Heroin addiction continues to plague the modern society and the battle to control the supply of the drug is fierce. Even though some still slip through the cracks, and the population of individuals combatting heroin addiction keeps surging. There are millions of people that are addicted to heroin, and they suffer seriously based on the addiction.

Heroin is a narcotic from the opioid family. This means that it has a psychoactive drug with a numbing effect and sleep induction ability. The danger it poses to the public is mainly its addictive effects. This occurs as it takes away the willpower and capacity to stop or live a healthy life by making some changes in the brain, leading to dependence on the drug. The pleasure and ecstasy felt from taking the drugs are tempting and massive, the addiction may ensue only over a period of days or weeks depending on the individual. In situations when the person wants to stop, withdrawal symptoms occur even if the individual does not notice and attributes it to stress or other infections.

It has been proven that a person can be addicted after taking heroin for three days consecutively either through smoking, intravenous injection or by snorting. If the person does not return to it after these number of days, they will experience some level of withdrawal which vary from person to person and some people in this instance may merely result to further use which reinforces the addiction.

According to a research, which was carried out in 2017, by Carson McPherson, Holly Boyne and Dr. Robert Willis, on the role of family and loved ones in the treatment of the addicts in their homes, they explored the impact of the involvement of a family member or friend or even spouses in the rehabilitation process, and they discovered a remarkable rise in the rate of completing the exercises in the tune of about 10%, an incredible result compared to the cases of those that did not have their relatives or family members involved.

The study employed the use of information from about two hundred and seventy-four patients. They were admitted into the residential addiction treatment program, then further separated into groups of the family assisted and those without the participation of relatives or loved ones. The criteria of measurement were primarily based on the successful completion of the program by the patients through the spectrum of diverse characteristics.

The good news is that as many people are getting addicted to this drug despite the efforts to prevent the circulation of the drug, people that have been addicted are also fighting to get out of the addiction and they are succeeding. Many rehabilitation centers are turning up numbers of patients who have successfully achieved recovery and sobriety. There are rehab centers that present success rates as high as 70% of patients who have been able to fight their cravings. Moreover, there are cases of relapse of a much lower rate of relapse of about 25%, but they do not stop trying, and eventually, those cases are also converted into success rates with periods of remission.

Based on research, scientists discovered that significant successful completion and no re-presentation (SCNR) were seen in about one-fifth of the participants in an experiment. They observed that heroin and crack cocaine abusers compare to those who used heroin alone exhibited an adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 0.90 and 95% confidence interval (CI) of 0.85–0.95. The results in elderly patients as recorded gave the adjusted odds ratio of 1.09 and confidence interval level of 1.07–1.11, and in people that were gainfully employed, the adjusted odds ratio was recorded at 1.27 with confidence interval as 1.18–1.37, with patients, admitted for a much more extended period of treatment shown to have better chances of attaining the desired outcome measure.

How to Help a Heroin Addict overcome Addiction

The primary tool in helping those addicted to Heroin is to understand the way heroin works and heroin addiction itself. Then, gently approach the person and note that they may deny but make an effort to be reassuring or seek professional help in addressing the issue adequately. Also, assure the person of giving your continual support throughout the recovery process.

Helping heroin addicts entail the eliminating their dependence on the drug. It is essential to make it a gradual process because of the addiction to have occurred a particular alteration has happened in mind, and that needs correcting. The feeling of reward, pleasure, satisfaction, and the anticipation that comes with taking the drugs has to be replaced simultaneously as the quantity of the heroin they are using is being reduced. This systematic reduction is vital in managing the heroin withdrawal symptoms that follow, and some of these symptoms are anxiety, muscle cramps, fever, nausea, vomiting, heroin cravings, and in severe cases the patient may be entertaining suicidal thoughts.

One of the ways addicts are helped to get to sobriety and remission is by the Outpatient treatment programs. The primary benefit this program offers is the affordability, although it requires the resolve of the patient to stop and steadfastness in returning for sessions. This can be very challenging for people, and that is why success rates are much lower compared to that of inpatient heroin rehabilitation centers. However, the program has worked in some patients, and it has helped them to achieve a remarkable state of recovery, but it is not readily recommended for patients with heroin addiction.

Another mode of attaining remission and fighting addiction is the inpatient rehab programs, and they have recorded outstanding results in patients that participate in the programs. The challenge may be due to the costliness, but they are instrumental as they can monitor the patient closely. The benefits are numerous; the addict does not get to be mixed with friends or people that are of bad influences and even when tempted or having the cravings or urges, they do not have the means or avenue to get their hands on the substance. This gives them the opportunity to focus all their attention on getting rehabilitated.

An added advantage is the communal fellowship that the patients form and enjoy in the inpatient programs. They can support each other and encourage themselves as they all vibe with the same intention. This bond of friendship and community transcends the environment of the rehab and still perform the role of preventing relapse in the outside world after sobriety has been achieved.






Eastwood, B., Strang, J., & Marsden, J. (2017). The effectiveness of treatment for opioid use disorder: a national, five-year, prospective, observational study in England. Drug & Alcohol Dependence176, 139-147.

American Addiction Centers. (2017). How to Help a Heroin Addict Overcome Addiction. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Mar. 2018].

Griffin, T. (2017). How to Help Someone Overcome a Heroin Addiction. [online] wikiHow. Available at: [Accessed 6 Mar. 2018].

McPherson, C., Boyne, H., & Willis, R. (2017). The role of the family in residential treatment patient retention. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction15(4), 933-941.

Rehab International. (n.d.). Heroin Rehab Statistics. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Mar. 2018].