Out of all the illegal drugs that hurt, and even kill people, heroin is one of the “number one” drugs, research says. 


Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs available today. Despite its addictive qualities and high overdose risk, many people continue to use this opioid drug. For some people, the destruction of heroin becomes apparent very quickly, while it can take longer for others. There are even people who are addicted to heroin that can 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 person using the drug. Addiction is often called a family disease because of the ripple effects it has on everyone around the person who is addicted.


So what can you do? Heroin addiction can cause the person who is addicted to lash out against you and place blame on you. It can also lead to lying, stealing and risky behaviors.


Treating a heroin addiction first requires that users are broken of their physical dependence on the substance. Since heroin has such an immediate neurological and psychological impact, virtually rewriting the brain’s perceptions of pleasure, reward, and the anticipations thereof, individuals have to be gradually and carefully weaned off their dependence. This entails reducing the amount of heroin they consume, while at the same time controlling for the inevitable withdrawal symptoms that come from the body receiving less of the drug to which it has become so accustomed. Withdrawal symptoms include:


-Muscle cramping


-Nausea and vomiting

-Cravings for more heroin

-Suicidal thoughts (in cases of extreme or chronic heroin abuse)


How to Help Someone Who Is Addicted to Heroin?

Caring for someone with heroin addiction isn’t easy, but there is a lot of families can do to help. They can:

-Learn all they can about how heroin works

-Hold a drug intervention meeting

-Identify inpatient heroin treatment options

-Obtain preauthorization for treatment from insurance companies

-Interview heroin addiction treatment providers

-Transport the person to the treatment facility

-Participate in therapy appointments, as needed

-Identify heroin addiction support group meetings in the community

-Look for signs of heroin addiction relapse


When you’re searching for how to help someone who is addicted to heroin, consider how you can start moving them in the direction of positive change. You can’t fix the person 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 an appropriate treatment program. You can research options, look at how to cover the costs and coordinate care before holding an intervention. You may even be able to provide financial or emotional help for a treatment program, which would be an example of positive support.


Ultimately, while there are few things you can do to help someone who is addicted to heroin. A good first step is to take care of yourself and find a support network that will allow you to remain strong, even against manipulation. 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.

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