Debunking the Myths Heroin Addicts Tell to Justify Their Habit

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Debunking the Myths Heroin Addicts Tell to Justify Their Habit

You might be surprised to know that some of the things you’ve heard about heroin are lies.  These lies or myths are often perpetrated by heroin addicts to make themselves feel better about avoiding treatment. Consequently, many of these individuals die from an overdose because they believed these myths about heroin.

If you or someone you know is abusing heroin, it’s crucial that you learn the facts about this dangerous substance.  Ignoring the truth will eventually take a toll on your physical and mental health and can become life-threatening.

Debunking the Common Myths About Heroin

More than 591,000 Americans suffer from a heroin use disorder.  Of those, more than 12,900 died from an overdose. Heroin devastated these individual’s lives, but the damage didn’t end with their death.  The suffering continues for the families and loved ones left behind. Knowing the truth about the dangers of heroin may have prevented some of the deaths and suffering.

With the above statistics in mind, we present some of the myths about heroin, followed by the facts. Hopefully, these facts will convince someone to seek treatment before it’s too late.

Myth: Heroin is only a problem among IV drug users.

Fact:  When we think of a heroin addict, the first image that comes to mind is someone shooting up with a syringe.  The truth is that heroin can also be snorted or smoked. Regardless of the method used, heroin abuse can lead to addiction.

Myth: Teens can’t afford heroin.

Fact:  NIDA conducted a study of school-aged children having access to or using heroin.  The results of the study show that the number had almost doubled in ten years.  Teens can afford the form of heroin that is “snorted” because it’s cheaper than the injectable form.  More than 21,000 adolescents used heroin in the past year. About 6,000 of those had a heroin use disorder in that same time frame.

Myth: Heroin is old news. No one uses it anymore.

Fact:  The National Institute on Drug Abuse provides statistics that prove otherwise.  For instance, a national survey shows that at least 3.7 million people admitted to using heroin at least once.  The study also shows that heroin abuse accounted for more than 225,000 ER visits in one year alone. According to the CDC, people who misuse prescription painkillers are 40 times more likely to abuse heroin.  About 75% of patients in treatment programs started with prescription opioids and later switched to heroin. More than 156,000 people started using heroin for the first time last year.

Myth:  Heroin is not as harmful as methadone.

Fact:  Methadone, like heroin, is an opiate.  It is also addictive. For these reasons, its use in addiction treatment remains controversial.  However, methadone is safer than heroin because it is administered and monitored by medical professionals. The effects of methadone reach the brain slowly. Therefore, the “high” is not as intense. Also, the withdrawals from methadone are less intense than heroin withdrawals.

Myth:  Abstinence is the best treatment for heroin addiction.

Fact:  Overcoming heroin addiction without professional help is not the best approach. Depending on the severity of the addiction, some withdrawal symptoms can be uncontrollable and even life-threatening.  In most cases, when a person attempts to detox on their own, they relapse because the withdrawals are too intense. However, in a professional treatment program, medical professionals monitor the detox process 24/7 to ensure the safety and comfort of each patient.

Unfortunately, detox is not a cure for heroin addiction. It is only the first phase of recovery. The individual should enter a rehabilitation program immediately after detox.  It’s crucial that they learn more effective methods for coping with daily life as a sober person. A comprehensive treatment program can adapt to suit the patient’s unique needs for more lasting results.

Treatment for Heroin Addiction in the United States

If you are struggling with heroin addiction, but still believe some of the myths about heroin, contact us at A Forever Recovery now.  Heroin addiction can be treated successfully. Let us help you get back to living the drug-free life you deserve.


  • – Five Myths About Heroin

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