Heroin is one of the most abused opioid substances in the U.S. and it is an illicit substance derived from morphine. The euphoric sensation you feel when taking this drug is highly addictive, which makes it cumbersome to abstain when you’re already addicted to it.
However, substance use disorder is a curable disease as long as your loved one undergoes rehab treatment. Alongside this, when you help your close friend or family member from overcoming heroin addiction, it won’t be an easy task. Therefore, you need to have the patience and love to endure this painstaking journey.
In this article, we are going to share with you some tips and techniques on how you can efficiently deal with a heroin addict.
1. Understand What is Drug Addiction
Drug addiction is a complicated mental disorder where a person cannot control his urge to take heroin or any substances. If it was his first time to try heroin, then he can still control his cravings for it. However, when it’s done repeatedly and on a higher dose, then that individual can no longer control his heroin cravings.
Once you learn and understand the ins and outs of a substance use disorder (SUD), you have a wider perspective and longer patience for your heroin addict loved one.
2. Look for Strong Signs of Heroin Addiction
The next thing you need to do is to observe important signs that your friend or family member is suffering from a heroin overdose. Below are some noticeable telltales for heroin addiction.
- Secretive behavior
- Getting mad when you ask them about heroin addiction
- They feel sleepy or dizzy
- Slower breathing patterns
- Indigestion or bloated feeling
- Short-term memory loss
- Their pupils are smaller than normal
- Showing signs of anxiety disorder and depression
Once you see three to four signs, then it’s a strong indicator that your loved one is under the influence of an illicit drug. However, never confront them when you realize this, or else they will avoid or argue with you.
3. Perform An Intervention
Not all people are good with confrontation, especially addicts since they get the feeling of being judged and condemned. With that, your best action is to perform an intervention among the family, the addict loved one, and with the presence of a counselor or psychologist.
During the intervention, all of you must deliver a positive speech with a caring tone towards your addict family member. Then the last part of your speech must be an indirect message convincing the addict to undergo rehab to recover from heroin addiction.
It is optional that you have a counselor, psychologist, or addiction specialist in your intervention. Their role will be to mediate and answer any technical questions regarding your loved one’s condition.
4. Show Your Genuine Care
Directly convincing your loved one to undergo treatment will never be effective when you don’t show sincere care and concern to them. Addicts are very sensitive to their feelings, so you need to empathize with their condition and slowly tell them how they’ve changed before and after abusing the substance.
Also, you can nicely tell them how you miss the old them when they weren’t addicted to heroin. Once they feel your sincere concern for their welfare and future, then they will seamlessly accept external help from professionals.
5. Keep An Open and Friendly Communication
Besides pharmacological treatments and behavioral therapies, your addict loved one will need emotional and moral support for their recovery. With that, you need to keep your communication lines open and friendly with your loved ones.
Your comforting and motivational words will fire up their will and stamina to finish their detox, medications, and counseling sessions. Also, most treatment programs for heroin addiction incorporate the family in some of their counseling sessions.
Any rehab center will give the patient a definite schedule where you and the family can visit them.
6. Monitor Their Progress
You can ask their doctor or rehab center if you can check on their progress and status of treatment. Through this, you can have an insight if they are doing well in their recovery program.
Moreover, you can write them a letter or email them regarding the great job they are doing so far in their recovery program.
7. Things You Need To Avoid When Talking To Heroin Addicts
People under the influence of substances are highly sensitive with their emotions and thinking, so you need to be cautious about the words you’ll be saying to them. Below are some of the topics or actions you need to avoid when communicating with your heroin addict loved one.
- Never blame yourself for what happened to them since it can trigger emotional conflict.
- Avoid arguing with them about their wrong behavior because they’re not in the right mind to rationalize things.
- Giving them more money which can trigger them to buy drugs.
- Shouldering their responsibility because of their condition is never a good plan.
- Covering up for their addiction is not a good strategy as well.
- Never lecture them for their addiction since it will do no good and can just fire up their temper.
- Avoid letting them feel guilty or sorry since it can worsen their anxiety or depression disorder.
When you are talking to your heroin addict member, make sure to do it in a safe and comfortable place, where he can freely express his feelings and thoughts. Alongside this, all rehab centers observe this element, so they always keep a homey ambiance.
8. Consult An Addiction Specialist
Heroin addiction or abusing any other substances is a complex problem that requires a professional with in-depth knowledge and experience in substance use disorder. Consequently, you need to approach a reputable addiction specialist or rehab center who can help your addict family member or friend.
Once your loved one accepts the importance of getting into rehab, then let your trusted doctor talk to them about their recovery program. You can be there during the consultation, so you can witness all details regarding their personalized treatment plan.