Heroin addiction is one of the most troubling drug addictions to overcome.
Its use is often described as a rollercoaster of drastic “ups and
downs” or extreme “highs and lows”. Use of the drug
affects the brain and generates feelings of euphoria. Overtime, users
develop a tolerance, which means they need more of the drug to get the
same effect and to function. Once they have reached this point, without
the drug, the body begins to undergo withdrawal symptoms of pain, vomiting,
depression, insomnia, cramping, and anxiety. To stop the immediate withdrawal,
abusers seek out more heroin. The drug’s highly addictive nature
makes it difficult to stop and encourages repeated, continued use.
The risks of heroin do not end there. Abuse through injection has been
known to give addicts diseases, such as hepatitis and HIV. Despite these
terribly dangerous effects, heroin is very commonly used among adults,
young adults and teenagers.
Parents and young adults should be aware of the dangers and illegality
of heroin. On the street it could be called one of over a dozen things,
including the names Harry, Bobby, Jack, Jim, or Jenny. It is much easier
to recognize when referred to as dope, smack, black tar, skag, chiva,
brown or diesel. Since it is illegal to manufacture, possess, or sell
heroin in the United States if you suspect there is drug activity and/or
addictions among your loved ones or in your community, seek help immediately.
Treating Heroin Addiction
The treatment for heroin addiction is a very challenging process. Relapse
and returning to the drug after treatment is a common occurrence. For
this reason, it is important for addicts to undergo an extensive recovery
program that targets both the physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms.
There are numerous programs treating heroin addictions available; however,
each individual needs a personalized program that will best meet their
needs to ensure a successful lifelong recovery.
To combat the highly addictive nature of heroin, physicians may use other
medications to alleviate cravings and eventually wean addicts off the
drug. The medications that are most commonly prescribed usually have a
specific schedule on which they must be taken to be truly effective. Sometimes
there are other risks associated with taking these medications, and monitoring
their use is often suggested. Detoxification (detox) is time consuming.
It can take weeks or even months to be free from the drug’s effects,
depending on the severity of the addiction.
For the best possible rehabilitation experience, extended care treatment
centers are recommended for recovery. Heroin often requires a long term
drug rehab program, and centers with qualified physicians can give each
person in recovery the attention and care they need. Young adults and
adolescents benefit greatly from being in an encouraging, nurturing environment
where their treatment can be supervised and adjusted as needed.
It is important that the treatment center provides the opportunity for
young adults to continue their education and prepare for college or careers.
Feeling “normal” and taking steps forward to a “normal”
life is part of what motivates young people to seek treatment in the first
place. Strengthening the motivation to stay off drugs is the only way
to realize a complete recovery. Establishing goals and empowering youth
to reach those goals is a crucial step in the gateway to a drug free future.