While heroin has long been thought of as a “big city drug” – a substance that only those living in large, urban areas have access to – that’s actually not the truth at all. Heroin can be found anywhere and everywhere; addicts live all over the globe and, somehow, they always seem to know where to go to find their drug of choice.
For those who still think heroin usage is a problem that happens only in places like Chicago or New York City, consider this fact: Heroin is now quite commonly used in quaint, seemingly peaceful New England, including in its smallest towns and cities. In Maine, 21 people died from heroin overdoses in 2012, according to the Maine Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services. New Hampshire reports 40 deaths from the same year, and Vermont reports that a whopping 914 people were treated for heroin abuse in 2012. Those figures are alarming, and they prove that heroin can be a problem no matter where you live.
What’s the Risk?
While absolutely any person can fall victim to heroin abuse and addiction, there are some risk factors that make heroin abuse – or abuse of any drug, for that matter – more likely. Factors that increase the risk for drug abuse and addiction include:
- Having a family history of addiction
- Being male
- Having a mental illness
- Pressure to try the drug or friends who use the drug
- Troubled family life
- Great amounts of life stress
While no single one of these factors guarantees that a person will develop a heroin addiction, having one or more of these factors does make it more likely that an addiction of some kind will develop. Therefore, if someone you know and love falls into one or more of the above categories, it is important to be especially vigilant over that person and to do whatever you can to keep them from straying into drug abuse.
Heroin Use Is Serious Business
Heroin is one of the world’s most addictive drugs. As such, there is no such thing as recreational use of heroin. Most people who try heroin will become addicted to it, so it is not something to play around with. Potential effects of heroin, aside from fatal overdose, include:
- Heart infection/heart valve infection
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Skin infections
- Increased risk of hepatitis
- Increased risk of HIV/AIDS
- Difficult, sometimes fatal, withdrawal symptoms
You can save your loved one from experiencing any of these harrowing symptoms by getting help as soon as you are aware that a problem exists. Call us at Alta Mira today and learn more about our opiate rehab programs.