At some point in life, every person faces different types of stress that can ultimately influence the mind as well as their behavior. If not checked, these stresses can transform a confident and otherwise secure person into an ineffective, indecisive individual fighting to survive. In order to “treat” these high levels of anxiety, many have turned to the powerful drug called heroin. Instead of helping, heroin eliminates the benefit of stress.
Heroin, which is part of the opiate family, is a highly addictive and illegal drug. More often than not, users employ the method of injection to consume the substance. Which, in additional to the pain of addiction, carries the danger of AIDS or other infections. Millions of addicts worldwide have fallen prey to this powerful drug, unable to overcome the urge to continue using every day of their lives—knowing that quitting would cause the horror of withdrawal to become their companion.
This fear adds to the stress the victim is already experiencing which reduces their chances of escape. The experience of stress from the past magnifies the reactivity of future anxiety. Stress is not a disease that can be cured with a drug like heroin. Instead, it is a condition that must be managed. Victims have to learn a different response to the method in which they physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually respond to life’s pressures. The rise of victims is a reminder that heroin is never a viable response.
Stress, however, is not a negative experience because it has many benefits. It challenges people to become creative and learn about their strengths and values. Stress not only tests one’s adaptability and flexibility; it also stimulates people to do their best while revealing the hidden ability to handle pressure without breaking. Additionally, it is an excellent indicator of the significance attached to an event; unimportant events typically are not stressful.
Drugs such as heroin eliminate the benefit of stress. Addictions relinquish the ability to navigate struggles as designed. In reality, stress can be constructive or destructive. It can encourage or discourage, move people along or stop them dead in their tracks, or cause life to become more meaningful or seemingly meaningless. Managed anxiety can inspire victims to operate successfully and perform at maximum efficiency in a crisis or cause panic. Instead of simply medicating, it needs to be mastered.
The heroin epidemic continues to plague families across the globe. A pilot program is New Jersey called HARP, Heroin Addiction Response Program seeks to help remedy this crisis. The HARP program allows users to turn themselves in, and hand over any drugs they have, without any threat of charges or jail. Instead, victims are taken to a treatment center for addiction.
The challenges of life are not going anywhere. They are designed to strengthen character and build stamina. Instead of properly managing opposition, many have found themselves trapped in a cycle of addiction. During these times, outside criticism, nor self-imposed depression can remedy the problem. Recovery options need to be available which include programs that teach stress navigation in order to reduce the death rate from substance abuse.
Depression is the result of mismanaged stress and often leads to mistreatment. Street drugs only mask pain and increase the risk of death. Stress is designed to refine, not kill. Instead, heroin eliminates the benefit of stress and instead holds people hostage.
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
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