Opiate addiction is hitting our communities hard.
Many people who are addicted to opiates started with prescription pain pills but then turned to heroin, which is cheaper and easier to attain than ever before. In 2011, 4.2 million Americans aged 12 or older (or 1.6 percent) reported using heroin at least once in their lives. Twenty-three percent of these people become dependent and addicted to the drug (“DrugFacts: Heroin“).
What makes heroin so appealing?
It makes you feel good, at least at first. Categorized with pain pills as an opiate, heroin produces artificial endorphins that can result in a feeling of euphoria so strong that it eases pain on all levels. With injection, this euphoria hits immediately as the drug enters the bloodstream. With continued use of heroin, the brain eventually shuts down its natural endorphin production process and begins to solely rely on this artificial endorphin. If usage is stopped abruptly and without medical supervision, one usually will suffer intense withdrawal symptoms, becoming physically sick, anxious, clinically depressed, and possibly even suicidal.
So how easy is it to get addicted to heroin?
The answer is different for different people. Depending on how an individual’s body responds to the drug, how much they use, and how often they use, a person may develop tolerance and dependence quickly. Others may use for several years before developing addiction. Some sobering news: According to the Center for Disease Control, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health charts that from 2002 to 2013, heroin-related overdose deaths increased by 286% (“Today’s Heroin Epidemic“).
The good news is that recovery is possible. An accredited treatment facility can lead a person safely through detox and then into residential or outpatient treatment, both of which include therapy, education, and aftercare options.
Are you caught up in the epidemic of heroin addiction? Let Summit BHC help you. Contact us today.