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How to Help a Family Member Addicted to Heroin

Surprisingly, about 1 million Americans use heroin, despite its many unpleasant effects and long-term use leading to insomnia, lung problems, collapsed veins, etc. Besides the increasing number of adults using heroin, heroin is also becoming a big problem in schools. Your grade school child may not be an exception.

Reports by NIDA in 2021 gave the following estimates for grade school children who reported using heroin in the past year;

  • 0.2% of 8th graders

  • 0.1% of 10th graders

  • 0.1% of 12th graders


If a family member struggles with heroin, it is hardly their problem alone. Your whole family is affected either directly or indirectly; most of the time, the effects completely alter your lives. You may seek professional help at Rolling Hills Recovery Center for much-required treatment options.

How Did Your Loved One Become Addicted to Heroin?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), nearly one out of every four people who use heroin will develop an addiction. When your loved one uses heroin, they may argue that it makes them feel comfortable, relaxed, detached, and less anxious. As a potent sedative, heroin also has analgesic properties, easing physical and mental aches and pains.

Contingent on the quantity and method of administration, the effects of this drug can appear fast and linger for several hours. As soon as you inject or smoke heroin, it causes an immediate rush of euphoria and induces an altered state of consciousness.

Bloating, nausea, and respiratory distress are all side effects of heroin usage, in addition to the pain alleviation and sedation it provides. Using it for an extended period may cause physical dependence and, thus, addiction.

If you are smoking or snorting heroin, you are likely to inject it. Injections are a more efficient form of administering the substance but are also riskier. Many people turn to injections to achieve the stronger sensations they experienced when they first started using the drug. They may not understand that heroin can set a dangerous and fatal use pattern in motion.

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Anytime, day or night, you may call us at Rolling Hills Recovery Center at 855-559-8550. We'll work with you to find the best treatment plan.


Medically Reviewed:


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Expert Contributor

Dr. Williams presently serves on the board of Directors for two non-profit service organizations. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Services from Lincoln University, Philadelphia, Pa, and a Ph.D. with a concentration in Clinical Psychology from Union Institute and University. In Cincinnati, Ohio. He is licensed to practice addictions counseling in both New Jersey and Connecticut and has a pending application as a practicing Psychologist in New Jersey.

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The Impact of Heroin on Your Family

Your family is one of the most important gifts you can ever have. The family gives you a sense of belonging and vice versa. This may change when you are using drugs, including heroin. When you are addicted to heroin and other substances, your family is affected in many ways, including;

How Your Addiction Affects Your Children

According to SAMHSA, 1 in 8 children grow up with at least one parent who uses drugs and alcohol; it’s worse for your children if you are a single parent because your child has no one else to turn to. When you are addicted to heroin, you may be too busy seeking and using the substance.

You may often be unable to provide for your child’s basic needs, such as food, a home, education, or even keeping the child clean and secondary conditions, such as social life. This distracts you from your responsibilities to your child. Your child’s mental and social development is compromised since you are more likely to abuse the child due to your heroin addiction.

Loss of Trust

The inability to meet your obligations due to the strains of heroin addiction will likely cause you to lose your marriage and make it hard to bond with your children. Your family may lose trust in you since your SUD may not allow you to keep the promises you make to them. Later in life, this loss of confidence leads to dysfunctional children.

Rolling Hills Recovery Center offers free 24/7 heroin addiction support. Call today and confidentially speak with our addiction specialists at 855-559-8550.

Increased Stress

When you neglect your obligations to your family, these obligations are transferred to your partner. The strain causes repeated stress, leading to health conditions such as high blood pressure.

Financial Problems

Addiction will likely make you lose your job, and you may turn to your savings to continue feeding your addiction. You may also have legal bills after being arrested for driving under the influence or committing crimes to support your habit. This causes financial strain on your family, making buying basic needs like food almost impossible.

Your children are likely to struggle with few to no household resources leading to lower social and economic status since you have spent all the money on heroin and other substances.

Physical and Emotional Abuse

You may become aggressive after using heroin. Heroin may also make you irritable for no valid reason. You may also be a physical abuse victim or physically and emotionally abusing others.

Treatment at Rolling Hills Recovery Center

So, What Can You Do To Help?

Finding out that your child or spouse is addicted to heroin comes with much disappointment, and your reaction may include; being upset, frustrated, angry, argumentative, or scolding them. However, all this does not solve the problem since the addiction won’t disappear. The following interventions and treatment options offered at Rolling Hills Recovery Center will help your loved one’s journey toward recovery.

Educate Yourself

Learning and understanding the how, why, and when your loved one became addicted in the first place could go a long way in helping them recover. Educating yourself on how heroin has affected the person you love is essential.

Understanding the psychological and physical issues that led to their addiction and what may be fueling it is also crucial. Educating yourself gives you the upper hand in recognizing the early signs of substance use.

Stop Enabling Their Addiction

Suppose your child or significant other is an addict. They are using the money you give them for gas, food, etc., to finance their addiction. In that case, chances are they cannot fund their habit independently since keeping a job is never easy.

Your ability to pay rent means they have a roof over their heads; asking them to contribute to the rent makes them want to sober up. Making them aware that they cannot use drugs in your house also makes them want to recover sooner rather than later for fear of homelessness.

Questions About The Rehab Process?

Our goal is to provide valuable and up-to-date information on addiction treatment.

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There are thousands of drug rehabs to select from, making it challenging to choose which is suitable.

Addiction treatment is essential; many methods exist to help pay for drug and alcohol rehab-associated costs.

There is a cost associated with drug rehabilitation, but the advantages of seeking care are worthwhile.

Create Strong Boundaries

Everyone else is affected when a family member is addicted to heroin or any other substance. Unfortunately, you can not isolate the person; therefore, creating and upholding boundaries that protect you and your loved ones is essential.

For example, not allowing the use of drugs in your house and not allowing their drug buddies into your home; when these conditions come with consequences and are upheld, the person using drugs may be helped by staying away from their peers who encourage the SUD.


Involve Every One In The Family

As much as you are educated about addiction and your loved one’s problem, the other family members also need this knowledge. This is important in maintaining your established boundaries; it also helps ensure that no one in the family is enabling their addiction.

It may only take a single uninformed person to enable their habit. Try and empower everyone with information about your loved one’s addiction and also how you are helping them recover.

Encourage Them To Get Treatment

Admitting that you have an addiction problem can be challenging. Still, with the help of family members and close friends, you will likely recognize the problem sooner. Treatment and recovery go hand in hand. You must support your loved one and encourage them to enroll at a treatment facility.

The government collaborates with health insurance providers to cover this type of treatment. Also, it provides helpful resources to help you learn about substance use treatment and the facilities near you.


Rolling Hills Recovery Center Is Here For You. Verify Your Insurance Today.

A patient navigator is ready to help. Our team of dedicated professionals are here to help 24 hours a day.



The support you give a family member struggling with heroin addiction determines when and how soon they recover. It would be best if you were firm in helping them realize that the addiction has taken over their life. They must work towards treatment to recover fully and improve their quality of life. Contact us today at Rolling Hills Recovery Center for your recovery journey.

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How did your loved one become addicted to heroin?
The impact of heroin on your family
So, what can you do to help?

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