There’s a good chance most of the family already knows. To be sure, however, inform other family members and friends about the situation. Let them know you appreciate their consideration and encourage them not to provide money or a place to stay for an active opiate addict. With the rest of the family on board, it will be increasingly difficult for an opiate addict to support active addiction.
Some people feel ashamed talking about something like opiate addiction, especially a parent who feels that addiction reflects poorly on them. Please know that addiction affects families from all walks of life. By choosing transparency over secrecy, you can have an impact on the course of your loved one’s addiction. I am not claiming you can sober them up, but I am saying you can choose to refrain from contribution to active addiction.
5. If your loved one suffers from opiate addiction, there is very real risk of incarceration, overdose or death. You should know this.
Unfortunately, this is the nature of opiate addiction. Many addicts travel too far across addiction’s bleak bridge into the confines of jail, or even worse, death. It does not matter whether an opiate addict hails from a healthy or unhealthy background. Once addiction takes hold, the risks are present. The risks of incarceration, overdose and/or death increase as addiction progresses.
Many family and friends are unaware of the four stages of addiction. Each of the stages presents certain characteristics.
1st stage: Experimentation
2nd stage: Social and/or regular use
3rd stage: Problem use
4th stage: Addiction/Chemical Dependency