The Danger In Addiction Understanding The Addiction Crisis In The Us
Addiction is not some rare phenomenon, hidden in the abandoned buildings and old gas stations of this country. No addiction affects millions of Americans each and every day. And its only growing.
To get a full picture of the addiction crisis facing the United States, consider the following statistics:
- Over 20 million Americans currently suffer from a substance abuse disorder.
- Around 15% of adults will develop some form of addiction at some point in their life.
- Opioid overdose deaths account for the most accidental deaths in the United States more than car accidents.
- Around 350 people die from their drug or alcohol abuse each and every day in the United States.
- Only 10% of those suffering from a substance abuse disorder will actually get treatment for the problem.
These statistics show that the issue is not limited to cocaine or heroin addicts though opioids are a huge part of the epidemic in the United States.
Either way, it is clear that addiction is becoming increasingly common in the United States. Whether the drug is alcohol or prescription opioids, there is a clear and present danger in addiction.
So how many years does drinking or drug use take off your life?
Escaping The Depths Of Heroin Addiction
Despite the difficulties that follow getting clean, heroin addiction doesnt have to be the end of the road. If youre stuck deep within the cycle of addiction, there is a way out. Reach out to a qualified addiction treatment program, somewhere like Peace Valley Recovery, where you can find the help and support you need.
Follow the lead of those who overcame their heroin addiction and ask for help today! Call us at to speak with one of our certified and knowledgeable admissions counselors who can connect you with the right rehab program for you.
The Relapse Rate For All Substance Abuse Disorders Ranges From 40 To 60% But The Rate For Heroin Specifically Is As High As 90% Or Even Greater
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There is no doubt that heroin addiction is difficult to treat. Its one of the most difficult addictions to recover from, but it is possible. Its important that people struggling with this addiction know why people who are addicted to heroin.
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What To Do In A Heroin Overdose
Contact emergency personnel immediately. Heroin overdose is a medical emergency that requires treatment with naloxone. Call 911 for an emergency transport in the US and Canada.
Signs of an opioid overdose include extreme drowsiness, blue lips and fingernails, slow or halted breathing, pinpoint pupils, slow heart rate, coma, death.
Occurring more frequently in the U.S., heroin purchased on the street may be “cut” or contaminated with other dangerous and extremely potent opioids, such as fentanyl or carfentanyl. These agents are often fatal to the user, and deaths have been reported.
Learn More: Know Your Naloxone: Save a Life
For use in the community, naloxone comes as a nasal spray . If naloxone is available, you can administer it yourself to someone who is overdosing. You should still call 911.
In many pharmacies you can now access naloxone without a prescription to keep with you, at home or in your car in case of an overdose emergency. This is recommended especially if you have friends or family members using opioids or undergoing treatment. Ask your pharmacist about access to naloxone in your state. Read the directions on administering the naloxone before an emergency occurs.
Not The Lesser Of The Evils: Life Expectancy For Tobacco Smokers
When talking about the worst addictions, you may not immediately think of tobacco. But cigarettes and other tobacco products dramatically affect the physical health of those who use them. In fact, cigarettes are responsible for nearly half a million deaths every year in the United States. Clearly, the life expectancy for tobacco smokers is lower than for those who do not smoke at all.
Overall mortality among both male and female smokers in the United States is about three times higher than that among similar people who never smoked. The major causes of excess mortality among smokers are diseases that are related to smoking, including cancer and respiratory and vascular disease.
~ Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
To get a full picture of the life expectancy for tobacco smokers, consider the following statistics from the Centers for Disease & Prevention:
- Tobacco use is the #1 preventable cause of death in the United States.
- Smoking cigarettes accounts for one in every five deaths in the United States each and every year.
- Cigarette smoking causes an estimated 480,000 deaths every year.
- Life expectancy for smokers is about 10 years shorter than for those who do not smoke at all.
- The good news: if you quit smoking cigarettes before the age of 40, your reduce your risk of death from a smoking-related disease by a full 90 percent.
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What Is Medically Assisted Treatment
Rosecrance offers treatments that include the use of medications such as Suboxone. These medications can help ease withdrawal from heroin addiction. They block the opiates effects and address pain issues, reducing anxiety and cravings.
At Rosecrances Health Clinic, Suboxone is used throughout the outpatient treatment process. This helps patients:
- Engage in and focus on treatment because their withdrawal and cravings are eased
- Stay with treatment throughout the process
- More easily taper off medications and have a more customized treatment
How Long Does It Take To Get Off Heroin
The length of time spent at an inpatient heroin rehab center varies by individual. The appropriate length of treatment depends on many factors. A commonly offered treatment duration is the 30-day program. Some heroin treatment facilities also offer 60-day and 90-day programs. In general, at least 90 days in treatment is recommended, as research has shown that anything shorter is less effective.5,6
Longer programs are available, and may provide additional support for those who have completed a 30-day program and relapsed, individuals with co-occurring mental or physical health issues, or those who lack a stable home environment. There are also heroin rehab centers that offer inpatient treatment for as long as a year. Deciding which option is right for you is an important step toward starting your recovery.
