Dealing with heroin addiction requires devotion and persistence. The best way to cope with addiction is to surround the addicted friend or family member with positive energy.
The key to unlocking the source of addiction is to understand its nature. Each family member and friend plays a crucial role in the recovery process. Affection, understanding and spending quality time with the addict aids recovery.
Aiding a loved one through the recovery process from heroin addiction requires a lot of time and effort. As such it’s of vital importance that caregivers care for themselves as well. If parties involved in the healing process neglect themselves they hinder the recovery process.
How can I tell if my friend or family is addicted?
Individuals suffering from addiction may not be strong enough to admit it and may be circling a mental whirlpool of doubt and self-denial. However, there are several signs of heroin addiction you can recognize and act on. Some are physical, others emotional and mental. It is imperative to take action immediately.
Pay attention to the following signs and act on them as soon as symptoms occur.
♦ Mood swings and changes in behavioral patterns.
♦ Lack of enthusiasm in daily life and activities.
♦ Neglecting responsibilities.
♦ Fierce or aggressive behavior.
♦ Withdrawal from loved ones and friends.
♦ Disinterest in appearance and grooming.
Keep an eye out for the following:
♦ Blurred, incoherent and repetitive speech.
♦ Speech usually sounds slurred.
♦ Sudden weight loss.
♦ Constant scratching or shivering.
♦ Stuffy/running nose.
♦ Glassy, reddish eyes.
♦ Scratches, marks or scars on arms and other places.
How You Can Help
Education is key. Equipping yourself with the right knowledge provides the tools and understanding necessary to diagnose and work with addiction. Knowing the science behind addiction provides a sense of comprehension and self-awareness. It averts the need to blame others for getting mixed up in addiction. These are both necessary and healthy steps to take in the process of curing addiction.
Acknowledge that your friend or family member needs help
Most of the time, people who suffer from addictions tend to see themselves as not having a problem. You must be honest and see the situation for what it is. Be careful as you approach the topic with the one in addiction. Be gentle and show willingness to help get them through their difficult time.
Enroll in family therapy sessions
The process of eradicating an addiction is never easy. Seeking professional counsel is a great way to stay on track. A good therapist bridges the rifts and acts as a catalyst in the healing process. He or she provides an opportunity for your family or friends suffering from heroin addiction to open up and truly express the way they feel. Without understanding the addict’s feelings, you may not know how exactly to tackle the addiction.
Many families and friends suffering through addiction tend to hide their true emotions. A therapist helps to diffuse the situation and any internal conflicts both you and the addicted party may be experiencing.
Family therapy sessions take time but they usually manage to unravel roots and underlying layers you may not have spotted. Accompanying your friend and/or family member to therapy provides moral support through this difficult time.
Stay in touch with hobbies
Going through addiction is a real downer. Getting the addict to participate in an activity they love provides a source of joy throughout the healing process. This provides a healthy and safe escape from negative thoughts and feelings.
Below are some physical activities that have been known to assist in the healing process.
♦ Soccer / any sport
♦ Creative arts and craft
♦ Time outdoors such as hiking or excursions.
Be positive and supportive during the process
Focus on the positive side of life and set out goals you can help your loved one accomplish. These act as a focus and encourage him or her to see the bigger picture. With enough positivity you change their often depressed and negative psyche into a more vibrant and positive one.
Be a caring friend. Don’t abandon them when they slip up. It is perfectly normal for occasional slip-ups. It is at this moment that a friend is extremely crucial to them. Be there to lift them when they fall.
Helping a friend out of heroin addiction is a process. Take the time to understand that your friend, family member or loved one needs you. Sufficient love, time and moral support will go a long way in helping them overcome their addiction.
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