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Relapsing Heroin Addict?

Discussion in 'Heroin' started by twinworkxwellv, Jun 14, 2015.

  1. I think my good friend has started to snort heroin again.
    Just by the way he is acting all over again.
    What should I do?
    And what are some of the symptoms?
  2. Totalarmordestine

    Totalarmordestine Senior Contributor

    How did he get over his addiction the first time around?
    You should sit down with him and have a chat and explain to him that you're honestly worried and that you are there for him no matter what
    People take drugs to hide their emotions and other hurts in their lives
  3. tarverten

    tarverten Senior Contributor

    My ex husband was an addict too. I made him seek treatment before we married and he is on Methadone. It is a hassle too but it is legally prescribed. There is not much you can do besides that if rehabs don't work for him.
  4. blastguardgear

    blastguardgear Senior Contributor

    some of the symptoms are: sweating, very small pupils, "nodding" (they just seem to fall asleep doing whatever it is that they may do doing at the time), blueish lips.....
    now, what should you do?? i suppose you should try to talk to him. kinda like an intervention. let him know how you feel about it.
    rightct likes this.
  5. thepieeatingjay

    thepieeatingjay Senior Contributor

    As a mental health professional with 20+ years experience, now retired, much of my practice which was involved in alcohol and other drug abuse and dependence, I must advise you that at some time, and often times sooner than many people want to, you must allow the person to "sink or swim" on their own. Many rehab programs say that dealing with addictions is not a matter of will, but then, as you read further down the small print, you find that they say the very revealing words: "Of course, the success or failure of the individual in our program depends on their level of participation and adherence to the program". In more readable words, what they're saying is EXACTLY what they said wasn't true, that the success or failure of an individual in dealing with their addiction IS a matter of will, THEIR will, and others can't keep running around trying to rescue them from their relapses. Those that do, like yourself, are called co-dependents, and aren't helpful to the addicts success, but help in their failure. So, you can worry about his symptoms and what you "should do" now, and every successive time he relapses, and wear yourself out on an endless downward spiral of addiction, or you can drop him until he very successfully achieves sobriety over a specified period of time. One thing you each may find is that you don't need each other, because that's what an addiction relationship is, a NEED, rather than a WANT. You may find you don't need him anymore, and you may finally realize it's a NEED you've been addressing in ya'll's relationship, and he may discover he doesn't NEED you either. As tough as that sounds, at least you have the opportunity to find a relationship you and your partner WANT, as opposed to NEED.
    Danyell likes this.
  6. shadowsupernature

