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How To Help Someone Addicted To Heroin

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Helping a person who is addicted to heroin may at times seem overwhelming, but fortunately, with knowledge, the right resources, and professional assistance, it is possible to get a loved one the help they need. Becoming involved in the treatment-planning process and supporting a person throughout recovery are two of the best things a family member can do for their loved one.Woman wondering how to help someone addicted to heroin

If you are looking for advice on how to help someone addicted to heroin, Vertava Health’s heroin rehab center can help. Call us at 888.601.8693 today to learn how to help someone with a heroin addiction. A brighter future for your loved one is possible.

How to Help Someone Addicted to Heroin

Knowing the signs of heroin use and addiction can help a loved one spot the issue so that that treatment can be sought. When a person is abusing heroin, their behaviors may change as they spend more time finding and using the drug. As this occurs, their health and quality of life can greatly suffer.

At this time, the following signs and symptoms of heroin use may develop, including when a person:

  • Uses heroin more frequently or in greater amounts than they planned.
  • Is unable to stop or decrease the amount they use, even after trying several times to do so.
  • Loses large amounts of their day to using heroin or feeling sick after it wears off.
  • Has overwhelming urges or cravings to find and use more of the drug.
  • Develops problems at home, work, or at school because of using heroin.
  • Continues to use heroin even though it’s harming their relationships.
  • Loses interest in hobbies, recreational activities, or responsibilities that are important to them.
  • Takes part in risky behaviors that jeopardize their safety while under the influence of the drug.
  • Keeps taking heroin even after it starts to cause physical or mental health problems.
  • Develops a tolerance and needs a higher dose to experience the feelings they desire.
  • Goes into withdrawal if they quit cold turkey or if they greatly reduce their dose.

When a person has a mild heroin use disorder, they may only show a few of these signs. However, people who are severely addicted may have many of them.

Identify Enabling Behaviors

Despite having good intentions, many people unknowingly enable their loved ones. Doing so can harm both the addicted person and those who care about them. Enabling behaviors prevent an addicted person from experiencing the consequences of heroin use. People who enable frequently make excuses for an addicted person, such as covering up for them when they’re high or sick from using heroin.

Understanding the difference between helping and enabling can help loved ones give their family member the best support at this time. Setting healthy boundaries and rooting out harmful enabling behaviors could help the addicted person see the severity of their addiction. In turn, this may help them understand the need for treatment.

Stage An Intervention For Heroin Addiction

Chronic heroin use can change the way a person thinks. This, with denial, can make it very difficult for a person to see that they need help.

A formal intervention led by a professional, called an interventionist, can be a valuable resource at a time like this. While some friends and families may be tempted to plan an intervention on their own, professionally led interventions are generally more successful.

In addition to helping families plan and carry out the intervention, a good interventionist will educate families on the disease of addiction. They should also help families discover treatment options and make transportation arrangements. Some will even accompany the person to rehab.

Find A Drug Rehab Program For A Loved One Who Is Addicted To Heroin

Understanding the different options for heroin addiction treatment can help family members find the treatment that best fits their loved one’s needs.

Not every person has the same treatment needs. An individual’s history, health, lifestyle, family needs, and support system can all influence the type of program that works best for them.

Addiction can affect a person emotionally, mentally, physically, socially, and even spiritually. Because of the unique circumstances of each client, the best treatment plans are individualized to each person’s needs and recovery goals.

A variety of services may be built into a person’s treatment plan for heroin addiction, including:

Heroin Detox Programs

While outpatient heroin detox programs are available, inpatient medical detox programs for heroin addiction are often a better option for people who are moderate to severely addicted.

These residential programs offer 24-hour care and monitoring so that a person is as safe and as comfortable as possible.

Medications are a critical part of medically assisted detoxification. Medications are used to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms caused by opioids, such as heroin. This includes evidence-based medications like Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone).

A detox program is typically not treatment enough on its own. For the greatest chance of long-term sobriety, a person should move to rehab after they’ve detoxed.

Heroin Inpatient Drug Rehab Programs

An inpatient drug rehab program, also referred to as residential treatment, provides the highest level of care for heroin addiction.

For this reason, these programs may be recommended for individuals who are moderate to severely addicted.

This intensive level of care can also be a good option for a person who has:

  • Been addicted for a long period of time.
  • A co-occurring mental health disorder or dual diagnosis.
  • A history of relapse.

Residential rehab gives a person greater access to treatments, such as therapy and counseling sessions.

Heroin Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Outpatient treatment provides flexible options for people who don’t need the higher level of care offered in a residential program.

These options may include traditional outpatient, intensive outpatient programs (IOP), and partial hospitalization programs (PHP).

The exact way outpatient treatment is used, if at all, is dependent on a person’s specific needs.

An outpatient drug rehab program for heroin may be used:

  • As treatment after a minor relapse.
  • To help a person who is mild to moderately addicted find sobriety for the first time.
  • as a preventative measure for someone who fears they might relapse.
  • As a step-down program to help a person transition from inpatient treatment.

Heroin Aftercare And Alumni Support Services

Once a person is in treatment, their family members may wonder what happens after rehab and how to help their loved one recover from heroin addiction.

Recovery is a process that requires constant upkeep. Aftercare programs and alums support services can help a person stay inspired and focused on their recovery goals.

Aftercare planning may take place during treatment. However, many communities have a network of aftercare resources that can benefit treatment graduates.

Aftercare and alums support services may include:

  • Mentorship programs
  • Job coaching
  • Online recovery resources
  • Self-help groups
  • Self-improvement classes
  • Sober living homes

Family Therapy And Support For Heroin Addiction

A strong social support system, including the support of close loved ones, can boost a person’s chance for a successful recovery.

Addiction is often referred to as a family disease. This means that the damage of addiction extends beyond the person who uses heroin to their family members.

Many addiction treatment centers offer family therapy and support programs. Taking part in these programs and family events can be very healing. They can also boost a person’s morale while in rehab and remind them of what they’re fighting for.

Even more, these programs work to undo harmful and dysfunctional patterns in the family that may fuel addiction. Therapy teaches family members healthier ways to communicate. It can also show loved ones how to support an addicted person as they pursue their recovery goals.

Learn How to Help Someone Addicted to Heroin at Vertava Health

Reaching out for professional help at this time can take some of the weight off friends and family who are concerned about their loved one’s heroin use. Highly trained and compassionate addiction specialists can connect families to information and treatment options so their loved one can receive the care they need.

Contact Vertava Health today at 888.601.8693 for more resources on heroin use, addiction, and treatment.