In recent years, heroin has become one of the world’s most deadly illegal drugs. There has been a rapid rise in the number of heroin-related overdoses. Thousands of people are losing their lives each year due to using this drug. Law enforcement is doing a great job fighting back, but it has become an epidemic that is so large, it is almost impossible for them to keep up. They have worked to stop drug traffickers from bringing the drug into the country, but this has only been able to reduce … [Read more...]
Resources and Treatment Options for Heroin Addiction
Over the past few years, heroin addiction has been front and center in the national consciousness. In many states across the country, heroin abuse, overdoses and deaths have dramatically risen. As a result, and it has forced policy makers and law enforcements to take extraordinary measures to curb an epidemic which continues to spiral out of control. Heroin is one of the most addictive substances on the planet, and for those who are hooked on the drug it can prove extremely difficult to kick the habit.
If you or a loved one are struggling with heroin addiction, it is absolutely important to understand what heroin is, the devastating effects it has on your body and brain, and most importantly where you can go to get the help you need. If you are in need of information or help, call Sober Nation toll-free today.
Heroin Addiction in the United States: By The Numbers
According to figures released by the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) that were featured in an article in TIME Magazine:
Heroin use increased 63% between 2002 and 2013, and heroin-related overdose deaths have nearly quadrupled over the same time period. In 2013 an estimated 517,000 people reported that they had used heroin in the last year or had a heroin-related dependence, a 150% increase from 2007.
Additionally, 28 states had seen mortality rates due to heroin overdoses double in a period between 2012-2012. Once a drug associated with the inner city and the urban poor, the new face of heroin is white, middle-class and suburban. Perhaps a more startling fact about the rise in heroin addiction is the fact that it has been fueled in large part by prescription pill addiction. According to the CDC, those who are addicted to prescription opioid painkillers are 40 times more likely to be addicted to heroin.
In fact, the double headed monster of prescription pill and heroin addiction has helped make drug overdoses the number one cause of death in the United States with 43,000 deaths reported in 2013. Breaking down those numbers even further, it comes to 120 deaths a day due to drug overdoses--and half are can be attributed to either prescription pills or heroin.
What is Heroin and What Does it Do to the Body?
Heroin is derived from the seed pods of the opium plant. The drug is commonly sold as a white or brownish powder that is “cut” (or diluted in order to reduce its purity) with agents such as sugars, starch or powdered milk. There are two general types of heroin that are available for purchase by users. Pure heroin is a white powder that has a bitter taste which comes from South America and Southeast Asia. Black tar heroin, which is sticky like roofing tar, is primarily produced in Mexico.
Heroin is an extremely versatile drug in the fact in can be administered in a number of ways, and all methods allow the drug to quickly enter the bloodstream. The most often use route of administration is through intravenous injection, but users can also snort the drug, smoke the drug, or combine it with other drugs such as speedballing in which both cocaine and heroin are injected into the bloodstream. No matter the route of administration, heroin is highly addictive and users usually become hooked after the first use.
Once heroin enters the brain, it is quickly converted to morphine and binds to the opioid receptors in the brain. Users feel an intense rush or euphoria and this feeling can vary depending on the amount of heroin that is taken. These feelings are accompanied by a warm flushing of the skin as well as dry mouth and a heaviness felt in the arms and legs of users. Users will also experience heavy nausea and vomiting within minutes after using the drug. After the initial high wears off, users will enter a long period of drowsiness and their mental functioning, heart rate and breathing significantly slow down.
The Signs of Heroin Addiction
For those who become addicted to heroin, the long-term effects of the drug will have devastating effects on both their body and brain. Since intravenous injection is the most common route of administration, users can experience collapsed veins and infections in both the blood vessel and heart. Since many users who inject do so with dirty needles, the risk of contracting infectious diseases such as hepatitis C2, tuberculosis, and HIV. Other long-term effects of heroin use can include constipation, bad teeth, the weakening of the immune system, depression, loss of appetite, loss of memory and partial paralysis. Additionally, chronic use of heroin can also lead to coma.
Finding Treatment For Heroin Addiction
If you or a loved one is in the grips of an addiction to heroin, you must find the professional help and support that is found through a reputable drug treatment facility. The withdrawal symptoms associated with heroin are extremely painful, and they can potentially be life-threatening if there are underlying medical issues. In order to safely withdraw from the drug, you must undergo medical detoxification in a safe, secure and highly supervised environment. During the detox process, medications such as Suboxone can be administered in order to make the withdrawal process more tolerable.
Once you get to a substance-free and stable state, you will transition into formal and intensive drug treatment. During this period, you will undergo a combination of individual and group counseling, life skills training, relapse prevention education and aftercare programs to help you address and overcome your addiction. Experienced treatment staff are able to create individualized treatment plans that fit your unique and specific needs and will give you the best chance at long-term recovery.
Start Your Road to Recovery Today With the Help of Sober Nation
It is said that being addicted to heroin is like being in the grips of the Devil. If you are addicted to heroin, you cannot wait another day--you must find treatment and support immediately. If you feel overwhelmed with the process of finding the best treatment options that suit you, call the experienced professionals at Sober Nation today. We work with the best treatment centers nationwide and can help you every step of the way in finding a drug treatment center that will work for you.
In addition to our comprehensive treatment center directory, Sober Nation provides who call and visit our website timely articles and blogs that will give you the information you need to make informed decisions. Call us toll-free today and take the first step in reclaiming your life.
Despite the fact that heroin is the deadliest drug worldwide, Canada just approved prescription heroin on Friday, September 16. With deaths from heroin-related overdoses skyrocketing, this news is baffling at first glance. But, it’s in fact a radical, strategic move in an attempt to combat the ongoing opioid crisis. A Harm Reduction Strategy In the face of just-say-no approaches to drug abuse and failing attempts at complete sobriety—particularly for opioid addicts—many organizations and … [Read more...]
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Lately, I’ve been wondering if Facebook is still a social media outlet where people connect, or if it’s become a long-standing obituary for addicts. It feels like every time I log in, I witness friends mourning another death of young man or woman caused by a heroin overdose. I'm a professional contributor at Addictionwise.com and I currently own Surfside Structured Sober Living, a program that helps men ages 18-30 and their families. I have a Master’s degree, hold a certificate as an … [Read more...]