586,000. According to recent data reported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, that’s how many people in the United States are believed to have a substance abuse problem with heroin. The heroin epidemic affects people from all walks of life, regardless of age, race, gender or socioeconomic status. This means countless families across the country will be faced with confronting a loved one who needs heroin addiction treatment.
In this post, we’ll offer our suggestions for how to talk to heroin addicts about getting help. We’ll also explore some of the common signs and symptoms to watch for if you suspect a loved one may be abusing heroin.
Signs Your Loved One Needs Heroin Addiction Rehab
Heroin affects the brain’s pleasure centers and blocks the ability to perceive pain, causing intense euphoria and extreme relaxation. At first, heroin users might be able to hide their habit from friends and family members. Over time, though, tolerance increases, causing users to increase both the rate and quantity of heroin consumption. This is when obvious visible symptoms may start to appear. Warning signs of heroin addiction may include:
- Sudden or unexplained weight loss
- Frequently runny nose, not due to illness
- Needle track marks on arms or other parts of the body
- Injection site infections or abscesses
- Habitual skin picking that causes cuts and scabs
Talking to Your Loved One About Treatment for Heroin
Talking to loved ones about heroin addiction can be a difficult conversation. To help make it easier, we’ve compiled a list of strategies and suggestions to prepare yourself for what lies ahead.
Educate Yourself About Heroin Addiction
Take some time to educate yourself about heroin addiction and its treatment before you begin the conversation. Many people don’t understand that addiction is a chronic disease that often has underlying causes. Plus, addiction may be accompanied by complex co-occurring conditions.
Reach Out to Heroin Addiction Experts
Heroin can impair a person’s ability to process difficult information and respond appropriately to confrontation, regardless of how carefully you approach the subject. Before starting the conversation with your loved one, attending an addiction support group or speaking with an expert at a heroin treatment program could give you valuable insight to avoiding a negative or adversarial reaction.
Try to Remain Calm
Your loved one may not be emotionally ready to face the scary reality of addiction. As a result, your attempt to discuss it could cause an angry outburst that is driven, in part, by fear. Just because the signs of heroin addiction are obvious to you, it’s possible that your loved one just isn’t ready to talk about it with you. And that’s ok.
Avoid Judgmental Language
Becoming addicted to heroin, or any other drug, is not a conscious choice. And, once addicted, your loved one may not be physically able to stop using. Take care not to pass judgment or be critical of your loved one in discussing heroin rehab.
Keep Yourself Out of the Conversation
Although the consequences of your loved one’s addiction may be taking a toll on your own life, don’t make the conversation about you. The reality is that heroin addicts who are still actively using can’t necessarily understand how their addiction is hurting those around them, because their top priority is to keep using.
Set Realistic Expectations
Recovering from heroin addiction is a life-long process. This is not something you should expect to resolve on your own. Like any chronic disease, recovery occurs gradually over time and usually requires help from professionals who understand the complexities of heroin addiction.
Heroin Addiction Rehab at Footprints Beachside Recovery
Our professional and caring staff is ready to help your loved one overcome heroin addiction. At Footprints Beachside Recovery, addiction treatment experts will develop a personalized addiction rehab program that treats the biological and psychological effects of prolonged heroin abuse. Call us today for more information.