4 ways heroin addiction affects you and your loved ones

Now it probably goes without saying that any serious drug addiction is more than likely to have negative consequences on various aspects of a person’s life. However, some drugs have a more dramatic effect on certain areas than others; this is partly due to the different physical effects that drugs have on the addicts but is also determined by their individual personality. Oftentimes these negative effects will cause friction between them and their close friends and family, which can often become another factor which pushes people into deeper addiction. 

One drug, in particular, has a reputation for not just being an extremely addictive substance, but also for the dramatic effect it has on both a person and his or her loved ones; we are of course talking about heroin. Heroin is regarded as one of the most addictive substances available to most addicts. Belonging to a family of drugs called “opioids”, prolonged heavy use causes many physical and psychological changes. All of these things end up affecting the people that the heroin addict cares about the most, so let’s examine a few of the individual factors which contribute to this.

1. Withdrawal Symptoms

One of the key aspects of many heroin addicts’ failure to stop using are the severe and uncomfortable physical and mental effects of heroin withdrawal. When a person who has been using heroin heavily for a prolonged period of time does not continue to take the drug, s/he begins to experience symptoms such as severe nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, hot and cold flushes, and severe itching to name just a few of the physical effects. There are also a number of psychological issues that can be experienced from paranoia and aggression all the way to visual and audio hallucinations. 

As can be imagined, nobody would want to see their friend or family member in such a state and most would have a natural inclination to try to help. The problem is that the aforementioned physical and psychological effects can be so severe that many addicts will refuse to even entertain the idea of recovery for fear of experiencing them. This unwillingness to give up the drug can cause frustration and anger in those trying to assist them as for a non-addict it can be hard to understand the compulsion to take heroin and consequences of not taking the drug.

A lot of what the factors we discuss in this article can be linked back to a heroin addict’s fear of withdrawal.

2. Finances

In order to feed their addiction, many heroin addicts will exhaust practically all of their financial spending power as their tolerance and compulsion to use grows. This is often compounded by the fact that many serious addicts are unable to hold down a job due to the physical and mental effects of both the drug and withdrawal. In many cases, if a heroin addict has no other alternative, they will sometimes resort to borrowing, begging and even stealing to fund their habit. Usually one of the first people that addicts turn to in this instance is close friends and family.

A common theme when talking to a heroin addict’s loved ones is the financial impact that their addiction has on their finances. It is not uncommon to hear stories of heroin addicts both borrowing large sums of money and lying about why they need it, or outright stealing money and other valuable items from their families. This leaves some families in an awful predicament as to whether to involve the authorities against their own family. This can also cause deeper resentment and trust issues between both parties in the future.

3. Isolation

As a person’s dependency on heroin grows, they often find themselves socializing less with their old friends and family members as they spend more time using. This is usually due to a fear of judgment from people they care about and is compounded further if they are trying to keep their addiction a secret. As such many begin to exclusively associate with other heroin addicts as they feel that they can relate and understand their struggle with the drug.

This prolonged and sometimes unexplained periods of non-contact with friends and family member can be hurtful, and they can end up resenting the fact that heroin seemingly has taken one of their family members away from them. As the negative effects of the drug become more and more apparent, and the periods of absence grow longer, it can become too much for a loved one to bear anymore and they will eventually vow to not communicate until they are committed to recovery. While the intentions behind this are usually good, the negative consequences of losing the people you care about can tip some addicts over the edge. 

4. Unwillingness to receive treatment

It must be said that quitting heroin is neither easy nor is it a laughing matter, heroin withdrawal can be extremely unpleasant, physically painful and sometimes even dangerous depending on the individual’s mental and physical health. This combined with their ever-increasing compulsion to use and easy access to the drug can lead to them fooling themselves into thinking that there is no reason to quit or attend drug rehabilitation.

However this unwillingness to help themselves by attempting some kind of recovery from their addiction will frustrate and anger their friends and relatives, who want the best for them. This can often cause division in the family as people run out of ideas to help them. Rather than placing such an onus on trying to push them into rehab, a better way to look at this is that an addict cannot be helped out of addiction until they accept their addictions and make a conscious decision to change their lifestyle.

If you or a loved one are struggling with heroin addiction and don’t know where to start when it comes to attempting to recover, Clarity Thailand is here to help. Simply call +66 64 492 2208 to speak with one of our qualified and experienced consultants.

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