Heroin is an immensely powerful opiate that brings devastating effects, with a potentially fatal outcome. Abusers may suffer dire consequences; social, legal, and health-related. The addiction affects both the addict and anyone close enough to get dragged down with them.
If the user isn’t able to clean up or find an adequate rehabilitation center, death or prison usually ensues. Despite this bleak outlook, findings from the National Institute on Drug Abuse show that heroin abuse is steadily increasing.
However, it is possible to recover, heal and start living again, free from the harsh reality of addiction. By a carefully monitored detox and subsequent treatment, addicts may receive the help they sorely need.
The pain of heroin abuse
The substance may either be injected, snorted, or smoked. The effects are fast and intense, resulting in harmful, addictive consequences to both mind, body, and soul. The quick and extreme intoxication lures individuals into craving even more.
Addicts may suffer massive withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, light sensitivity, low body temperature, and slowed heart rate and breathing. Needless to say, these symptoms may be severe, and spurs the addict into seeking more heroin, as to avoid become sick.
The desperate addict may well break the law to get more heroin, and face legal conflicts and even prison. The vicious cycle ends up taking control over the abusers’ life, at the consequence of work, school, family, friends; pretty much anything and everything close to the addict will suffer.
The substance itself often appears either powder or sticky black tar. The powder, either white or brown, is often diluted with other substances; such as milk powder or starches. In some cases, heroin is diluted with potentially harmful ingredients. In fact, addicts can never be sure what chemicals they are injecting into their veins.
Learning to live again
Thankfully today, there are many treatment and rehabilitation facilities available and ready to help the suffering addict to heal and prosper. Detox from heroin should be carefully assisted and supervised by professional health personnel.
Ranging from inpatient and outpatient centers with various treatment programs, to support groups and even medical care options; the healing process is favorably individually tailored, and treatments combined, to relieve the suffering of the heroin user.
Due to the substantial withdrawal symptoms, any treatment should start with a carefully supervised detoxification. This part of the process can be both challenging and dangerous, and should be aided by professionals.
The detox alone is not enough. Afterward, it is time for the patient to heal, grow and reclaim control over life, by counseling and therapy. A detailed and high-quality aftercare plan is essential, as to avoid relapse.
High-quality treatment should also focus on family and friends. Often, they have wounds and bad experiences that need to heal, and may benefit from both counseling and involving themselves in the addict’s rehabilitation process. With the support and insight from loved ones, the addict should be well on the way to overcoming addiction.