Hope Beyond Heroin

Hope Beyond Heroin

It is estimated that a staggering 150,000 people become addicted to heroin each year. Numbers these large require serious attention. More sobering is the fact that every day in the U.S., around 100 people die because of this  addiction that is equal to 36,500 deaths in the U.S. alone on an annual basis.

This drug is derived from morphine, which is  a brown powder extracted from the poppy plant. It is popular among drug users for its ability to sedate. Continuously seeking this type of high, users continually return again and again to foster the feeling of euphoria followed by a total nothingness that Heroin seems to invoke.

Regardless of their reasons for becoming addicts, those who are bound by addiction to this drug continue to do so at risk to their own health, their freedom and their lives…not to mention the lives of those who love them. As far as their health is concerned, Heroin wreaks havoc on the brain and the nervous system, not to mention it affects the circulatory and respiratory system.

When overdose occurs, it does so due to the fact that the drug causes dramatic decrease in blood pressure and respiration. Each day, many lives are claimed because users simply reach a state in which their body’s arousal system is literally paralyzed and they just stop breathing…for good.

While the data is frightening, there is reason to believe that there is hope beyond heroine. The addiction to this powerful drug is an epidemic; being informed about its signs and symptoms will help those who feel their loved one may be struggling with this issue. Chronic runny nose,  bruises and abrasions from picking the skin, needle marks, and significant weight loss are a few of the tell-tale signs of heroin addiction.

If these things seem familiar, some further investigation may be required. What is this person’s daily habits? With whom do they spend a good portion of their time? Friends and family of people in this type of situation need not be afraid to intervene. In fact, staging an intervention, in which a group of trusted and professional individuals all address the issue with the person in question might be a good option.

Many find that their efforts to intervene are met with extreme aversion and often violence. Most people fighting addictions exist within a continual state of denial. In their state of mind, they may even feel as though they are being betrayed by the people they love when someone tries to help them.

There are many resources available for addicted individuals. Families and friends must first decide to shield themselves against the anger and opposition that they will face as they attempt to reach out and help. In situations of addiction, a little tough love is the very thing that could save a life. Some are reluctant to intervene because they are afraid of the backlash or possibly, they feel that there is little hope.

On the contrary, hope is always there, just underneath the surface. Many successful programs exist to free people from the chains of drug addiction. While ultimately the choice to change is up to the individual, without a firm foundation of friends and loved ones recovery might not become a reality. Addiction does not always have to lead to death. There is hope beyond heroin addiction.

By: J.A. Johnson


National Institute on Drug Abuse
Timberline Knolls Treatment Center
Michael’s House
Drug Alternative Program
Celebrating Life In Recovery

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