Parents + Family

Addiction does not discriminate and it could happen to anyone.

Addiction to opiates and/or heroin can begin innocently. It might start with teens experimenting with unused prescription pain medications, perhaps after a medical procedure or recovering from a sports injury. Any of these may lead to addiction to heroin.

Prescription pain medicines and heroin are both opiates. This means they have similar effects in the body. The human brain has a unique capacity to adjust to the chemicals in opiates which both relieve pain and produce a sense of well-being. These same chemical reactions create a dependency on the drug which makes it more difficult to quit.  With the right treatment and supports,recovery is possible. 

Signs of Opiate Addiction

What signs should you look for to know if someone is abusing and may be addicted to prescription pills or heroin? There are some potential signs that may indicate that someone is struggling with an opiate addiction:

  • Becomes increasingly solitary to the addiction from family and loved ones
  • Behavior changes or extreme alterations in mood such as frequent expression of hostility, anger, anxiety, or agitation
  • Continued use of the opiate, even after pain has subsided
  • Deceitful or illegal behaviors to obtain additional prescriptions or greater quantities of the drug
  • Isolation from loved ones and social events
  • Decline in overall performance, in work, school, or social life
  • Frequently nodding or “doping” off in inappropriate circumstances
  • Complaint of physical symptoms, such as cramping, diarrhea, itchy skin, joint and muscle pain, nausea and vomiting, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, etc.
  • Neglect of personal hygiene, changes in eating habits, or ill-looking appearance
  • Ongoing confusion or disorientation

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these signs or symptoms as a result of an addiction to opiates, please seek the counsel of a health professional, as the addiction can quickly spiral out of control.


  • Family Reunification through Recovery Court - A quick, creative and effective specialized court docket that addresses substance misuse and other family challenges for the purpose of family reunification.
  • Nar-Anon Family Groups - 12-step program designed to help relatives and friends of addicts recovery from the effects of living with an addicted relative or friend.  NAR-ANON TUESDAY NIGHT SERENITY, 6:45-7:45 p.m., First Congregational Church, 85 Heritage Drive, Tallmadge, OH 44278. For information:  800-477-6291, or email
  • Recovery Solutions: Support Group For Families Affected by Substance Abuse - Wednesday Mornings from 10:00-11:00 am at Lake Anna YMCA, Barberton. For more information, contact Kevin Murphy at 330-745-9622 or Cris Prillaman at 330-289-5606.
  • New Hope - Opiates Anonymous, Thursdays at 8:00 pm, Paradise Club (1710 Front Street, Cuyahoga Falls, meeting takes place in lower level) Floating format: AA/Big Book-based program of recovery. Contact: Alyssa K – 330.780.0645 or Tim P – 330.687.1833
  • The Well Support Group - A grief support group to cope with the loss of a loved one to addiction. Every other Wednesday from 6:30pm - 8:00pm, 2656 South Arlington Road, Akron 44319 (Shamp's Bionics Building) Contact Sue: 330-472-7282 or

Online Resources for Parents and Family Members