    shadowsupernature Senior Contributor

    Okay- first, symptoms:
    If you think your friend is using heroin, you need to ask yourself if you think he's using b/c he's showing signs of it, or b/c you haven't been able to trust him since he first quit. Either way is totally understandable, but you need to ask yourself that before you go to him, b/c if it isn't the case, and you're just still dealing with trust issues, you might break his.
    Actual symptoms of use: nodding out; nodding off while talking, eating, etc. Burning things if he smokes from nodding out, like his clothes or the carpet or whatever, from dropping the ciggs. Look for pinned pupils, track marks, (if he's shooting), moodiness or weight loss. You might notice he's no longer on time to anything, or hard to get in touch with.
    Symptoms of withdrawal:
    Painkillers, in particular- we're talkling medications/pills used to relieve pain; not sedatives, uppers, etc. Pain pills, like darvon, vicodin, demerol, loracet, oxycodone and dilaudid, are all derived from the poppy plant- and are therefor, opiates.
    Opiates, like the pills, and heroin, cause a physical addiction to them- after frequent usage, your body realizes that you're putting synthetic endorphins into your system (endorphins are feel-good chemical's your brain releases naturally in times of pain, shock, etc).
    The body is an extyremely efficient machine, and therefor, will not waste it's energy adding endorphins when you've already supplied them.
    however, when and opiate addict quite- stops taking the meds, cold turkey; they suddenly go through what's called "accute" withdrawl- due to the lack of these chemicals.
    It takes the body time to start producing it on it's own again. Accute withdrawl lasts anywhere from 3-14 days; and the symptoms are similar to the flu, except about ten times worse.
    Opiate addicts will not die from this, but most often, they will be given another narcotic medication to wean them down from the illegal substance they were using, to ease the withdrawl- the physical side affects are so severe, it's almost impossible for an addict to resist the urge to go out and use again.
    Once the accute with drawl wears off, and the body is sufficiently producing it's own endorphins again, the addict still goes through the chronic, long term withdrawl side effects- while no where near as severe as the accute, they are still unpleasant. Many addicts find they are unable to sleep for several months.
    Methadone is another form of treatment- it is an opiod- a synthetic form of the opiate- that is given daily to addicts to keep them from going into withdrawls, without getting them high. However, should you stop using the methadone, you will go through withdrawl again.
    Most drugs do not cause physical withdrawl symptoms as severe as opiates- in fact, alcohol is really the only other substance that can cause sever withdrawls.
    Painkillers, prescribed or obtained illegally are all addcitive. Heroin was invented in the early 1900's when the government was looking for a cure for morphine addiction- many soldiers who were injured during the war became addicted. Heroin however, turned out to be more addictive. Heroin itself, once injected/used, converts into morphine within a few seconds of being in your body.
    So, if you start noticing symptoms of withdrawl, it's a pretty good indication: runny nose, pupils are dialated, he may complain of hot and cold sweats, have goosebump, muscle spasm in his legs. be unable to sit still or seems restless; basically, any syptom you see with the flu.

    Now- 2- What should you do?
    Talk to him. Not preach, not *****, not threaten- talk. I'm a recovering heroin addict; i've been sober for almost 7 years now with methadone, and before that, i used for ten. In the spiral of my addiction, I lost my family, my friends, my home, my car, my stability, my jobs; I contracted hepatitis C, lost the love of my life to an overdose, and overdosed myself twice. Every one of those milestones, and a few others i won'[t even bring up, made me want to quit. But the bottom line is, I didn't really quit until I was ready. My parents shoved me into rehabs; i checked myself halfheartedly into detoxes, and I spent some time in jail, but none of the imposed methods ever stuck for me- I might have had a few weeks, or even months clean, but it never lasted, b/c I wasn't ready to make the change. it sounds cliche, but it's the truth.
    He's not using to hurt you or anyone else; odds are, he doesn't even know what it's doing to you- and he won't, until he's ready, and he gets himself clean, and then he's going to need you more than ever, b/c suddenly all those years of **** ups are going to come crashing down on him, except this time he won't be numb from the dope anymore, and it's going to matter to him.
    I watched my best friend police her fiance when he became addicted- she checked up on him thirty times a day, kept his money and doled it out like an allowance, forcing him to bring her the receipts- and every time he got caught, she'd flip out, berate him, scream at him- she never could understand that IT WASN"T ABOUT HER. It never is.
    I'm not saying let him go do it without so much as a nod- you need to talk to him, you need to tell him how you feel and why you're worried, and offer to help him- but at the end of the day, it's going to be up to him.
    For the record, snorting has no effect on the level of addiction either, so if yu think it's not such a big deal b/c he isn't shooting, you're wrong.
    There's a lot of treatment options out there, and what works for some people doesn't work for others- it's all trial and error. The first thing he needs to do is get himself detoxed, and when he has, he needs to get into a esidential rehab- not an outpatient one, but one he lives at for a few months while he tried to clear his head. Addiction doesn't stop when the detox is over- it's a long term, never ending effort he will have to make his entire life.
    If he has been through a lot of detoxes and residential programs, and they didn't work, then it may be time to consider methadone.
    If he's ready for some help, try to get in touch with your county board for alcohol and drug addiction, and have him schedule an assesment. Every county has one, and there's even funding if he's broke.
    I wish you the best of luck with this. If you need help, or he needs help, feel free to email me anytime, and i'll try to answer any questions you have, or tell you about the different types of treatment in further detail.
    Love and light
    Frap likes this.
  7. Kwall

