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.