Opioid, opiate and heroin addictions have gripped the US more than any other time in history. Opioid addiction has become a menace. Each day addicts are overdosing and even dying at alarming rates. How do people become addicted and what price do they pay? What does the family of an opioid or opiate addict face? Watch this documentary on the opioid epidemic to better understand what addicts and their families face each and every day.
All too often heroin is portrayed in popular media as a drug that people start out injecting (shooting up) and they’re instantly addicted. The “junkie” portrayal is more dramatic but not very realistic. Heroin is indeed a highly addictive drug, and there are thousands of junkies who need help, but heroin addiction to tends to me more gradual. Perhaps this is what makes it so insidious: at first the heroin user believes getting high isn’t as risky or dangerous as they were lead to believe. They are able to get high at night and function normally the next day.
What could go wrong?
All sorts of things could go wrong…
Typical Heroin Addiction Progression
Users typically start out smoking (sometimes called “chasing the dragon“) or snorting it. In fact many never use it intravenously. The pattern consists of using it as a recreational drug without any measurable consequences but over time their tolerance to the drug builds up which results in the need to consume more in order to maintain the same level of “high”. This is where the addiction begins to kick in. Daily (routine) use plus increased doses is the catalyst for dependency and addiction.
They are able to get high at night and function normally the next day. What could go wrong?
And note we are not trying to portray heroin as safe or without risks. Heroin is highly addictive and the effects to the body over time aredreadful. And even though addiction is not instant, one can overdose and die the very first time they use it. Keep in mind street heroin is often mixed with other potent drugs so the user seldom really knows what is going into their system. The risks are very high and the consequences can be fatal.
How Do Heroin Users End Their Addiction?
The good news is addicts can end their addiction and turn their lives around. Heroin is a powerful drug but people stop using it all the time. It takes an honest desire to stop using and then seeking guidance in the form of treatment and/or support group involvement. We highly recommend the heroin user talk to a medical specialist who is trained in addiction care. Often medically supervised detox is necessary and sometimes inpatient treatment is the best course of action. Withdrawal symptoms can be daunting therefore seek medical assistance.
Watch this video on Heroin Addiction from a heroin user’s perspective to learn more.
Addiction is defined as a disease by most medical professionals and organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine.
Like Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease, addiction is caused by a combination of behavioral, environmental and biological factors. Genetic risks factors account for about half of the likelihood that an individual will develop addiction. Watch this educational video on addiction to learn more.
Julie Queler, the founder of the only female-sensitive drug treatment program in the U.S., will be appearing at The Moment of Change Intervention Conference at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel on February 20-22. She will be giving interviews regarding the original treatment modalities she developed in conjunction with Dr. Karen Dodge (a scion of the Dodge auto family) – that are highly successful and intensely healing for addicted women.
The holistic approach to treating drug and alcohol addiction has been the driving force behind the Holistic Addiction Treatment Centers 17 years of successfully helping addicts. This unique approach helps the addict by dealing with the underlying issues driving their addiction.
CARE Drug Rehab Center has been put into the national spotlight by being featured on A&E’s program Intervention, which interviews and documents people struggling with addiction as well as Discovery Health’s 28 Days in Rehab, where people are checked into CARE for 28 days to deal with substance abuse.