Originally created for use as a painkiller in the late 1800s, heroin’s unchecked use by physicians led to widespread addiction en masse. This coupled with the rampant abuse of the drug by the veterans of the Vietnam War has led to a nationwide epidemic in the United States.
Although heroin is not the most widely abused drug, recent statistics show that its use has more than doubled in the past five years. This can be attributed to the stringent measures which have been put in place to monitor the prescription drug industry. As prescription drugs get more difficult to find and abuse, many addicts are switching to heroin. This pattern is mostly being seen in suburban areas. The popularity of heroin has risen mainly because of its ready availability and affordability.
Abruptly ceasing heroin use can cause a variety of withdrawal symptoms. Very few people can stop abusing heroin without participating in a heroin addiction recovery program. Once an addict has recognized his problem, heroin addiction treatment is normally commenced in a private recovery center for well-off addicts and in hospitals for cash strapped addicts. Studies say that the prevalence of physically dependent addicts is approximately sixty percent. This essentially means that some users who are trying to quit may not experience withdrawal symptoms. There are several recovery options for individuals addicted to heroin, these include:
1. Closely supervised detoxification
Withdrawal from heroin is associated with many dangers. Therefore, withdrawal ought to be supervised by a medical practitioner. During the detoxification process for many addicts, it is advisable to have medical staff on standby. A nurse normally observes the addict and reports to a doctor on call who regularly checks the patient.
This is normally done through inpatient rehabilitation at residential rehabilitation centers. In patient treatments are varied according to treatment beliefs and psychological techniques. Rehabs address the spiritual, physical and psychological needs of the patient. They treat addiction by teaching them about ways of coping with cravings and their triggers. Exercise can be used to treat the physical aspect of an addiction. Spiritual help is often provided and is usually done by encouraging the addict to return to their religious beliefs or participate in a 12 Step Recovery Program.
3. Medically aided treatment
This treatment involves addicts taking opioids instead of heroin and other opiates. Opioids are artificial medication which are used to keep the addict from developing withdrawal symptoms. This method has been shrouded in controversy as some quarters believe that it is simply substituting one drug for another. These medication include methadone, which works by blocking the effects of heroin in the brain. It is normally prescribed and given in special clinics where the users have to go to daily, until they are trusted enough to take the pills home. Another medication is Suboxone, which prevents users from getting high whenever they abuse heroin
4. The 12 Step Program
This borrows heavily from the Alcoholics Anonymous 12 step program. It begins with users recognizing their condition and accepting that they are powerless over it. This program works best if coupled with any type of behavioral therapy. Behavioral therapy assists the users in changing their actions and attitudes.
There is help available for those addicted to heroin. The first step is to realize that you are struggling with it and reach out for help. There is a life outside of drugs; a life free from pain and suffering and full of serenity and happiness. Reach out today.
About the Author: Dominica Applegate is an Author, and Speaker and Life Coach. She has a deep passion for discovering and sharing authentic spiritual truth that transforms people from the inside out. She is dedicated to the sacred art of self-discovery, creative expression, and adding value to humanity. Feel free to connect with her at Dominica Applegate and receive her free eBook, Recycle Pain: It Has a Purpose, and Help for Codependency.