Having a loved one who is dealing with opiate addiction can keep you wondering every day if this is the day they will overdose and lose their life. Overdosing on opiates such as heroin is not uncommon today. Having an addicted loved one can keep you in constant fear that this possibility will turn into a reality, and reality it does for many people.
The death of a loved one can be the most painful experience you will ever have in your life. It can be overwhelming any time you lose a loved one, but if you lose them to drug or alcohol addiction, you will more than likely be devastated. You will go through a multitude of emotions from real positive memories to negative memories which you endured with your loved one coping with addiction. You will wonder if there were more that you could have done or if you enabled them in some way. And yes, you will go through the feelings of guilt for not being able to “fix” their problem.
Opiate addiction is one of the biggest drug problems in the United States today. Opiates can be anything from prescription painkillers to heroin. Many individuals become addicted to prescription painkillers and go on to heroin from there. Heroin is much cheaper and easier to obtain illegally than other opiates. Once someone develops a tolerance to opiates, they will use more and more of the drug trying to reach the same euphoria and feelings of well-being that they once felt by using only a small dose of the drug. By using more of the drug, they are at a much higher risk for overdose.
Having a Loved One Struggling with Opiate Addiction
There is only so much you can do for a loved one who is struggling with an opiate addiction, especially if your loved one is an adult. You can talk and talk, but if they don’t want to hear what you are saying, they won’t. You cannot continue enabling them by giving them money and allowing them to continue using drugs if they are living with you. You can try an intervention and hopefully this will work, and they will go to rehab to receive treatment. Even with treatment, remember that they can still relapse and many of those in recovery do. Remember, you can’t “fix” another person; they have to want it enough to work for it.
Emotions Felt When Losing a Loved One From Opiate Addiction
The first emotion you feel when losing any loved one is sorrow. However, if you have gone through this opiate addiction for a
length of time with your loved one, you may feel anger – anger at the drug, anger at their friends, or just anything or anyone you can show anger towards. You may and probably will if you gave up on trying to help your loved one, feel guilty for not trying harder to help and for giving up on them and their addiction. You may feel that you are to blame for their death. You may feel angry at your dead loved one for not trying harder or for starting to use opiates in the first place. And you may even feel angry at God for not helping your loved one overcome their addiction.
In the end, all you can do is accept the loss and learn to blame nothing except the addiction. Opiate addiction is very hard to overcome. Know that you did all you could to help your loved one. You will grieve, but grieve the loss of your loved one. We can’t go back and change the past. There are support groups for those who have lost a loved one to addiction. Join one of these support groups and accept the help that they offer. Individual counseling may be a good choice for you or go to grief counseling. Know that your life has to continue and you have other loved ones who depend on you and deserve your love and attention. Above all, get the help you need to help you cope with the loss of a loved one from opiate addiction.