Heroin is a powerful and highly addictive drug that is processed from morphine, which is extracted from the opium poppy. Like many opiates (drugs derived from the opium poppy), heroin acts as an extremely strong pain reliever by blocking the brain’s ability to perceive pain. Overcoming a heroin addiction can be extremely tough. The intense cravings that may often be experienced mean that many of those affected are unable to complete an addiction detox, no matter how hard they try.
However, just because a heroin addiction is difficult to overcome, it does not mean that it is impossible. With an addiction detox and a programme of rehabilitation, even those with the most severe addictions can recover.
Viral Video of Overdosed Couple On Street
It is not always apparent that someone is abusing heroin or other drugs, but sometimes you can tell simply by looking at the individual. This was certainly the case for two people in Memphis in early October 2016. A video has been circulating on Facebook showing two people lying unconscious on a path after, according to police, ‘snorting some heroin’ in a nearby Walgreens bathroom. The video has been viewed more than 400,000 times.
A passer-by witnessed the pair lying on the path while he drove by, and immediately called the emergency services. Memphis Fire revived the couple who were both taken to hospital.
Karen Morgan of Turning Point Recovery Memphis has reported an increase in heroin overdoses in that city, and said, “People tend to think they’ve done it to themselves. Well no they haven’t. Their brains have been changed by the use of the chemicals.”
Spotting a Heroin Addiction
The hardest part of recovery is often admitting that the problem exists. Many heroin addicts are reluctant to ask for help or support; in a lot of cases, this is due to the fact that they do not want to have to give up the drug to which they are addicted. Most of these addicts feel it is better to ignore the issue altogether rather than facing up to the fact that they do have a problem that needs to be resolved as soon as possible.
For the loved ones of heroin addicts, it can be incredibly frustrating to know that the person they love is abusing drugs and that there is absolutely nothing they can do to help. This can be very distressing for close friends and family, placing them under a tremendous amount of strain.
If you are concerned that a loved one or friend might be abusing heroin, there are a few things you can look out for. We discuss these in the following paragraphs.
Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Abuse
Heroin induces the individual into a state of euphoria and relaxation. Even a small dose of heroin can allow the user to experience a feeling of intense pleasure and warmth, while larger doses can make the individual feel very relaxed and tired. Common signs of a drug addiction include:
- dry mouth
- sudden changes in behaviour
- shortness of breath
- dilated or constricted pupils.
These signs are not unique to heroin abuse but are general symptoms that can occur with many drug addictions (including heroin). Indicators of a heroin abuse include possession paraphernalia intended to be used to consume heroin. These can include:
- burned silver spoons
- needles or syringes
- straws with burn marks
- aluminium foil or chewing gum wrappers with burn marks.
These are signs that the individual is planning to abuse, or has already abused, heroin. Behavioural signs of heroin abuse include:
- avoiding eye contact
- loss of motivation
- repeated theft
- slurred speech
- hostile behaviour towards loved ones.
The Risks of Heroin Abuse
When one abuses heroin, he or she is putting themselves in danger. A heroin overdose can lead to coma and, in some cases, death as a result of respiratory failure.
Injecting heroin can cause massive amounts of damage to arteries and veins and has been linked to gangrene and other infections. If injecting heroin and sharing needles, syringes or other equipment, the user is putting him/herself and others in danger of contracting serious and potentially life-threatening infections such as HIV/Aids, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
Frequent abuse of heroin can lead to tolerance. Reducing or stopping heroin even for just a few days means the tolerance rapidly decreases. This means the risk of an overdose if the user then goes back to taking the same doses previously taken.
Overcoming Heroin Addiction
As explained above, heroin is an extremely powerful substance that comes with a range of seriously harmful side effects. Many people abuse this drug as it acts as a pain reliever, not only as a way to deal with pain but also to block out the troubles of everyday life.
Trying to overcome any addiction can be extremely difficult; nevertheless, it is entirely possible if the individual commits and is motivated. Those who do recover usually do so with a combination of addiction detox followed by rehabilitation treatment in an inpatient facility.
Inpatient care is the best way for someone with a severe heroin addiction to recover as it allows the affected person to spend a period of around six to eight weeks recovering in a distraction-free environment away from the temptations of everyday life. It also ensures that medical professionals are on hand at all times, in case of emergency.
For more information on addiction detox and rehabilitation, contact us here at Addiction Helper today.
Source: The video that lays bare America’s heroin epidemic: Laughing crowd gathers to WATCH as married drug addicts slowly lose consciousness in the street after overdose (Daily Mail)