How To Approach Someone About His Or Her Heroin Addiction

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When you suspect that someone you love has a heroin addiction, it can be a difficult thing to process. You may find yourself afraid for their wellbeing and wish to confront them about their addiction; all be it, with good reason.

Heroin, according to the DEA, is highly addictive and has a severe and potentially fatal effect on the body. Please seek help for your loved one by calling (800) 407-7195 and learn what can be done for them, including steps for how to approach someone about his or her heroin addiction.

Check For Signs and Symptoms

Heroin Addiction

Expect some resistance when you approach a loved one concerning their addiction.

Drug use carries a certain set of symptoms, some of which can be identifiable through simple observation of the person’s behavior. Heroin causes users to experience a rush with alternating states of wakefulness and sleep.

Their mental state may seem clouded, they show evidence of heavy extremities, flushed skin, and changes in respiration and blood pressure. Some signs may be specific to the method in which they take heroin. The NIDA lists three ways in which heroin is used: injection, snorting or sniffing, and smoking.

Needle and track marks on the skin are common signs of injection, and the person may wear long sleeves to hide them. It may seem like they have a persistent cold or case of the flu, like sniffling or runny nose—signs of snorting—or coughing—a sign of smoking.

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Explain Your Concerns

Your approach can be done in an easy, non-confrontational conversation. Sit the person down and express what concerns you have about them. Explain your reasoning behind your concerns, such as signs of heroin usage, negative changes in their health, or if you have actually seen them using.

Addiction can blind a person from seeing that something is wrong, so not backing up your claims of concern can actually help the addiction. Instead of asking “Are you using heroin?”, say something along the lines of “I noticed that you haven’t been yourself lately.”

Beginning your approach with a conversation can keep things from feeling hostile, which can cause the person to quickly reject any help or even consider seeking help. If you decide to have an intervention, which can feel a bit confrontational, make sure that you also explain your reasoning for your concerns.

Recognizing a Loved One’s Switch from Prescription Narcotics to Heroin

Don’t Blame

Regardless of if you approach them through a simple talk or an intervention, you should not try to place blame on any one person. Addiction is accepted as a chronic, controlling addiction that rarely allows anyone to have a choice. Placing blame on the person with the addiction can only make the situation worse and can present obstacles for their recovery.

Likewise, you should not place any blame on yourself or anyone else who is close to the person. Blaming only serves to make the blamer feel better about a situation, and can compromise their relationship with the person they are blaming. It impedes any support that you can offer the person, which they will desperately need during the treatment and recovery processes.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please call (800) 407-7195 for more information. You will be able to speak with one of our caring specialists about what treatment options are available.

the Take-Away

Addiction can be a touchy subject, especially for someone who is struggling with it personally. Knowing how to approach the subject can help your loved one feel motivated to seek treatment.