Strategies for Helping Loved Ones


When a person is addicted to heroin, he or she will probably want to stop using, but will not be able to or will not know how to stop. Some possible strategies to use to help a loved one who is addicted:

  • Talk to the person and keep the lines of communication open
  • Let the person know that substance abuse is a medical disorder, and that treatment programs are available, including medication-assisted treatment
  • The FDA has approved some free medications for the treatment of opiate dependence, including: buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone
  • New York State offers opioid overdose prevention programs that train people in how to respond when they suspect that someone has overdosed on opioids, including heroin. Those programs include training on the administration of Naloxone, also known as Narcan, which can prevent an opioid or heroin overdose from becoming fatal. In New York State, non-medical personnel may legally administer Naloxone to another individual.

More Information

In Orange County, for further information and assistance contact the Orange County Department of Mental Health at 845-291-2600 or the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Council of Orange County at 845-294-9000.