When you think of a heroin addict, what do you picture in your mind? Someone living on the streets? Someone who hasn’t showered in a few days? Someone with teeth missing, or dirty clothes? Anyone standing on a corner in a bad neighborhood? In reality, heroin abuse is getting a new face. It is far more likely to find your middle class neighbor or coworker having a heroin addiction than you would probably realize. The harsher reality is that heroin abuse touches every socioeconomic group without discrimination. This as a result of heroin abuse increasing by 770 percent in some states since 2000 and 60% across the US. While other types of drug abuse are experiencing decreases, it seems as though heroin is picking up their slack with its increase.
How does this happen?
Though a person can certainly begin their addiction journey with heroin as their first drug experience, it seems as though an increasing number of addicts are turning to heroin after having been on prescription drugs. Prescription painkillers (opioids) are given legally to patients to treat their pain for various conditions. These legal drugs, like Oxycontin and Vicodin, create similar effects to heroin. Once taken, the opioid enters the brain and binds to receptors that are involved in the perception of pain. In reality, the pain is still there, but the brain isn’t recognizing that pain anymore. Once a person’s painkiller prescription runs out, and their physician doesn’t refill their prescription, for whatever reason – maybe the person didn’t even contact that physician because of the stigma attached to being addicted to a substance, heroin becomes the next available substance they try to relieve their pain. In essence, prescription painkillers are the new ‘gateway drug.’ While certain prescription medications can often be purchased illegally, heroin is often easier and cheaper to obtain; thus, the growing epidemic of heroin abuse.
Signs of Heroin Use
Heroin can be snorted, injected and smoked which means the visual signs of heroin abuse can vary. For example, there may not be obvious track (injection) marks if a person is snorting or smoking the heroin. Most often, changes in behavior and spending money may be the first indication that something is remiss. Changes in physical appearance, sleep patterns, increasing problems at work or school, agitation, restlessness, or other physical health issues may also be indicators that there is a drug issue at hand.
Heroin use can quickly turn into addiction as the person needs it more often or in higher doses. When a person uses heroin they experience a quick rush or euphoria followed by a very mellow or even slightly sedated state which lasts a few hours. It’s very common for heroin abusers to continue using heroin not to get that sudden rush of euphoria every time. At a certain point, they begin to use heroin instead to keep their withdrawal symptoms at bay.
How To Get Help for Heroin Addiction
Contact for California heroin rehab facility and talk to a counselor as soon as possible. Don’t wait until you think the person has reached their breaking point, it may be too late. An addiction counselor can help you formulate a plan for treatment which can include intervention and detoxification if need be. Your best chance for success is to call our California Heroin Rehab as soon as you realize there is a problem.