The New Heroin Addiction
The old heroin addiction was believed to be the plague of the inner cities, a magnet for junkies who had slowly climbed the ladder of addictive drugs since their youth by first drinking then smoking marijuana, and then experimenting with other “harder” substances.
The new heroin addiction is a problem in rural, idyllic communities and seemingly safe neighborhoods. The victims are not middle-aged “lifers” but increasingly younger and younger people who often don’t fully understand the risk they’re taking with their lives.
How It Begins
For many living with the new heroin addiction, the problem started with opiate painkillers and quickly spiraled out of control when they were no longer able to fill their prescription either due to the hefty price tag or the increased regulations and vigilance of prescribing physicians. The result is an addiction that is often surprising – not just to objective observers but also to the addicts themselves.
The harsh reality settles in when withdrawal symptoms become an ongoing problem and no one will fill their prescription. Many feel forced to turn to the street where they can get heroin much more easily and for less money than their usual pills. In these cases, heroin addiction is just a continuation of a dependence that began with well-meant use of opiate painkillers.
In other cases, opiate addiction starts with experimentation or casual use. Someone may use “leftover” pills from a prescription to self-medicate a headache or escape a tough day. With repeated use, this behavior can lead to a dependence that requires treatment.
How It Must End
Both heroin and opiate painkillers are equally deadly. Each comes with its own risks and dangers, as well as dangers shared by all opiate addicts no matter their substance of choice. Patients who abuse heroin risk:
- Contracting hepatitis C or HIV if they share needles with an infected person
- Abscesses at injection site
- Cardiac problems
- Respiratory failure
Without treatment, a heroin addict will likely die of an issue related to their addiction. It is practically unavoidable. Whether it is an overdose, an accident under the influence, or an illness caused or worsened by heroin use, heroin will kill its victims. Intensive, evidence-based treatment is the only way to survive the disease.
Get the Treatment That Will Help Your Loved One Heal Today
Extensive resources, educated and experienced staff members, personalized treatment, and long-term recovery support – these are just a few of the essentials that you should look for in your loved one’s heroin rehab program. Contact us at Alta Mira today to find out how our comprehensive addiction treatment program can help your addicted family member begin the healing process.