If someone you love is suffering from heroin addiction, you know just how heartbreaking the addiction is for everyone involved. As that person’s friend or family member, you might be wondering how to help someone with a heroin addiction.
To avoid enabling or dangerous scenarios, you have to know how to help someone with a heroin addiction in an uplifting, healthy, and positive way. Below, learn the top ways to help someone who is addicted to heroin while keeping yourself and state of mind safe.
How to Help Someone Addicted to Heroin: 3 Tips
Heroin is one of the most powerful drugs to be addicted to. Not only is it insanely addictive, but it dramatically impacts the person’s physical health, mental health, and relationships. If someone you know needs help for heroin addiction, there are some things you can do to lighten their load.
Here are three things we recommend when helping individuals who are addicted to heroin:
Understand the Addiction
For many family members and friends of addicts, heroin addiction is confusing and frustrating. As someone who is not an addict, the addiction itself makes no sense and is enough to make an individual angry due to the consequences. Although it is normal to have these thoughts and feelings, the best way that you can help a heroin addict is to understand the addiction.
You can empower yourself and help your loved one by learning about heroin, how it affects the brain, and the symptoms to look out for. It’s also helpful to understand that heroin addiction is a disease. Consequently, try not to take the words or actions of a heroin addict personally, although this will be tough.
Offer Support and Treatment
Many addicts need a stable and healthy support group. You and other family members can be a safe place for the addict. Even if your other family members do not know about the addiction, make sure everyone is aware of the problem since concealing the addiction often makes the problem worse. You can also find other support groups in the area for other individuals like them.
Although you and your family need to be there to support the individual, it’s essential to get medical treatment for your loved one as well. Although your support is necessary, you do not have the resources or training to properly help a heroin addict detox and begin a life of recovery.
Do Not Enable
During this process, make sure not to enable the individual. Enabling involves giving the individual resources so that they can continue their addiction. You can enable someone through money or emotional support.
There’s a fine line between offering the individual the support they deserve and enabling. If you aren’t sure if you are enabling, talk to a licensed professional who can help you recognize the boundary.
Medical Treatment Is Needed
Heroin addiction is a serious disease that requires medical treatment. Just as you would not recommend Tylenol as a permanent treatment option to a loved one suffering from cancer, you should not expect your love and compassion to be enough to unhook someone from heroin. Medical treatment is the only way for heroin addicts to get the true resources and help they need.
For this reason, helping the heroin addict find medical treatment and supporting them in the process is the best thing you can do for them. Sit down with the addict and help them find resources for their addiction.