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Dealing with Someone who Uses Heroin/A Heroin Abuser/A Heroin Addict

Abstract: You should help a heroin user/addict, but you must draw the line somewhere.

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Dealing with Someone who Uses Heroin/A Heroin Abuser/A Heroin Addict

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Written by: Wendy Moelker, Psychologist in charge, tutor, Emergis center for mental health care, Goes, the Netherlands.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 24 Jul 2008.

How to deal with someone who uses heroin? Recommend dealing with a heroin abuser/addict.


On the one hand, you should make clear that you always want to help; on the other hand, you should draw a line somewhere. It is necessary to talk with the user about his problems and to help him find assistance, but it is even more necessary to draw the line somewhere: don't go any further than you want to. Also, you shouldn't try to solve any problem for a drug user, but make him/her do it him/herself. Especially if there is still a chance to kick the habit, it is important that the user experiences the problems that are caused by his addiction. Only that can motivate the user to kick the habit. If you solve all his problems, he may think that things are not so bad and that he can keep on using. Try to motivate the user to get help. It is not very helpful to keep on nagging about the drug use. Try to convince the user to think more positively about himself, and try to convince him that he has a bright future ahead. It can also help to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of drug use and hopefully get to the point where the user starts to realize that it is not worth it.

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