Heroin addict crouched in corner

Helping a loved one through heroin withdrawal takes courage and commitment.

Helping a loved one through heroin withdrawal isn’t going to be easy. Whether it’s a friend, husband, wife, brother, sister, boyfriend, girlfriend, mother, or father, you need to prepare yourself to really walk this road with them.

1. Prepare Yourself

Helping others means you need to be strong and solid yourself. If you’re not ready for what’s coming, you’re going to freak out, run away, or otherwise be unable to be the solid foundation your loved one needs to get through this.

2. It’s Gonna Be Hard

Dope is one of the hardest drugs to get clean from. Knowing this going in helps prepare you mentally for the difficulties ahead.

3. Understand Withdrawal Symptoms

Painful withdrawal symptoms are one of the reasons why people just can’t quit heroin. What ends up happening is the pain of withdrawal overcomes their desire to get clean. Once that happens, it’s all too easy to start doing heroin again, because it instantly relieves withdrawal symptoms.

Many people have to go through this process of starting and stopping detox many times before they finally get through it. But if you know this going in, you can help coach your loved one with encouragement to help get them through the toughest symptoms and on the other side.

It’s also important for you to understand that heroin withdrawal is going to affect your loved one’s appetite, sleep, and energy levels. Common withdrawal symptoms include vomiting, nausea, and loss of appetite. Sleeplessness will set in at night, making getting up in the morning and facing the day next to impossible. If you can, you need to be there when those things happen.

Remember, the person you’re helping may feel like they’re going to die, but they’re not going to.

4. Financial Support is Important

Another thing that prevents heroin addicts from getting clean is having the financial resources to enroll in a heroin treatment program. But getting your loved one into treatment is probably one of the best things you could do.

A Look at Heroin Withdrawal

More information: dope sickness explained

5. Write a Letter

Before your loved one begins detox, have them write a letter, reminded themselves about why they’re about to do this. Below are some prompts to help them recognize why they should keep going when withdrawal gets tough.

  • What do I want to do with my life?
  • How has heroin interfered with that?
  • How will my life improve after I get off dope?
  • Who have I hurt through my addiction to heroin?
  • How will my relationships improve once I stop abusing heroin?
  • What will happen to me if I don’t make it through withdrawal?
  • What have I lost already to my heroin addiction?

6. Dealing with Depression


A heroin addiction specialist extends his hand.

Medical professionals who deal with heroin addiction treatment may be able to offer a helping hand.

Unfortunately, heroin abuse is only one side of the equation when it comes to quitting. There are other issues that may arise, like depression. And as a support, you need to be ready when it sets in.


In addition to depression, feelings of isolation, anxiety, and

7. Methods for Quitting

There are a few ways to approach quitting heroin, and you need to know what they are.

  1. Quitting Cold Turkey
  2. Quitting Warm Turkey
  3. Methadone Maintenance
  4. Suboxone, Methadone Treatment
  5. Heroin Addiction Treatment
Helping a Loved One Through Heroin Withdrawal
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