How to Help a Heroin Addict

Heroin is a drug that is wreaking havoc on cities and towns around the U.S. What often begins as prescription pill abuse then turns to the use of heroin, and it tears families apart and contributes to the destruction of communities and ultimately death for many addicts.

It’s also a difficult addiction to eliminate from your life, and heroin has an incredibly high rate of relapse. The overdose risk is also very high, yet people continue to use this opioid drug. For some people, the destruction of heroin becomes apparent very quickly, while for others it can take longer. There are even functional heroin addicts that maintain a job while they use the drug, but this doesn’t often last for long.

When you have a family member who is addicted to heroin, you tend to feel the impacts just as much if not more so than the addict. Addiction is often called a family disease because of the ripple effects it has on everyone around the addict.

So what you can you do? How can you help a heroin addict? How to help a heroin addict is a difficult question, because there is in reality very little you can do. You want to be supportive and loving, but you don’t want to cross the line into enabling.

Heroin addiction can be a very dark situation, and it can lead the addict to lash out against you and place blame on you. It can also lead to lying, stealing, risky or dangerous behaviors and even worse consequences.

While you can’t cure an addiction to heroin, the following are the things that are within your power, if you’re trying to learn how to help a heroin addict.

How to Help a Heroin Addict
One of the best things you can empower yourself is to learn as much as you can about heroin and addiction itself. It will help you recognize the signs that may be occurring around you, and red flags you need to watch for. It can also help you understand that addiction is a disease of the brain, so you shouldn’t take the behaviors and words of a heroin addict personally, as tough as that can be.

Enabling is one of the most common things that loved ones of people addicted not just to heroin, but other substances engage in. When you enable an addict, you’re giving that person resources, whether financial, emotional or otherwise, that allow them to continue their addiction. An example of enabling a heroin addict would include allowing them to have access to financial accounts. They can continue to purchase drugs as a result.

Another way people often enable rather than helping a heroin addict is by covering for them or lying to help prevent people from discovering what’s really happening.

It’s important that when you’re looking at how to help a heroin addict, you learn to say no, set boundaries and remain firm.

It is possible to provide support without enabling. This means you can love someone who is a heroin addict, without providing them a shield from the negative consequences of their actions. You can find more healthy ways to support them, such as helping them find a treatment program or going to therapy sessions with them.

Heroin is a dangerous drug, and it’s nearly impossible to try and deal with an addict on your own. You instead should work on building a support system. This can include enlisting help from other family members or participating in a support group for families of addicts. There are many support group options that will provide you both with emotional comfort and strength.

You can also speak with a therapist who has experience in dealing with addiction.

If other members of your family don’t already know, you need to make them aware. One of the worst things you can do for a heroin addict is try and conceal their addiction, and it often makes the problem worse.

When you’re searching for how to help a heroin addict, consider how you can start moving them in the direction of positive change. You can’t fix the addict or force them to change, but you can set boundaries that show them you won’t continue to contribute to their heroin addiction and that you are willing to help them find the appropriate treatment program. You can research options, look at how to cover the costs and set it up before holding an intervention.

You may even be able to provide financial help for a treatment program, which would be an example of positive support.

Ultimately, while there are few things you can do to change a heroin addict, you can take care of yourself and find the support network that will allow you to remain strong, even against manipulation which is common from addicts. Start learning what you can about the disease of addiction and heroin use, and then research treatment options. You should also learn to set clear, healthy boundaries and be firm in your resolve to stick to them because these are the best examples of how to help a heroin addict.

How to Help a Heroin Addict
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