Drug addiction takes a toll not only on users but on their loved ones as well. If you know or suspect someone close to you is using heroin, here are a few steps you can take to help.
- Be kind, compassionate and respectful.
Do not try to assess blame or make your loved one feel guilty. Show them you see their struggles and care about them, and are there to support them. This will not only encourage them to seek help but will keep them open to you instead of getting defensive and closing themselves off.
- Remember, and remind them, who they are outside of addiction.
Addiction makes people act in ways and do things uncharacteristic of their personality. Remember who this person was before addiction, and who they are without the traits that addiction has caused them to exhibit. Addiction is one piece of who they are, not the whole. Remember and remind them of all the things you love about them.
- Keep them occupied
Help the user stay away from drugs by spending time with them doing positive things to keep their mind off drug use. Plan activities to motivate them and give them something to look forward to. A hike, dinner, movies, video games, walking in the park – any of these are good ways to spend time with your loved one and keep them occupied healthily.
- Do your research
Research drug rehab facilities near you and treatment options for your loved one, and present them in a caring way. They may not want to take this step themselves, and doing this for them will help them make the necessary steps to recovery.
- Set boundaries
While you can be supportive, ultimately your loved one has to do the work to recover. Do not enable their drug use or avoidance of treatment, and set clear boundaries for what you will accept regarding drug use within the relationship.