The Effectiveness of Interventions for a Heroin Addict

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Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Watching someone you care for struggle with an addiction to heroin can be an excruciating experience. Heroin can single-handedly destroy everything you knew to be true about a person you love and care for, including the very relationship that you may share with them.

The struggle with a heroin addiction is a physical, mental, emotional and psychological power with a substance that can alter the existence of living.

The Physiological and Psychological Complexities of Heroin Abuse

When under the influence of heroin, a person experiences physiological and psychological changes that perpetuate the vicious cycle of addiction. An individual addicted to heroin will continue to seek out this powerful drug however possible in order to continue experiencing the false sense of euphoria and sedation that is often induced.

Even in the face of crushing consequences, even the risk of fatality, a person battling an addiction to heroin cannot simply stop the behaviors engaged in habitually.

Watching Abuse as an Outsider

As an outsider, it can be frustrating and painful to watch someone you care for destroy him or herself with an addiction to heroin. You may have tried futilely to intervene and help your loved one disengage from their dangerous lifestyle.

Professional help is often needed to assist someone through the recovery process from addiction. As a family member or friend of a loved one, how to get them to move towards recovery?

Getting the Process Started with an Intervention

people-378037_640An intervention can be a helpful way to intercede for a loved one who is struggling with a heroin addiction. An intervention is a professionally directed education process resulting in a face to face meeting of family members, friends, employer, etc. with the person battling an addiction to heroin1.

An intervention is intended to assist a person in making a connection between their use of heroin and the problems they may be facing in their life with the purpose of leading them towards help1. Interventions led by professionals who are specialized in this area have been show to help over 90 percent of addicts make a commitment to receiving help and treatment1.

Finding Professional Guidance

If you have a loved one who has been struggling with a Heroin addiction, consider reaching out for professional guidance for an intervention. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence and other affiliate groups can offer additional guidance and support for you, your family, and your loved one dealing with a Heroin addiction1.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

Have you participated in an intervention for a loved one that was a heroin addict? How was this effective in helping a person you care for seek out help and treatment for their addiction behaviors?


  1. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. “Tips and Guidelines for Proper Intervention”. Accessed 10 July 2015.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on July 17th, 2015
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