addicts aren’t capable of love, but that’s not because of anything you personally have done or can do. The addiction makes the addict love nothing more than that drug. Every single decision and action made by a heroin addict is based on fulfilling their addiction.

If you love someone addicted to heroin, there is very little you can do. Many people have tried every conceivable thing to save the addict from themselves, but really the only person who can change things is the addict. You can set your boundaries and perform an intervention, but the ultimate decision is in the hands of the addict.

In the meantime, you can focus on taking care of yourself and gaining the support you need to navigate your life as someone who loves a heroin addict.

Are Heroin Addicts Capable of Love?
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