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How can I help my friend who has a strong heroin addiction?

by Donna

Hello,

I am very concerned about a friend of mine with a strong heroin addiction. Is there help on the NHS? I don't think he would choose to seek help so what can I do? It's heart breaking he is such a lovely man.

Thank you!

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He needs to detox, get treatment and go to 12 step meetings daily.
by: Debbie Wicker

Dear Donna,

Heroin addiction is a disease of the brain, which is often fatal if left untreated. Your friend needs first to detox and get the heroin totally out of his system. That usually takes 3-4 weeks. He can go to a doctor and get Suboxone to help reduce the negative withdrawal symptoms.

He also likely needs to go into a treatment program for at least 30 days to understand his addiction and learn how to live without using heroin. I'm not sure is your NHS will cover this but hopefully it will.

Finally, he needs to start going to 12 step meetings DAILY for 90-120 days to break the connection he has to heroin. He has to decide he wants to regain his life back and then go through the entire process. Hopefully he is willing to do these things, but if not his addiction will get worse and he is likely to end up either in jail or dead.

You need to try to get him into treatment but avoid covering for him in any way. It's hard to do but it's what is best for him. He needs to experience the full consequences of his addiction in order to get to the point that he is willing to go into treatment.

Debbie

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