February 26, 2018 | by Haven Staff
The importance of treatment for heroin addicts should not be ignored. Heroin and other opioids lead the way when it comes to the drug epidemic in America. Studies show that more people die of drug overdoses than from car wrecks and gun fatalities combined. Within the nation’s opioid crisis, heroin has driven overdose statistics higher than ever before. Understanding heroin and the grip it has on America underscores the importance of seeking treatment.
Many people currently addicted to heroin did not start out with it as their drug of choice. Whether they got hooked on pills prescribed by a doctor after surgery/injury or they experimented for fun with pain medications prescribed to relatives and friends, almost 80 percent of current heroin addicts first abused narcotic pain pills.
All opiates affect the same part of the brain and the longer they are used, the more that is needed to achieve the same high. At some point, it no longer becomes about getting high. The addict needs the drug to not get desperately ill from withdrawal. This is where the vicious cycle of substance abuse disorder rears its head.
Once the addict is in this phase of addiction it becomes very difficult to stop using the drug. They will go from doctor to doctor with fake illnesses, injuries and pain to get opiate prescriptions. Not only can this be expensive, but national databases now track the use of prescription opiates and if an addict gets caught “doctor shopping” he or she can be arrested, convicted and sent to prison. The Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) allows health care providers and pharmacies to check and see if a person has recently filled an opiate prescription from another provider.
It doesn’t take long for the addict to realize that heroin does not go through a pharmacy, is cheaper than pills and typically easier to access on the street. While heroin and narcotic pain pills are all opiates, the pills are manufactured in a controlled lab, and heroin is manufactured without any government regulations or controls in place. The result is heroin that increases the prevalence of disease, organ damage and sometimes death.
Heroin addiction is one of the most difficult addictions to treat, and without residential treatment, the addict faces triggers while still very new in recovery. A treatment center removes the addict from familiar places, people, and triggers while at the same time teaching coping strategies for when he or she re-enters normal life. There is hope for those addicted to heroin and their families.
If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin addiction or another substance abuse disorder, call The Haven at 801-533-0070 to discuss treatment options.