    Kwall Member

    As a person dealing with addiction of a loved one, I thank you for this post. Sincerely, I really needed this.
  8. rightct

    rightct Community Champion

    Those are pretty much the symptoms, yeah. But just a quick note... if he doesn't want to be helped, don't force it. It must come from him and only him. You'd only be counterproductive if you tried too hard.
    Frap and deanokat like this.
  9. pstrong1969

    pstrong1969 Community Champion

    Ive relapsed on Heroin so many times. Just ask your friend if he is. You value your friendship and if your wrong so be it, if your right you should suggest he get help. I had to go to rehab to get off Heroin. Good Luck.
  10. bsthebenster

    bsthebenster Community Champion

    Maybe let him know that you're worried and leave it at that. It can be hard to understand how messed up you are without someone telling you. But as I've said many times before, don't nag him. If anything, that'll probably make the problem worse.
  11. vegito12

    vegito12 Community Champion

    I know someone who had relapsed and the symptoms I noticed were slurring and also the eyes looked like a different color and also, the person would forget things at times, which would be shocking to see the person having different mood swings. I think all you can do is talk to the person and tell them you are there for them and also, try and have a conversation and may take time to talk about the problem and also be positive at times. I think the person can be feeling depressed and also this can cause the person to be stressed, and also can feel like they are letting others down which can be a feeling to let go of.
  12. Jack Wallace

    Jack Wallace Senior Contributor

    Whеn yоu’rе еxpеriеnсing withdrаwаl, оr if yоu аrе еvеn а fоrmеr usеr, thоughts оf rеlаpsе саn оссur. Thеsе сrаvings mаy bе physiсаl, еmоtiоnаl, оr psyсhоlоgiсаl dеpеnding оn thе situаtiоn, аnd саn саusе а pеrsоn tо fаll viсtim tо thе drug аgаin. Sо, hоw dо yоu prеpаrе fоr thе inеvitаblе urgеs?

    Knоw yоur triggеrs. Lеаrn tо idеntify situаtiоns, things, pеоplе, аnd еmоtiоns thаt саusе yоu fееl thе urgе tо usе. Dоеs аlсоhоl mаkе yоu wаnt tо usе? Whеn yоu fееl dеprеssеd, аngry, оr sаd, dо yоu fееl likе using mоrе thаn whеn yоu аrе hаppy оr еxсitеd?

    Сut tiеs with nеgаtivе influеnсеs. Sоmеtimеs friеnds саn bе grеаt аlliеs in gеtting sоbеr but оthеr timеs, thеy саn bе оur wоrst еnеmiеs. In yоur quеst tо аbstаin frоm hеrоin, аrе yоu still hаnging оut with friеnds whо usе оr try tо соnvinсе yоu tо usе? Thе lеss nеgаtivе influеnсеs аrоund, thе bеttеr yоur сhаnсеs fоr suссеss.

    Try grоup mееtings. Grоup suppоrt sеssiоns саn bе а grеаt wаy tо fееl саmаrаdеriе during this hаrd timе. Yоu mаy fееl lоst оr аlоnе, but thеsе grоups аnd thе pеоplе yоu’ll mееt аt thеm саn hеlp yоu tо оvеrсоmе yоur аddiсtiоn аnd prеvеnt rеlаpsе.
  13. remnant

    remnant Community Champion

    It is unfortunate that your friend has relapsed. A big number of addicts relapse when they realize that they cannot face the reality of life which might have caused them to become addicts in the first place. This in addition to cravings ensnares many former addicts. Some symptoms that one is abusing heroin are sudden change in behaviour; incoherent or slurred speech;wearing sleeves and long pants to hide needle marks even in hot weather; weight loss; runny nose and abcesses as well as infections at injection sites. It is important for your friend to visit a rehab centre. Another strategy to defeat a relapse is to develop a habit that will occupy the vacuum left by their addiction. This will contribute to summoning enough willpower to quit.