Heroin is a powerfully addictive opioid narcotic drug made from the opium poppy. Heroin is similar to many opioid drugs such as morphine, but it is illegal because it is dangerous in any form. Heroin can take many forms, from a white powder to a dark, tar-like substance, and it is commonly snorted, smoked or injected. Heroin by itself can cause a serious addiction and even death. Heroin that is injected also increases serious health risks such as transmission of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C.
Heroin Addiction Facts
- Every time a person takes heroin, that person runs the risk of death. Because heroin varies in color and texture so often, there is no way to tell how pure or strong any given dose of heroin is.
- Some people mistakenly believe that only heroin injections cause addiction. Taking heroin in any form can cause immediate addiction.
- Heroin becomes less effective the longer a person takes it, causing individuals take larger and larger doses in order to feel satisfied.
- Over time, heroin stops producing the feelings of pleasure a user initially experienced. The user will simply be severely addicted and still not feel any of the formerly pleasurable sensations heroin once brought.
Side Effects of Heroin
Side effects of heroin can be life-threatening and may include:
- Difficulty breathing, sometimes to the point of death
- Digestive issues such as constipation, vomiting and nausea
- Dulled emotions, slow response, decreased mental function
- Memory and cognition problems, personality changes
- Liver disease, internal abscesses and infection of the heart
For families and loved ones, the effects of a heroin addiction can be devastating. Watching a loved one lose interest, become hostile or apathetic, and exhibit strange behavior can be challenging for any family. Because heroin addiction can progress quickly, many individuals do not realize they have a problem. When heroin addicts are confronted about their addiction, they may become angry, deny the addiction, or worse. For this reason, many families opt to stage an intervention for their loved one.
The Importance of an Intervention
How to Have a Heroin Intervention with a Family Mediator
A heroin intervention is a carefully planned gathering of friends, family and a family mediator. The group confronts the addicted individual who is in denial. The purpose of an intervention is to show the addicted person that he or she is loved and cared for, but that the consequences of heroin abuse use have taken their toll on the addict as well as loved ones and it is time to accept treatment.
Because interventions can be highly emotional process, many people choose to hire a professional interventionist or family mediator to assist in the planning, gathering and emotional strain of an intervention. A good interventionist can also help you find the best treatment for your loved one.
Whether you choose to hire an interventionist or not, the following are some tips you can use to set up an intervention:
- Research and Investigate Your Options: Read about interventions, decide whether or not to hire an interventionist.
- Make an Action Plan: Work out all of the details and form a solid plan for the intervention from beginning to end.
- Pre-Intervention Meeting: Meet with key loved ones who would be influential in persuading the heroin addict to change. Plan out the actual intervention with them, step-by-step. It is best not to include children in interventions unless approved by a child psychologist. Do not let the addicted person know that you will be having an intervention.
- Intervention Meeting: This is a loving but firm meeting in which the close friends and family come together to confront the addict person, share issues surrounding the heroin abuse and addiction, and encourage the person to receive treatment. The goal is to have the addicted individual leave to attend treatment as soon as possible, before the person can change his or her mind.
- Treatment: If your loved one accepts treatment, it is very important to have treatment lined up beforehand. The addicted person will need to go to treatment immediately. A good interventionist can set this up beforehand or you may be able to do it yourself.
- Post Intervention Care: This includes ongoing care for the addicted person and services for the family as well.
Heroin Intervention Help
If you would like to learn more about the intervention process, including tips on how to find a reputable interventionist or family mediator, please call us at 855-315-4777. We have trained experienced counselors on hand to answer any questions you may have about heroin addiction, treatment, and intervention. Heroin addiction can become deadly at any moment—call today.