The illicit opioid drug, heroin, is a derivative of the controlled substance known as morphine. Morphine is a prescription opioid medication that is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Prescription painkillers such as morphine can be very effective when used as intended and taken as prescribed by a licensed doctor. Unfortunately, many people abuse these medications for the euphoric and desirable effects, and oftentimes this abuse quickly turns into an heroin addiction.
For people addicted to prescription opioid medications, this habit becomes quite expensive, as just one pill does not come cheap. Finding access to prescription pain killers is also now incredibly difficult, due to stricter laws placed on these medications. As a result of these two factors, prescription opioid drugs have played a key role in triggering the heroin epidemic that has been taking over the country for the last several years.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supports this claim and has acknowledge that approximately 75 percent of individuals who are addicted to heroin were originally abusing prescription opioids. Misusing any opiate is incredibly dangerous, but the use of heroin comes at a greater risk. Heroin is much cheaper and much more potent than prescription opioid painkillers, making it a highly sought-after drug. Heroin abuse and addiction rates have skyrocketed all across the world, but most notably in the United States.
It is estimated that nearly 100 people die each day in the country due to an accidental opioid overdose. Overdoses are vastly common when it comes to heroin addiction. Heroin effects receptors in the brain that regulate one’s heartrate, blood pressure and breathing, which all are slowed or potentially stopped completely when the drug is used.
The number of heroin-related deaths has only continued to increase, and government officials, as well as the public, have taken notice and initiated major actions to combat this issue. However, it has been understood that putting an end to the opioid epidemic is easier said than done. It was only a couple decades ago that people perceived heroin addicts as being low-life bums, people living in bad neighborhoods, and the homeless. This however is not the case in today’s modern world. Heroin is a drug that does not discriminate against one’s race, religion, ethnicity, gender or social class, and anyone can become addicted to it.
Heroin addiction has actually become quite common among members of the youth and people living in wealthy suburban communities; something that was once unthinkable.
Heroin is well-known for its ability to completely overpower an individual, making them unable or unwilling to stop using. Even after a person’s life has been completely destroyed by their heroin addiction, they may still be blind to the fact that they need treatment, they may fear the process and effects of withdrawal, or they simply may not want to stop using.
Although heroin addiction treatment must be sought out in the event that a dependency to the drug has developed, the addict will only be able to successfully regain his or her sobriety if they truly want to get clean and fully commit themselves to treatment. Without the proper treatment, a person suffering from a heroin addiction puts themselves at risk for infections, complications with organ functioning, collapsed veins, heart problems, HIV/AIDS, overdose and even death.
If a heroin addict does not get the help they need to break free from this disease, encountering one or more of these severe – if not deadly – health risks, is inevitable. If someone you love is living with a heroin addiction, it is important that you learn and understand the severity of this disease and the dire need for treatment. Contact an addiction specialist for information on how to get your loved one into heroin addiction treatment before it is too late. Help them obtain a second chance, get their life back on track, and restore their state of health.
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