Preventing Heroin abuse really means preventing the abuse of any drug, which means speaking with children at a young age about the dangers of drug use.
Be sure to educate your children and other young children you influence about how to refuse drugs and the harmful impact that drug use could have later in their lives.
More importantly, raise questions to your local officials about what is being done to prevent heroin abuse. Preventing heroin abuse starts with identifying high risk individuals early and improving opioid painkiller prescribing practices. When you visit the doctor, ask question about the the types of painkillers they may prescribe and seek opioid alternatives if you know you are at risk of drug abuse. Those with an opioid painkiller addiction are much more likely to abuse heroin. According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug use and Health, over 2 million people in the United States suffer from substance abuse related to prescription opioid pain relievers.
Encourage your loved ones to follow doctor’s instructions when being prescribed opioid painkillers to reduce the risk of abuse. If you suspect that a loved one may be struggling with opioid or heroin abuse, continue reading for information on how you can help them.
Know the Signs
Knowing the signs of Heroin Addiction is an important first step towards helping those you love.
If someone you love is expressing the following physical and behavioral signs, consider having a conversation with them about the changes you are noticing.
Physical Signs include pinpoint pupils, sleepy eyes, slurred speech, slow breathing, flushed skin, and needle marks. Look for Behavioral Signs like scratching, mood swings, the user spending large amounts of money on seemingly nothing, isolating behavior, refusal to eat, and a constant need to cover their arms.
Starting the Conversation
If you know someone struggling with heroin, you may be unsure about how to approach them to start a conversation about the problem.
Addiction may cause depression, and addicts often struggle to find help and support. Heroin abusers need help in their sobriety- showing your support will make all the difference.
When starting a conversation, be sure to avoid negative and confrontational dialogue. Do not focus on blaming the abuser or judging their behavior. Encourage them to seek treatment and reassure them that you will be there to support them. In treating a heroin addiction, professional treatment centers are very helpful and can easily be found on the ‘Treatment Centers’ portion of this website.
Remember that just because you offer your support to an abuser, that does not mean you are enabling their addiction to continue. Set clear boundaries while letting them know that you will support them as they find help to combat their heroin addiction.
Our website makes finding treatment centers in your area easy.
Visit our Treatment Center page.
Make sure to include the addict in conversations about what treatment center is appropriate for them. They will find greater success if they are happy with the treatment center you choose together. Offer to take them to appointments if you are able, or find another person who is able to help your loved one throughout the process. Every year, thousands of people are admitted to treatment centers for heroin usage. While heroin is extremely addictive, treatment is possible.
There are many types of treatment centers for you to consider. Outpatient treatment allows users to live at home and continue their daily tasks while they receive the help they need to overcome their addiction. Residential treatment centers allow the addict to live at a treatment location and focus solely on their treatment and recovery.
Heroin addiction is a lifetime struggle. It is important to realize that even after treatment, your loved one will still need your support.
Use our Resources page to find group meetings for your loved one to attend after treatment. Having others to share with who have lived though similar experiences can help your loved one in their road to ultimate recovery. Let them know that you are always available if they need support in the future. Most importantly, understand that the problem will not disappear overnight and that your loved one will need support and encouragement for many years. You do not have to face the problem alone. Find others who care for the person and, together, form a network of support that they can always turn to in times of need.