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Pre-addiction actions?

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  • Pre-addiction actions?


    I would be very grateful for some advice as I have had difficulty an answer to this question.

    A bit of back story: I recently found out that a friend of mine has been doing heroin (at least once). I'm not sure on the details but I think the first time he tried it would have been a little under 2 months ago. I don't know how many times he has done it since nor how frequently though I'm hopeful that it hasn't become a regular thing. He is already an alcoholic and has been doing various recreational drugs for a number of years. He's someone who has an in depth understanding of drugs and I'm worried that he's doing a drug with such a high addiction risk. He's been in a bad place for years, struggled with depression, keeping a job, feeling motivated and having healthy relationships.

    My question is this; how do I approach him about this when he has lied to me in the past about his alcohol and drug usage? How can I help him see that if he continues on this path it will only make his life worse? I feel like there is a very small window of opportunity to get him to rethink his choices before he ends up addicted and I don't know what the best way to convince him to not continue on this path.

    I would very much appreciate any advice on how speak to him in a non-patronizing way and to show him that he is supported by me and that I would love to help him in any way I can.

    For anyone who has struggled with addiction, can you think of anything that could have swayed you before you tried it or is there anything you would say to your past self at the point before you tried heroin to try help your past self understand what would be ahead of you?

    I hope this question isn't too invasive and I hope that someone is willing to share their advice on this post.

    Thank you for reading.

  • #2
    Mulan, i’m new here also but I read your post and can relate. I’m also on the other side of it because I am a recovering heroin addict. But my boyfriend has been sneaky and lied to me many times about his heroin use. When somebody lies, it’s hard to stay nice or positive and it makes me want to yell at him. But I know it’s better to stay calm. There’s really also nothing you can do to get someone to tell you the truth if they are lying to you. But in my experience, the less judgmental you are, the better of a chance you have of getting him or her to open up. The question is, then what? Will the person go to treatment if they admit it?

    I hope that things get better for you.



    • Mulan
      Mulan commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi Kirsten,

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and your advice. I can relate to the frustration of trying to be patient when someone chooses not to trust you. I'm sorry to hear that you're having a hard time with your boyfriend and I hope that things get better for you also. Your advice is good and I think patience and a willingness to listen and not judge will hopefully lead to more truth down the line.At the moment, all I know is that he has done it a couple of times and has said that he doesn't like it but had always wanted to try it. I don't know whether I am being naive by believing him or whether he is being naive by thinking that he would get addicted. I just don't know enough about how he actually feels nor the affects of heroin and I am trying to learn in order to be able to support him in a healthy way.

      I wish you all the best,

  • #3

    Welcome to our heroin addiction and recovery discussion forum. It looks like one of our other new members has given you some advice I thought I would chime in with my thoughts as well.

    Unfortunately, it is very common place for a man or a woman suffering from the disease of addiction, living in active addiction to lie, cheat, manipulate and steal all in the name of obtaining or using their drug of choice. And while some people do tell the truth, The truth is typically revealed after they are already clean and no longer using drugs. So unfortunately, you can’t necessarily trust somebody who is using drugs even if they are usually an honest person. The best thing to do to find out will be to look for signs that they are using a particular drug or attempt to catch them in the act of using. Even then, there’s nothing you can really do to convince them to get help and addiction treatment if they don’t want it. However, if they do want it, the time the active now because people suffering from addiction change their minds a whole lot.

    Going back to the previous point… That is, if and individual is using and doesn’t want treatment, other than encouraging them to get help and addiction treatment, the only thing you can really do is protect yourself and find support for you as well. Addiction is considered a family disease because inevitably, it affects everybody around that individual - especially immediate family like the spouse and children. if an individual is younger, then those more immediately affected would be the parents and siblings.

    I do encourage you to share some additional information about what’s going on now and perhaps if you tell us more specifically why you think he is using, such as signs and or symptoms you are seeing, we can give you some better insight. In the meantime, be careful regarding request for money or anything that may seem that he is trying to get drugs. Nobody will come out and tell you they want money for drugs so they will tell you they need or want money for something else. But be careful, you will most likely see signs of him asking for money more frequently if he is using. However, maybe he doesn’t ask, maybe he just takes from a joint accounts, so pay close attention to that.

    I look forward to your response.

    Peace and love,

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    • Mulan
      Mulan commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello William,

      Firstly thank you for your kind welcome. It was a relief to come across this forum and be able to get real people's experience-earned perspectives on this disease.

      I'm also very grateful for your advice and insight into the situation. My friend has admitted to taking heroin recently because he said it was always a drug he was curious about. He wasn't very forthcoming with the details but he said he did a few times but didn't get any more because he didn't enjoy the high. I'm not very familiar with heroin and I wasn't aware that it was possible to not enjoy it. I don't know whether to believe that he didn't like it or whether it was just the stigma that he didn't like. He's been doing opiates for years but irregularly as far as I am aware.This might be a silly question but is it possible that someone wouldn't enjoy the high the first time?

      I guess what I really would like to know is how do I convince him that heroin isn't a drug that should be experimented with. If in his mind, it's an experiment that he thinks he is in control of, how should I convince him to get some professional support while he holds this view. I'm afraid of coming off as condescending if I list off all the reasons as to why this is not a good idea.

      For the moment, there isn't much change in his personality but he has been unstable for some time and is suffering from alcoholism. He doesn't seem to be using when he is around me but I know that he has done it on his own while his parents were home. It seems like an odd way to try a new drug while you're hiding in your room on your own.

      I will take your advice on board and try to keep an eye out for the things you mentioned.

      Thank you again for taking the time to respond to my questions.

      All the best,

  • #4
    First and foremost is to look for the signs of using and get him help as soon as possible. It only takes one time to be addicted to heroin for some people and reading that he is an alcohlic and using other drugs he is at a high percentage of becoming addicted. Especially if he has been doing any opiates bc that is usually where they start and with getting presciptions for opiates harder to get and on the street they are outrageous prices and also hard to find they turn to heroin since it has a similar high and much cheaper and easier to get.I'm talking from my son's experience.He was in the hospital 3 times in one summer due to accidents on motorcycles and one for an emergency appendix surgery.. He got hooked on opiates during this time and by then he was full blown addicted and the withdrawals are not pleasant. The doctors cut him off and someone suggested he try heroin. It blew me away when I found out he was doing it,never in a million years would I suspect him and I was in denial for a long time until I saw how he was acting. I didn't know what to look for at first bc my other son is a meth addict and only knew the signs of that.He started staying out most of the night and then sleeping until 2 or 3 and then leaving to go get some more. He avoided me and would be gone all day. He started smoking it and then eventually went to shooting it up.His appetite which had been very good went to practically nothing.I could see him losing weight. He didn't shower or change his clothes for days. I could go on and on but get all the information you can on heroin addiction and learn the signs but do it soon. I have never heard of someone not liking the high from heroin the addict will do practically anything to get it when the withdrawals start and that is something else to look for. It is like the flu 10 x over. Also things will start disappearing, his TV, game consoles, tools, anything he can sell and if he has a job he will eventually lose it. There are many resources out there he can get help with but the supply is high in demand bc of the epidemic so hurry. I made the mistake of yelling and calling him a junkie bc I was so upset and disappointed at first and that just pushes them further into using. Just don't be judgmental and give him all your support but DO NOT enable that is the worse thing you can do. Tough love doesn't always work everyone is different. Good luck and find help for yourself bc it could be a long hard road ahead. Prayers and hugs.


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