Heroin abuse and addiction is a problem that the nation faces today. Heroin addiction has been resurging throughout the nation that has been creating devastating effects since the turn of the century. In the year 1999, there were only about half a million Americans who were addicted to heroin. In 2009, there were over two million. In 2015, there were close to three million. This has been skyrocketing issue that has created adverse effects left and right. Heroin addiction is not only one of the most severe addictions in the nation to beat, but it is also one of the most deadly. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, (NIDA), had this to say about heroin addiction and the fatality risks that go along with it:
“Heroin addiction is one of the riskiest afflictions that there is. Of all the addictions and the substances in the nation, heroin is by far the most fatal. About twenty-five percent of those who try heroin for the first time will at some point become addicted to it. Of those individuals, about one out of every four of them will end up dying from it. This means that out of every eight individuals who try heroin, even if just once, one of them will end up dying from it. The only two substances that come even close to this in terms of chances of death are prescription drugs and alcohol.”
When someone uses heroin, the drug affects the opioid receptors, (nervous system configurations that monitor pain), in the brain and the central nervous systems. This affection of these receptors is what causes the euphoric high, but it also has a very damaging effect on the receptors, the brain, and the central nervous system too. What this means is that, from the very first moment an individual starts abusing heroin he or she is doing a pretty terrible thing to his or her body. This habit and these actions, for these reasons and more, the use of heroin and its abuse must be avoided.
Why is it that heroin abuse has been skyrocketing? Herein lies the greatest catastrophe of addiction in the United States since the alcohol abuse epidemic of the 1920s. Heroin abuse only started to soar around the same time that American pharmaceutical companies began to massively increase their production, sale, distribution, and proliferation of opiate pain reliever drugs like Percocet, Opana, Vicodin, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Dilaudid, and others. Just between the years of 2001 and 2005, there was a more than three-hundred percent increase in the production of these drugs. Americans started getting addicted to them by the millions, and when they couldn’t get ahold of them, they turned to heroin which created the same high. This is why heroin suddenly became so popular because suddenly prescription drugs were prevalent.
Heroin Addiction Statistics
This article is not meant to harm, defame, or incriminate anyone even though heroin abuse does carry with it significant legal repercussions. The intention behind this article is mere to raise awareness on the major issue of the fact that there is a heroin epidemic in the nation today and to try to shed some light on the problems that we struggle with today as a result of heroin addiction and abuse. Effectively, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, (NSDUH), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, (NIAAA), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, (SAMHSA), and the Trust for American Health, (TAH), have all worked together to provide such statistical data on this very real crisis and problem. For example:
- Heroin has long had a stigma of being one of the most dangerous drugs, and this is true. It is certainly one of the most lethal by far. Aside from there being a very, very high risk of addiction and overdose, there is also an increased danger of contracting blood-borne diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis. Furthermore, about half of those who try heroin for the first time will then become addicted to the drug at some point in their lives. Of those who become addicted to it, about one out of five of them dies from it. This means that one out of every ten Americans who try heroin for the first time will at some point die from the drug.
- The overall number of Americans with an addiction to heroin nearly doubled from the years of 2007 to 2011. It is now being estimated that about 80% of new hepatitis C infections occur among those who use drugs intravenously, such as heroin users and abusers. This is quite truthfully one of the most dangerous drugs that can have the worst effects on people.
- Nearly half of those who use heroin reportedly started abusing prescription painkillers before they ever used heroin. What has occurred here is that prescription drugs are now the gateway drug that seems to be making the worst of the worst effects on people. Over a quarter million of drug-related emergency room visits are related to heroin abuse of one kind or another.
- Prescription medication abuse holds a lot of potential for people to develop addictions in the nation today. The fact of the matter is that prescription drugs are now the single most concerning drugs in the nation today when it comes to drug and alcohol use and abuse. These drugs can be easier to obtain than other drugs by far. Prescriptions, especially painkillers, have a high potential to lead to the use of more dangerous substances like heroin too, being that they are the gateway drug for heroin.
Rehabilitation for Heroin Addiction
The key to beating heroin addiction and the only way to beat heroin addiction is with the help of an inpatient, residential, drug and alcohol substance abuse and dependence treatment center, detox facility, rehab program, and recovery organization. With effective inpatient treatment, anyone who is addicted to anything can go free from their addiction once and for all.
Addicts cannot beat heroin addiction on their own. The chemical dependence factor is too strong, and even if they were able to quit it cold turkey, there is still the factor of the mental and psychological aspects to the addiction that is what got them abusing the drug in the first place. With rehab though, all of that becomes a manageable and an addressable worry.
- Inpatient rehab for heroin addiction involves many factors. The person will experience full detoxification, which is the method for eliminating the chemical dependence factor itself that the human body will have accrued as a result of being connected up with heroin for so long.
- Once detox is taken care of, and the person is no longer the effect of chemical dependence to heroin and is no longer feeling the withdrawal effects of heroin addiction, the next step for them can be actually to rehabilitate themselves from the addiction. In heroin rehab, one will receive all of the necessary therapy such as:
- counseling, life skills
- relapse prevention
- coping strategies
- physical activities
- one-on-one sessions
- group sessions
These enable a person to finally remove all of the mental, psychological, personal, spiritual, and underlying reasons why someone uses and abuses heroin. These more than anything else will fully help people to address their crisis issues and resolve them.
With effective inpatient rehabilitation, anyone who is addicted to heroin, no matter how bad it is and no matter how long it has lasted for, will be able to address and eradicate the addiction once and for all effectively. Now more than ever these methods and these techniques are being recommended to those who are afflicted with heroin addiction so that this issue can finally be handled and removed from American society once and for all.