How Do You Help a Heroin Addict?
How do you help a heroin addict? Actually, it is as important to know what not to do as it is to know what you should do. Here are a few “do's and don'ts” to consider when helping a heroin addict.
It has been recognized by most people that drug addiction is a disease. Remember this and offer your support to the heroin addict. Do not panic and act as if it is the end of the world because as in all things, people retain hope. You can sympathize with the person under the control of the addiction without giving pity. It is time to take a stand and come together to fight the enemy: the drug addiction.
A heroin addict often spirals down and spends every penny on heroin. While you are helping the heroin addict, you can pay the electric bill or buy groceries for the family if needed. Do not ever give the heroin addict cash. He may say he is going to pay a bill, but he is most likely running to the dealer to get another fix . Pay the utility bill or whatever debt it is firsthand if you are inclined to help in that way.
Some people have never had to deal with drug addiction. They feel it is the person's own fault that he or she ended up in the situation the heroin addict finds himself in. However, one may feel about drug addiction; it is important not to judge the heroin addict, especially directly. When you tell him or her bad things about himself? He will use it as an excuse to get another fix. That is not the outcome you are striving for. Whatever your prejudices, keep them to yourself.
Just as you would need an electrician, a roofer, a plumber or other expert to be called in for their area of expertise, do not try to handle the heroin addict yourself. Instead, call in an expert. Call a helpline, tell the intake counselor what the situation is and get professional help for the heroin addict and those of you who care about him. Do not decide this and this should happen by this and this time frame. You are dealing with a situation that can make or break an addiction, and you are literally dealing with a person's physical and mental life and state of being. You would have a doctor perform an operation, right? Call in a specialist for a heroin addict, a person who specializes in dealing with drug addiction every day.
Realize that you are not Superman. You cannot deal with this alone. You need not only professional help for the heroin addict, but you all need some form of support yourselves. Maybe you are embarrassed because you feel the entire neighborhood knows your 22-year-old son is hooked on heroin. There are other people out there who have been through the same wilderness you are walking through. Get mental and moral support from those who have lived your life. Join a support group for loved ones of addicts. You need someone to show you support as well and by having someone to talk to, you are in turn helping your heroin addict because you are alleviating some of your own stress. This also helps you to be there for your heroin addict because you will be more open to discussing things with him or her. You will be open to communication, which is tantamount to success in a recovery process.
Once the heroin addict is in drug rehabilitation, support it. Maybe it is not exactly what you would have chosen, but it does not matter. What is important is that your loved one is getting help. If you have concerns, discuss them with the counselor. Do not put doubts in the heroin addict's head. The goal of everyone involved is getting him clean. In the end, you will see how far he came when he is up there thanking you and everyone who helped save his life and get him clean. That is what really matters, after all.