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Heroin Addiction: Amotivation Makes Recovery a Difficult Change

  • Asks ...

    My boyfriend is addicted to heroin. His mom doesn't seem to care or want to help him at all because he has always been a troublemaker. He does not have health insurance or the means to get the help he truly needs. He is on probation and yet is driving to the city to get heroin. He doesn't seem to care about it either yet 2 of our close friends have overdosed and died from it. How to I help him?

  • Delisted Expert Says ...


    First, it is apparent that you care very much for your boyfriend as evidenced by you seeking ways to help him. I would encourage you to find out as much as you can about heroin addiction, its effects on the addict, its effect on significant others, and treatment. Here are two websites which may be helpful to you in this way: http://heroin.net/ and http://www.heroinaddiction.net/

    There are resources available for people who do not have the ability to pay for treatment. This website http://heroin.net/ discusses options for those who have no resources to those options for people who have resources to pay for treatment. Many people on probation are able to get excellent treatment through their probation office. It would be better for your boyfriend to admit that he has a heroin problem before it is detected by a drug screen. My first thought is for your boyfriend to find out what is available for addicts on probation through the probation office. You also could research this on the Internet in your county and/or state. You can always call the probation office, not identify yourself, but ask what resources are available for heroin addicts on probation.

    If your boyfriend is going into the city to purchase heroin, he could be putting himself in harm’s way, i.e., going into a high crime area or by getting arrested by an undercover narcotic agent. From your description, your boyfriend appears to be more motivated to stay in his addiction than find a way into recovery. This is not uncommon and it can be changed; particularly if his family and friends do not enable him to continue using heroin. Your boyfriend may need an intervention to make a new decision about going into treatment rather than continue to go down with his addiction. Here is a resource which has a free downloadable E-book about intervention http://www.floridahouseexperience.com/

    The best way to help him is to arm you with knowledge about the disease of heroin addiction and to seek support for yourself. Most friends and family seek help for themselves through Al-Anon http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/ or Nar-Anon http://www.nar-anon.org/Nar-Anon/Nar-Anon_Home.html. When you find out how others have helped their loved ones with heroin addiction, you will have a greater idea of how to help your boyfriend. It is important to recognize that he has the final choice and may need his friends and family to help him make better decisions about his addiction.

    Lastly, I would encourage you to seek the advice of a professional substance abuse professional about your boyfriend’s heroin addiction. He needs to have a substance abuse assessment performed so the appropriate level of care (outpatient, intensive outpatient, residential, or inpatient) can be identified and offered to him.

    I hope this is helpful to you and your loved one. If I can be of further help to you, please contact me at your earliest convenience.


    John W. O’Neal, Ed.S, MSW, MA, LPC, NCC

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