As you’re probably well aware of, the United States is experiencing an opioid epidemic. Over the past 10 years, rates of addiction and instances of overdose and death have increased exponentially. Initially, the addiction crisis grew from a seemingly benign source: the mass production and distribution of prescription pain medication.
The Growing Cycle of Addiction
As regulations have increased, tightening the distribution of legal prescriptions such as OxyContin and Vicodin, a new and more deadly crisis has emerged. As a result of new regulations, patients unable to obtain prescription drugs are now turning to more dangerous and deadly alternatives on the black market – such as heroin and fentanyl, along with myriad other deadly synthetic opioids.
In 2016, there were more than 63,000 overdose deaths in the United States, including more than 42,000 that involved opioid abuse – marking an average of 115 overdose deaths each day. The sad reality is that each and every one of those deaths was preventable.
Addiction is a deadly, life-threatening disease, but is also proven to be effectively treatable. With a professional intervention and subsequent treatment, every one of those 63,000 lives could and should have been saved.
If your loved one is struggling with heroin or opioid addiction, it’s important to understand your options, to realize the immediacy of the situation, and to seek out professional help and guidance to ensure that your loved one gets access to the help and resources he or she deserves.
The Keys to an Effective Heroin Intervention
Don’t wait. As every minute of every day ticks by, your loved one is at a greater risk for serious physical injury, incarceration, lasting mental and emotional trauma, or death. Someone struggling with addiction does not have the capacity to make logical or informed decisions on their own. As a family member, if you truly care for your loved one, it is your responsibility to take the first step and seek treatment on their behalf.
The Dangers of Rock Bottom
For most heroin users, rock bottom only occurs when that individual is arrested, ends up in jail or prison, or tragically dies from an overdose. Don’t wait for your loved one to hit rock bottom before staging an intervention.
Seek Professional Guidance
A professional interventionist will be experienced in mediating and facilitating the safe and effective transfer of your loved one to a specialized treatment center of your choice. The interventionist will work with you and your family to develop a plan of action, exploring options for treatment such as detox, inpatient, outpatient and even long-term recovery management.
The interventionist can also help you navigate the potential costs and insurance coverage options in order to select a treatment program that best serves the needs of your family and loved one battling addiction.
Be Supportive and Understanding
Drug addiction is no one’s fault – not your family’s nor the individual’s. The more you can understand and empathize with your loved one, the more your actions and words come from a positive, caring and supportive place. This elicits a better chance of your loved one entering treatment and sticking to a long-term recovery plan.
Why You Need a Professional
As a family member, you just want to see your loved one get the help he or she needs. It’s life and death. As an individual struggling with addiction, your loved one is in a mental and emotional state that is likely unstable, unbalanced and potentially volatile.
The professional interventionist can take lead on convincing your loved one that he or she not only needs treatment, but that treatment will improve his or her life in the short run, and for years down the road.
After all, if your loved one were diagnosed with any other potentially terminal illness, your family wouldn’t attempt to solve the problem on its own; you would seek and follow the advice of a professional who specializes in this illness. Do the same when it comes to heroin addiction. Professional interventionists know the avenues to take to keep this disease from becoming fatal.
Do Not Persuade or Allow Your Loved One to Quit Cold Turkey
Abruptly ceasing heroin use can be deadly. The withdrawal symptoms are extremely painful and, when unmonitored or unmedicated, typically lead to acute relapse soon after usage is stopped. That relapse can be deadly, and the risk of overdose is increasingly higher, due to the level of pain that the sudden and unmonitored withdrawal is causing.
Before entering a heroin rehab program, the first step should be to place your loved one into a detox facility.
What Is a Heroin Detox Program?
Every heroin addiction treatment program begins with the detox phase. This phase of treatment can last a few days, or more than a week. As stated before, it is essential to seek treatment for your loved one, as opposed to persuading them to stop using on their own.
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for heroin addiction is an optimal strategy. If there are chronic pain issues at hand, or a co-occurring mental health diagnosis, medically assisted treatment is ideal. Detoxification is a medical process, and thereby should always be overseen by trained medical professionals in a heroin rehab facility.
A Professional Interventionist Has the Experience to Help Save Your Loved One’s Life
It a professional interventionist’s job to understand the various treatment models and outcome projections that different recovery centers offer. If your family member or loved one is struggling with finding heroin addiction help, allow a professional interventionist to guide you and your family through this critical first step.
It’s not okay to wait for your loved one to hit rock bottom – because they may already have. It’s not safe to wait for your son or daughter, husband or wife to realize on their own that treatment is necessary – because they may never come to that realization.
Rehab Programs for Heroin Addiction
An interventionist will help your family and loved one refine and select from the addiction treatment options covered by your insurance. An interventionist will serve as a mediator and ensure your loved one gets the immediate and long-term help he or she needs and deserves.