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Do I Need To Detox From Heroin
Yes, detox is the first step to treating heroin addiction. At the beginning of detox, your body works hard to cleanse itself of toxins accumulated through heroin use. Throughout detox, the body processes substances in your system, clearing those toxins out.
While you can detox from heroin on your own, its not recommended. At Footprints to Recovery, we offer medical detox, which puts you under the care of medical professionals who support and monitor you throughout withdrawal. They may prescribe medication to help you wean off heroin safely. Its generally a three-step process:
Teen Heroin Use At A Glance
Teen substance abuse is an ongoing problem in the United States. According to a recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics, an estimated 30.9 percent of teens who experimented with heroin developed an addiction within the first twelve months. In addition, the CDC reported that 19.8 percent of drug overdose deaths were the result of heroin use.
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How Do You Taper Off Of Heroin
A tapering regimen is all about lessening tolerance and dependence over time. Taking less and less of the drug allows the body and nervous system to self-correct and, ultimately, heal itself. By keeping withdrawal symptoms at bay, it is more likely that an individual will continue the recovery process. This is one of the primary reasons replacement therapy is used as well. A persons environment will play a vital role in deciding how to taper off heroin.
Treatment For Opioid Use Disorder: Detoxification And Mat
Several medical treatment options exist for heroin addiction and opioid use disorder : the general term for this process is Medication-Assisted Treatment . A medically supervised withdrawal prior to MAT is known as detoxification .
Relapse, which is the continued use of opioids after opioid withdrawal, is a serious event. Relapse can occur in up to 90% of patients within the first 2 months unless treated with medications for maintenance, like MAT. Medically-supervised treatment can help you stay off of opiates by blocking the euphoria that is experienced.
Drug treatments for detoxification and long-term maintenance are most effective when combined with a medication compliance program and behavioral or “talk” therapy. These medications can relieve opioid cravings without producing the “high” or dangerous side effects of other opioids. While either one can be used individually, the risk for relapse is high when used alone.
These treatments work by binding fully or partially to opiate receptors in the brain and work as agonists, antagonists or a combination of the two.
There is an additional safety factor by undergoing MAT: those who lose their tolerance to opioids are at risk of a fatal overdose if they return to opioid use, so supervision by a healthcare professional can save lives.
Medicines Used in the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder
If youre seeking treatment for opioid use, you can:
To learn more about Opioid Use Disorder, treatments, dosing and side effects:
What Causes Heroin Addiction
Heroin is highly addictive. Its an opioid, which binds to receptors in the brain to release the chemical dopamine. As with most drug side effects, this release is only temporary which leaves some people wanting more of the good feeling.
If a person takes an opioid repeatedly over time, the brain doesnt naturally produce dopamine as it once did. This results in the person taking higher or more frequent doses of the opioid in order to achieve the same level of good feeling.
Sometimes opioid use disorder begins with legal drugs like painkillers that are prescribed after a surgery or some other injury. These pain-relieving drugs act in similar ways to heroin.
If a person becomes addicted to these prescribed medications and cant obtain them anymore, they may pursue illegal drugs like heroin to achieve the same pleasurable feeling.
While not everyone who takes legal painkillers or recreational substances becomes addicted, some people wont be able to stop taking them.
How Does Heroin Affect The Body
Numerous factors contribute to how long heroin stays in the body. Like any substance, the impact is influenced by a persons age, weight, metabolism, hydration, genetics, the volume of substance consumed and whether the heroin was cut with another substance.
The effects of heroin on the body are subject to a persons health, too. A well-functioning liver and kidneys will handle the substance differently than a chronic users.
How long heroin stays in the body also depends on how long someone has been impacted by a heroin addiction. Chronic users have larger amounts of heroin in their body and some of it is stored in the bodys fatty tissues, meaning it can be detected a long time after the last usage according to the American Addiction Centers.
What are the short-term effects of heroin?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the good and bad short-term effects of heroin include the following.
- Pain relief
- Shifting in and out of consciousness
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Signs Of Possible Heroin Addiction
Heroin is an illegal and highly addictive opioid that can look like white or brown powder, or a sticky black tar.
âNobody is going to go straight from having a cigarette to heroin the next day,â Smith-Ahearn points out. Still, you should pay extra attention to a loved one who suffers a major blow like a friendâs death or job loss, he says. The same goes if they are hanging out with people you suspect use drugs or are taking prescription opioids that can be a gateway to heroin.
