Heroin is one of the deadliest drugs among controlled substances. The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention reported that from 2010 to 2012, in 28 states, the number of people who died from an overdose of heroin increased from 1,779 to 3,635. That represented an increase of over 100%. Clearly, heroin use is on the rise and is leading to more deaths.
Heroin Can Destroy You
The big problem is that many people underestimate the addictive power of heroin. Some people think that they have enough self-control to stop whenever they want. However, people who just want to sample the drug for fun often end up falling victim to a long-term addiction. After they experience that first rush, they want to experience it again and again. Only next time, it would take a little more to give them the rush that they want. The rush only lasts a few minutes. However, the unpleasant after-effects can last for hours. The body will start to crave more. If he does not get more, he can experience horrible withdrawal symptoms including:
- Dizziness or drowsiness
- Coldness in the body (hypothermia)
- Impaired mental abilities
If the person takes another dose, he will get high again for a few minutes, but will come crashing down again. The longer a person uses heroin, the more it will take for him to feel satisfied. If a person continues to use heroin, the body will slowly get destroyed. The blood vessels can get infected from the multiple injections, and veins can collapse. The body starts to break down as the drug kills the immune system, destroys muscle, and weakens the heart. Other major health problems include:
- Respiratory problems
- Muscle paralysis
- Disease of the liver and kidneys
- Damage to other internal organs
- Sexual dysfunction
- Abscesses at injection sites
- Memory loss
Adding to the problem is that heroin addicts usually use needles that are not sterile which are often shared with other addicts, compounding the risk of infection like AIDS and Hepatitis C. Over 70 percent of new Hepatitis C cases in the U.S. are caused by drug users and dirty needles. Heroin can imprison you. If you do nothing to try to break out of this prison, you will end up dying in it. If you or a loved one are struggling with heroin abuse right now, you must waste no time in getting help.
There are many treatment options available to heroin addicts. They can be grouped into two types, outpatient and inpatient. Inpatient options are, by far, the more successful choice.
Why Are Inpatient Treatment Programs Better?
Heroin addiction is one of the hardest addictions to break. The biggest hurdle is the intense withdrawal symptoms that the individual experiences when he stops using it. These symptoms overpower the body and mind. That is why the failure rate is higher without constant attention from professionals trained in recovery support. In an inpatient setting, the individual is in a completely supportive environment. Medical professionals are there to monitor the physical responses of the individual to ensure that all vital signs remain stable and that the individual is receiving the best care for his health. The early stages of recovery can be the most critical as the individual experiences the intensity of withdrawal symptoms. With professional help around the clock, the individual has better success to recovery. In an inpatient setting, the individual will feel reassured and comforted that he will be helped at any minute when he needs it. He will also be with other individuals who are going through the same struggles. This mutual understanding and sharing of experiences provide the person with additional emotional support.
The community that is formed in an inpatient setting prevents the individual from feeling isolated. That is very important, especially when the individual falls into depression. The emotional support can save him from suicidal thoughts; it can give him hope. This emotional support is critical to a more successful recovery experience.
Only an inpatient environment can provide the following:
- Support around the clock
- Intense counseling
- Medical staff on-call 24/7
- A feeling of community that supports the individual emotionally
There is hope for people addicted to heroin. However, help must be sought before it is too late. Each day that passes without treatment means another day with a potential risk of a heroin overdose that can lead to coma or death. The addiction is powerful and will not go away on its own. The first step is to admit that there is an addiction problem. Then, a reputable treatment center should be contacted to begin the journey to recovery.