If you just found out that your child is addicted to heroin, your life probably just turned upside down. Once you get over the initial denial—where you refuse to believe that your child could possibly be an addicted—you'll need to do everything you can to help them overcome their addiction. Having said that, you need to understand that helping them overcome their addiction doesn't mean you can force them into recovery or do the hard work for them. Recovering from heroin addiction is something your child will need to do on their own. However, they will need your support and your encouragement. They may even need some tough-love along the way.
Now that you're on this road, here are some steps that will help you navigate the world when your child is addicted to heroin.
Do Your Research
If you don't know anything about heroin, or heroin addiction, it's time to start doing your research. If you're going to help your child through this, you'll need to know everything you can about it. That includes understanding those tell-tale signs that you might not have noticed before, such as the foil and spoons that your child always seems to have in their room. Those are their tools, and you'll need to keep track of things like that.
Learn the Signs of Withdrawal
If your child has reached a stage in their addiction where they can't live without heroin, they'll get sick each time their body is deprived for too long. That "dope sickness" or withdrawal will be very apparent once you know what you're looking for. To help your child, you'll need to learn the signs of withdrawal, which will include intense muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, insomnia, and uncontrollable sweats.
Reach Out to Others in Your Place
Your child is going to need professional help if they're going to overcome this addiction. However, you're going to need help too. Don't be afraid to reach out to others who are in your place. Support groups are designed to provide help, insight, and support for the families of heroin addicts. If you're not sure where to go, speak to your child's addiction counselor. They can help you get the support you need.
Don't Give Up
Now that you know your child is a heroin addict, don't give up. The road ahead of you is going to be long and hard, but your child is going to need your support. Talk to your child's heroin addiction treatment counselor for other tips on how you can help them overcome their addiction.