Your suspicions should be aroused to a possible drug problem if you notice these behaviors from a family member or friend, according to the Mayo Clinic:
Work or school issues.The person seems disinterested or is frequently absent and admits to slipping performance.
Disinterest in physical appearance.The person is suddenly disdainful of clothes and grooming.
Behavior changes. They have drastic changes in relationships and may seem secretive about activities and personal space.
Money problems. The person starts hitting you up for loans often.
âAnyone experiencing addiction is going through ups and downs all day long,â says Dr. Kenneth Morford, an addiction medicine specialist with Yale Medicine in New Haven, Conn. âInitially, using was getting them high, but over time they will go through cycles: Feeling sick, sweating, generally restless, distracted â followed by feeling normal. Thatâs where you can see disruptions in their daily activities.â
Helping Someone Withdrawing Or Detoxing From Heroin
Its best to talk to an addiction specialist team to obtain advice before helping a loved one through the detox and withdrawal process. Addiction specialists are trained in how to work with people in withdrawal. They can offer expert support with the task of helping a loved one through the withdrawal process. To talk to a specialist, , or sign up for online counseling services through The Recovery Village Telethealth App.
Before withdrawal and detox begin, its important to clear all drugs and drug paraphernalia out of the house to avoid tempting the individual.
It can be very stressful to watch someone go through heroin withdrawal. Although heroin withdrawal is seldom deadly, stopping heroin can lead to very uncomfortable symptoms within only a few hours. Besides the physical symptoms, the person withdrawing may show psychological symptoms, such as confusion, anxiety, and aggression.
Because recovery is a lifelong process, the individual will require ongoing support. The person in recovery will need a strong support system after detox completes. This support system may include long-term professional counseling sessions. Some counseling sessions may be available to friends and family as well.
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Can Heroin Withdrawal Be Deadly
Detoxing from any kind of opioid can be life-threatening. For this reason, the safest way to detox is under medical care. As uncomfortable as withdrawal symptoms are, they arent usually life-threatening. However, they are uncomfortable and painful enough to make at-home detox dangerous. It is during an at-home detox that a person begins to crave heroin while also experiencing withdrawal symptoms. To relieve their pain, they use heroin. However, now that they are clean, their body is no longer accustomed to the drug. They may return to using the same amount as they previously did, but it can be overwhelming for their body, causing an overdose and death.
How Is The Life Of A Heroin Addict Different
People who first start experimenting with heroin tend to tell themselves that they can take the drug every now and then without affecting their daily life. Sadly, this is not true because heroin is an extraordinarily addictive substance. Even very functional addicts will suffer from physical and mental health issues.
The life of a heroin addict tends to be quite different from the life they had during their addiction. It is impossible to live normally because heroin can ruin your relationships, destroy your health, and change the way your brain works. All of these effects of heroin can result in significant life changes that may be impossible to reverse.
Heroin Users Deal With Physical Health Problems Regularly
Heroin has both short and long term physical effects that change the quality of your life. People tend to have a loss of appetite, resulting in dangerous weight loss. Due to repeated injections of heroin, they may end up with infections, abscesses, and collapsed veins. Heroin also causes a lot of stomach upset and constipation, so addicts may spend hours in the bathroom.
Addiction to Heroin Significantly Changes the Way You Think
Those who are long term users of heroin undergo major changes to the shape of their brain and the chemicals and hormones that regulate thoughts and moods.
- White matter in brain deteriorates.
- The brain produces less dopamine, serotonin, and other types of neurotransmitters associated with happy and stable moods.
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What Happens When I Leave Footprints To Recovery
Once you complete the structured treatment program for heroin addiction, its important to remember that you are not finished. Aftercare focuses on your recovery and will help you avoid relapse by developing the skills you need to live a drug-free life.
To prevent relapse, you must maintain your sobriety. We encourage you to see sobriety as a fulfilling journey! And were always here to help, even after youre finished Footprints to Recovery programming. You can increase your chances of successful addiction recovery by participating in sober and supportive activities, such as support groups, step-down programs, and sober living.
Are you ready to get help for your heroin addiction? We are here for you. Contact Footprints to Recovery today to speak to one of our admissions coordinators and begin your journey to health and recovery.
Help Hope And Healing At The Raleigh House
The good news is that heroin addiction can be successfully treatedwith the right help. At The Raleigh House, located in Denver, we embrace a whole-person approach to healing that addresses physical, mental and emotional health. Each person who walks through our door is assigned his or her own masters level therapist. One-on-one and group therapy sessions help heal emotionally, while chef-prepared meals and activities like yoga and kick boxing help heal the body. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the heroin addiction treatment program at The Raleigh House.
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