Home Healthy Living Guide Understanding the realities of the Heroin epidemic

Understanding the realities of the Heroin epidemic

by DrPrem Jagyasi

Heroin is one of the most dangerous and highly addictive drugs used throughout the world. Without discriminating by age, social class, race, or gender, it can induce feelings of euphoria while prohibiting the brain from recognizing pain, which is why it is both popular and addictive. As of 2010, 1.5 million people were chronic heroin users. That number has continued to grow, and by 2013, nearly 5 million people had used heroin in the United States. Because heroin has the very real potential to cause fatal overdose, it is essential that heroin addicts face the realities of the heroin epidemic and come together to find a solution to cure users of their addiction once and for all.

Heroin is a difficult drug to kick

Abdominal pain

Heroin is an opiate, but unlike prescription painkillers, it serves no real medical purpose. It’s a recreational drug that’s administered in one of four ways: injection, snorting, sniffing, or smoking. Understanding how long heroin stays in your system depends on the method of delivery. It can remain in a user’s system for just a few hours or as much as a few days post-use, and even after the high has worn off.

Dependence on heroin builds quickly. Although the user may not feel high, approximately 50 percent of the drug could remain in his system. When he uses again, he is building dependence. Although injection is the most dangerous and addictive way to use heroin, all methods of ingestion result in intense withdrawals when attempting to kick the habit. Symptoms of withdrawal include Nausea, Abdominal pain, Sweating, Shaking, Muscle spasms, Depression, Intense cravings, Nervousness, and of course, Agitation.

Because the withdrawal from heroin is so intense, many users (who’ve attempted to kick without medical intervention) relapse. A relapse is especially dangerous at this stage and could cause overdose. Medical intervention can be life saving. Never attempt to detox alone, but rather seek out a professional to provide therapeutic supervision and life-saving drugs in the event of a complication.

Adults and children are using heroin

Mother and teen daughter after quarrel on sofa at home.

As sad and scary as it is, adults aren’t the only ones abusing heroin. More children are using heroin than ever before with reports being filed that children as young as 12-years-old have fallen victim to heroin addiction. In the past decade, heroin use has doubled among young adults aged 18 to 25. And, overdose rates are on the rise in these age groups as well.

Luckily, for parents, there is significant evidence that shows when parents talk to their kids about drug abuse, those kids are 42 percent less likely to abuse substances. The children of parents who ignore the topic are more at-risk for addiction. Parents, talk to your children about the dangers of drugs and educate yourself on the warning signs of heroin, so you can recognize the addiction before it’s too late.

Signs of drug abuse include unpredictability, mood swings, dilated pupils, slurred speech, difficulty in focusing/concentrating, disappearing money or valuable objects, secrecy, paraphernalia, and drug addicted friends.

Heroin overdose death rates

highly addictive drug

Heroin is among the most dangerous substances simply because it causes so much death. Heroin addiction and overdose death rates are climbing, says the CDC. “The heroin-related overdose death rate increased 286 percent from 2002 to 2013.” That’s more than any other substance; in fact, heroin overdose resulted in more than 164,000 emergency room visits in 2006.

Heroin dependence is difficult to overcome, but it’s not impossible. It’s time to recognize that it’s possible to outlive a heroin addiction, to get better, and to rejoin society. Medical detox and psychotherapeutic intervention are tried-and-true methods that can help heroin addicts. Don’t do it alone and don’t wind up another statistic. Get help today.

Article Submitted By Community Writer

Today's Top Articles: