Heroin is a highly addictive drug made from the opium poppy. It has many names on the streets such as dope, brown, hop, black, diesel, smack, tar, junk, and “H”. Many addicts begin abusing Heroin by smoking or snorting the drug as a means of avoiding the stigmas around injection. However as their tolerance builds and the desired effects become more difficult to obtain, many Heroin addicts inject the drug into a vein via a needle, putting themselves at risk for a wide array of infectious diseases. Heroin is an extremely addictive drug with painful withdrawal symptoms, making it difficult for many to stop its use without treatment.
If you have a loved one who is addicted to heroin and ready to quit you should be proud of them for admitting to the problem and asking for help, as this is the first step in recovery. This is an important and difficult decision, they will need your full support and understanding throughout the beginning stages of their recovery.
Understanding The Disease
Heroin is a extremely addictive drug that can turn your life upside down. It isn’t uncommon for the family of an addict to feel as if they should be able to quit at any point in time, they just don’t want to. This is far from the truth. Heroin addiction is a powerful disease that consumes the individuals thoughts, causes uncontrollable cravings and painful withdrawal symptoms, often sending the addict running back to heroin for comfort. There is no on/off switch, when addicted the addict is unable to stop as their body has become accustomed to its affects on the body, causing pain and discomfort when stopping its use.
For your loved one to successfully stop the use of heroin they must first admit to the problem and then seek help from professionals. Some come to this point themselves, others need an intervention to recognize the problem and see the support system they have before them, the help that is being offered to them.
You have probably talked to your loved one about their problem with heroin numerous times, it seems as if you can talk until your blue in the face but they still don’t see the problem. You may get to the point when you feel sad, angry, afraid and completely helpless, ready to give up hope. This is all normal but never given up. Seeking the help of a trained intervention professional will give you the guidance needed to successfully reach out to your loved one and get them the help they need.
An intervention process is carefully planned by both family and friends, and a doctor or professional such as a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, or directed by an intervention professional (interventionist). You will all gather together to confront your loved one about the consequences of addiction and ask him or her if they are ready to accept the help offered to them and enter into a treatment program. During the intervention process you will give your loved one specific example of their destructive behaviors and how it is affecting their family and friends lives as well. Your loved one will receive information on a carefully planned out treatment program that will help them to achieve sobriety and begin their recovery. You will also make it clear on your intents if your loved one will not accept the help offered to him or her, you will no longer enable their addiction and you will walk away until they are ready to seek treatment. This process may seem harsh, your loved one may become angry, but in the long run you will make your feelings and concerns clear in a controlled environment and offer your loved one the help they need to get clean and sober.
What Happens if Your Loved One Refuses Help?
While the hopes are that your loved one will recognize that they have a problem and accept the help offered to them, this is not the case for everyone going through the intervention process. Your loved one may completely refuse the treatment plan before them, become angry and deny that there is a problem, he may call you a betrayer, a hypocrite, do anything that can to get a rise out of you.
You need to enter into the intervention prepared for this outcome, it will be emotionally overwhelming but you know you are doing the best thing for your loved one. You also need to be prepared to follow through with the changes you told them would happen if they do not accept the treatment. It is going to be hard, to say the least, but you will be helping your loved on either way. There will come a point when they recognize their life is crashing down in front of them and they need help to get sober and start rebuilding their life.