Heroin addiction's impact on families can vary depending on which member of the family is addicted, how long the addiction has been going on, and many other different factors. But no matter what the circumstances are, the addiction can be devastating.
What is Heroin Addiction?
Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs available and Heroin addiction is a growing concern in our society. Those who are addicted to this dangerous and debilitating drug put themselves at risk for death and disease. One of the other unpleasant side effects is heroin addiction's impact on families.
Examining Heroin Addiction's Impact on Families
Dealing with a child's heroin addiction can be very difficult for parents. No matter how old the child is, parents want to protect their offspring and make sure they are on the right path. If you are a parent or guardian, and you have a child dealing with a heroin addiction, you will be subject to many different emotions-sadness, regret, anger, despair, confusion. It is important to remember that your child is feeling similar emotions, and will most likely turn to you-either directly or indirectly-for help. As difficult as it may be, you will need to be strong for your child. Parents who have an underage child suffering from a heroin addiction may find that they have more legal control over the situation. A parent can forcibly enter an underage child into a rehab or treatment program. For parents of an adult child, this could be much more difficult.
No matter how old your child is, you may want to consider seeking some form of outside help. Heroin is an extremely addictive drug; the recovery process can be long and arduous. You shouldn't have to travel this path alone.
When a parent is addicted to heroin, it can be very difficult for the children in the family. Children, especially younger children, may have a difficult time understanding why the parent can't stop taking heroin.
Children will often feel many of the same emotions a parent would feel if the child were addicted. Feeling of anger, despair, and confusion are extremely common and must be dealt with accordingly. It is important that the child understands it is ok to feel that way and that the addiction is not their fault.
Depending on the age of the child, it may be beneficial to make sure that they are included in the recovery process. This will make everything easier for the child to understand, and may even help the addict recover faster.
The Blame Game
As humans, we have one thing in common. When a problem crops up, one of our first instincts is to assign blame. When a child is addicted to heroin, parents often blame themselves. They may also blame the child, the child's friends, or the school system the child attended.
When a parent is addicted, children may blame themselves, thinking that is they did or didn't do something, everything would be different. In other cases, the child may become very angry with the parent, seeing the parent as the weak or irresponsible party.
Whatever the case may be, it is important to shy away from the blame game. Assigning blame will not make the problem go away, and in fact, may only make the problem worse. The important thing is that you move forward and find a way to deal with the actual problem at hand. People don't get addicted to drugs to hurt their families; the pain that is caused is merely one of the many unpleasant side effects of addiction.
If you want to learn more about heroin addiction's impact on families, there are many resources online that can be tapped. If you live in or near a large city, you may also want to consider looking into a community outreach program. There are many different non-profit organizations that can help your family come together again.