Recovering from an addiction to heroin can be a long and difficult process, for both the sufferer and those close to him or her. The loved ones of a recovering addict can help aid the rehabilitation process in a number of ways. First and foremost it is important to be knowledgable about the addiction and to offer support whenever needed.
Heroin is probably the most addictive drug that we are all aware of, some more than others. What tends to be forgotten is that when someone gets addicted to heroin or any drug it’s not just the addict that suffers. Addiction has a knock on effect towards those close to the addicted person and often leaves them feeling helpless and hopeless about what they can do to help their close friend or loved one to get better from this dreadful situation. Here I want to talk about what people who find themselves close to someone with a heroin addiction can do to help their loved one and themselves.
The first thing to do is get yourself some knowledge about the drug and its treatment options. Although you are not going to fully understand what someone is going through when they try and get off of the drug understanding their feelings will help you better relate to the different stages, emotions and feelings they will be experiencing. Try if you can to read up on the way the drug works, and how the user is likely to feel and behave whilst taking it. Be prepared for the withdrawal symptoms and come to understand why they are occurring. Speak to a rehabilitation centre and find out what happened behind closed doors, what therapies they have on offer and what happened during those therapies and ask them if there is anything you can do personally to help reinforce the treatments they receive.
Many places offer not just counselling to the addict but also to friends and family. Although you may not feel this is something you would be comfortable with doing, do give it a try. You can do this even if the person with the addiction hasn't yet begun any kind of addiction recovery treatment and you can find out how to get them enrolled in professional treatment centre. If you believe that this is something that would be voluntary on their part you could look into an intervention, which is something a professional addictions counsellor will be able to tell you more about.
Being an emotional comfort for someone who is addicted to heroin or any other drug is a vital role. Simply being there and allowing them to vent their feelings and doing your best to make the environment as calm and as stress-free as possible will be a big help. Try to keep your opinions in your own head and not be too verbal about them, even if you believe what you are saying will be helpful, this is a time to listen more than speak. Relapse is very common amongst heroin users, again this is a time when you need to remain calm and try and not judge but remain resolutely supportive all the time knowing when to call in additional help if the circumstances have become more then you can personally help or cope with.