Friends and family

Woman supports heroin-dependent partner

How can you know if your loved one is dependent on heroin?

It is not always easy. Some people might experiment with drugs for a while without becoming dependent. Others might show drastic behaviour changes or other signs that leave no doubt and still others might continue to function in what appears to be a normal way while hiding their problem from their friends and family. If you are worried about your loved one and their heroin/opioid use, educating yourself about if it is a problem and the things they could do may help you see things more clearly.

Although there are many recovery options available today, there is no quick cure or magic pill to solve the problem overnight. Increasing your own understanding of why it takes time to address heroin dependence and why the journey can be difficult will help you better understand the process and, if you choose to, support your loved one.

One way to support your loved one is to know how they can find treatment if and when they are ready. You can find information about treatment access on this website or by contacting a support group. In addition, by understanding the health risks associated with drug use you can help your loved one to stay healthy whatever their treatment situation.

It’s easy to get tied up in other people’s problems and in helping with them but remember you deserve a life too and you may need support. There are support groups specifically to help friends and family members and you can find their details on our family support services page.