Many people in Florida have friends and family addicted to heroin. Unfortunately, it is all too common for them to remain silent, keeping the addiction an open secret. If you know someone who is addicted, they may be struggling to find a way out. An advocate might be just what they need to get into recovery.
It’s one thing to gossip, but it’s another to approach the person directly, to let them know that you are there for them. Destigmatizing the disease is a good first step. Use words that show you understand they are addicted to something rather than calling them an addict (which implies there is something fundamentally wrong with them).
Don’t enable their addiction, but be there to listen and offer to help with the difficult steps of making the call to get help when they’re ready.
It is easy to let emotions come too much into play during addiction, so keep in mind the powerful influence of the drug on a person’s decisions. That said, if a recovering person has a patient and loving advocate it helps a lot. Do what you can to educate yourself about all the symptoms of withdrawal and show empathy.
Be prepared for relapses, and recognize that you might have to establish boundaries where you back away from them if they cross. Don’t neglect your own mental health, and you may want to attend therapy and group work for yourself.
Since you know a lot about the recovering friend’s life, you are in a unique place to be able to help them create their new structure. Try to help find the triggering areas and people who might lead to a relapse and present a healthier solution.
If you want to find ways to help your addicted friend or family member, call us at (866) 238-9148.