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The problem at hand
Heroin addiction is a serious epidemic in our nation and worldwide, with many folks falling prey to the needle and ruining their lives with this dangerous opiate. When heroin is snorted or smoked, the effects are usually felt nearly right away, and users become incredibly dependent on this drug. Gleaned from statistics on drugfreeworld.org, there are currently around 9 million people worldwide that use this drug.
As far as people seeking rehab for heroin , they account for around 19% of all admissions for drug and alcohol treatment in the US last year. When dealing with this disease, recovery can to some seem like a long shot. The user becomes so dependent on the substance just to feel normal, that they will spend every penny they have on the drug, and the daily need for heroin is far greater than marijuana or alcohol, in most cases.
Effects of heroin on users
Using the drug intravenously is usually what most people think about when they picture a heroin addict. This steers many people away from the drug, because there are so many out there that can’t stand the thought of a needle. Smoking heroin is also a chronic problem, and how many begin down the treacherous road to dependency on this substance. Here are some effects of heroin on users:
• very poor mental function
• sudden shallow breathing
• miscarriage of pregnancy
• vomiting and upset stomach
• bacterial infections
• veins beginning to collapse
• full blown dependance
• onset of arthritis
Some new ideas regarding treatment for heroin
Generally speaking, most American cities have disdain for addicts, and official become tired of the effects on tourism and how it make their metro area look. But lately, some are changing their approach completely. In this article from Boston’s NPR , we are shown how the town of Gloucester, MA has developed a policy of amnesty and treatment instead of immediate jailing of the user.
The police here claim that they will no longer arrest addicts if they walk into the station seeking treatment for heroin . The program began three months ago, and 153 people have come to the station admitting they need help. What the police chief says to his critics is simply that after walking a day in his shoes, they will realize that the officials responsibility is to help instead of incarcerate them for a crime.
What is it like to withdraw from heroin?
As depicted in motion pictures such as “Trainspotting”, the withdrawal process from heroin is literally quite painful. Overall, they are not life threatening as some are from alcohol and drugs like Benzos, but the discomfort is so great that the user will want to use again very quickly. Nightmares, being doubled up in real pain from not having the opiate in their veins, and many other withdrawal symptoms can be among the most uncomfortable in the drug realm; here are some more things that the user may encounter:
1. High fever
2. Intense depression
4. Runny nose
5. flu like vomiting and nausea
6. Heavy aching of the bones
7. Overwhelming panic
8. Breaking down in tears
Especially for users that were shooting heroin with needles, this pain is real. Some of this withdrawal process is psychological, but the severe scratching the addict may do to themselves will provide them the very nasty state of feeling like their blood itches, and it is very unpleasant. Users who have recovered and gotten clean stated that this sensation along with the chills and panic are very overwhelming; this is for some the fight of their life.
Treatment Techniques for heroin rehabilitation
One moving story about rehabilitation with a slightly different ending can be found in this article from The Huffington Post . It describes the differences between substances like methadone and Suboxpone, that have a bit of a ceiling on how much of a high they will actually produce for the user. Neither of these are what you would call a miracle cure, but they can provide some time to wean off dependence and go through counseling to find the root of the problem.
Here are some other techniques that can help in the long run, and it is hard to say exactly what will help the addict most. Some find that they really need to rely on a spiritual higher power to make it with any hope. Some realize that art therapy helps them express themselves in a manner that seems to calm them. Talking with other addicts during their highs and lows is absolutely a positive way in which you gain invaluable support as well.
• Deep meditation
• Therapy with art
• Kinds of spiritual counseling
• Athletically minded psychology
• Practicing Yoga
• Therapy by massage
• Talking with a therapist about your upbringing