There is an opioid epidemic going on in this country right now and it is hard to believe it actually did not start sooner, considering the way that painkillers are so widely prescribed by well-meaning doctors. Very often, patients who have legitimate injuries are prescribed medication to help treat them and then turn to heroin when their doctors are no longer able to issue them any more prescriptions.
Many who have not gone through the misery of having a friend or family member addicted to heroin or who have never been addicted themselves may think it is always the fault of the addict, that they brought it on themselves. This is not always the case, however. Here are some Heroin Addiction Facts and Statistics that everyone should know, whether or not heroin has made a presence in their life right now.
1. “Nodding out” is a term frequently used by those who use heroin. It is in reference to the fact that after using the drug, addicts tend to fall asleep wherever they may be. In some sad cases, there have even been users who have used heroin in their car and fallen asleep with their children still in the backseat.
2. One little-known side effect of heroin is the desire of the user to itch their skin, especially when the drug is very pure. This is because heroin is opioid-based and therefore produces histamines. These histamines irritate the skin and cause the addict to incessantly itch until sores develop on their body.
3. Scientists have discovered that heroin can actually cause physical changes in the brain. These changes act to impair the neurotransmitters in the brain. The pre-frontal cortex of the brain deteriorates and the functions of the brain are continued to be harmed. Such functions as cognition and decision-making can be warped beyond repair.
4. The lure of the drug is due to the fact that the rush comes on in an insidious manner. The drug binds itself to receptors in the brain which then release a euphoric rush to the user. This further acts to release dopamine into the brain and the brain is subsequently trained to expect this rush of euphoria. When the person does not get this sensation, they began to feel withdrawal symptoms and can actually become quite sick until they get their next “fix.”
5. Heroin knows no bounds when it comes to economic or geographic factors. Heroin use is on the rise in all manners of income brackets and is also spreading through the country in rural, suburban, and urban areas. The drug has been linked to many negative health issues beyond the obvious addictive qualities. These include increased risk of the user getting HIV or hepatitis, chronic disease, and it is also linked to higher crime rates in locations where the drug has taken hold.
6. In addition to the aforementioned health problems, there are also long-term health issues that the addict is almost certain to face. Some of these issues may include, heart problems, liver problems, collapsed veins from constant intravenous use, and the loss of teeth and hair. While some media may portray heroin as a chic or sexy drug, it is anything but. It leaves the user without their natural beauty and leaves them a shell of their former self.
7. When in the throes of addiction, the heroin user will resort to stealing from friends and family, lying, engaging in the deceitful or manipulative behavior, and will even resort to breaking into houses or businesses to try and steal to support their habit. Whether this is normal behavior for the person or not, it does not matter when they are in the grips of a drug as powerful as heroin.
As can be seen from this article, if a loved one or even yourself is trapped in the cycle of heroin addiction, a stay at a heroin rehab center in Utah is highly recommended. The chance to regain a life that is clean and without the agony that heroin addiction brings is what everyone deserves. But as with most solutions for addictive behaviors, the choice must be made by the one who is facing the problem.