Understanding How To Help Your Loved One Struggling With Heroin Addiction

16 February 2016
 Categories: , Blog


When a person that you love and care about develops an addiction to heroin, you may feel like all you are helpless and as if there should have been something that you could have done to prevent their addiction from happening. However, while you cannot change what happened to your loved one, there are ways that you can help your loved one who is struggling with an addiction to heroin. Get to know some of these steps that you can take and help your loved one get the help they need for their addiction to heroin.

Perform an Intervention

Interventions have become largely popularized in pop culture but are sometimes made to look ineffective and foolhardy by these portrayals. In reality, interventions can be an effective tool to help a person realize that they have an addiction and that they are not the only person who is being affected by that addiction.

To perform a successful intervention, you should get a substance abuse counselor to mediate the intervention. These addiction experts will ensure that rather than causing a dramatic fight or pushing your loved one away, the intervention will be productive and helpful.

One important factor to keep in mind about interventions is that you should never attempt one when your loved one is under the influence of heroin. Not only will this be difficult because of the effects the drug has on the mind and body, but your loved one will be even more resistant to the idea of giving up the substance that made them feel that way (calm, relaxed, euphoric, etc.).

Help Them With The Detox Process

Perhaps the most difficult step in the heroin addiction recovery process is detox. This process takes a toll on both the mind and body as heroin itself has an effect on both of these aspects. Detox facilities can be quite expensive and as such, you and your loved one may decide to try to perform the detox process at home.

Helping your loved one with the heroin detox process will take a great deal of patience and fortitude on your part. Your loved one will likely experience profuse sweating, body shakes, severe cramps and stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea, as well as depression, insomnia, anger and aggression, and other mental and emotional symptoms. You will need to be prepared to help and/or deal with all of these symptoms of the detox process. 

Because heroin detox can be so intense, part of the help you provide your loved one may be to know when to seek out medical care for your loved one. Prolonged vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dangerous dehydration that requires IV fluids, for example. If your loved one begins to have heart palpitations or other issues with irregular heartbeat, they may have a medical condition that is reacting to the detox process, which requires medical care as well.

Helping during the detox process could also mean administering prescription opiate detox medications. Suboxone and the like can help a person detoxing from heroin to do so gradually, which may minimize the withdrawal symptoms. You will need to be sure that you give the medication in the right doses at specific times and that your loved one cannot get the pill bottle from you, as they may abuse it.

Now that you know a few of the ways that you can help your loved one suffering from a heroin addiction to begin to improve and recover, you can get started and be sure that you are providing them with the support and care they need. Contact a detox facility like Evergreen Recovery Centers for more information.