Heroin addiction can be devastating to a life and when the person with the heroin “addiction” is your spouse, it can lead to the end of the marriage and a broken family. Nearly a half million people in the U.S. struggle with heroin addiction according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Marriages where one of the spouses has a heroin addiction will have a difficult battle. Most heroin users have $200 or more a day habits and many spend more each day. The individual going through excessive heroin use will be unable to maintain a normal life. It may be near impossible for them to keep a job, share responsibility of the family or anything else. The spouse with a heroin “addiction” may become fixated on their drug use and they may show little any interest in anything else, including their marriage or family.

Using Heroin

Heroin is also known as H, horse, smack, black tar and junk. Heroin is an opiate, derived from morphine and when used frequently, has the potential to be highly addictive. People who use heroin inhale it, inject it and smoke it. A spouse with heroin “addiction” may exhibit certain signs and symptoms that will indicate that there is a problem. For example your spouse may experience dry mouth, disorientation, shortness of breath and droopy appearance.

If you spouse has drug paraphernalia such as silver spoons, straws or aluminum foil with burn marks on them; syringes and needles, plastic bags that contain a white substance or pipes. You spouse may also have certain behavioral changes that could be an indication of heroin “addiction” such as hostile behavior, deceptive behavior, poor hygiene, loss of interest in works, hobbies and family.

It may be difficult to get help for a spouse with heroin addiction especially if they are in denial and refuse to acknowledge that there is a problem. Depending on the amount of heroin your spouse has been using, how long they have been using and how long they have been using heroin; your spouse may or may not need to detoxify. This can vary for every situation.

Once your spouse has successfully completed detoxification, they may want to enroll in a program that can help them rebuild their life after heroin “addiction”. It is important that you consider a program that can help your spouse with heroin “addiction” by addressing their reasons for turning to heroin use.

There are a variety of rehab treatment programs that can provide help for a spouse with heroin “addiction” such as methadone clinics, traditional rehab, 12 step programs and alternative programs that are proven to work such as cognitive behavioral education (cbe) offered at the Saint Jude Retreats.

Whatever program you and your spouse decide to seek for help with heroin use it will require patience and hard work to get past the damage that heroin use can bring to a family, you should always have hope however, that things can get better.