The story of heroin in someone’s life is a sad one. Everyone who ends up addicted to heroin gets there by a different route. Heroin is not often a drug people excitedly look into trying. Few people turn to heroin as the next drug in a ladder of drugs they are experimenting with. That is because heroin’s reputation precedes itself. Heroin, an opioid, is highly addicting, causes a nasty addiction, and can be lethal. People who become addicted to heroin lose their sense of self. They don’t look healthy, they often lose a tremendous amount of weight, they have track marks, and they are always on the brink of overdosing with a needle in their arm. This is the image most people have of heroin addicts. Such an image usually keeps people away from heroin. Sentiments like “I told myself shooting heroin was something I was never going to do” fall short when somehow, through the journey of their life and most likely addiction to other drugs, like prescription painkillers, they are in need of a stronger drug. Heroin suddenly becomes the last resort people are willing to try.
It is estimated that it takes no more than three interactions with heroin to get addicted. A central nervous system depressant and a strongly refined opioid, heroin has a dramatic effect on the mind as well as the body. Heroin also breaks people spiritually. Being addicted to heroin means having to avoid becoming sick due to symptoms of withdrawal, constantly needing to find a way to get high, and finding a way to manage being high. Heroin intoxication, especially when caused by intravenous drug use, can be difficult to manage. Central nervous system depressants mean that the entire body slows down, beyond one’s control. Heroin hits the bloodstream more quickly and more impactfully than other drugs. Some forms of intoxication are easier to hide or manage. When a heroin addiction becomes fully developed and someone is using a large amount of the drug regularly, they are being severely slowed down. Their brain slows down, their body slows down, and the most they can often do while intoxicated is lay still. Many people who shoot up heroin, the slang way of describing intravenous drug use, fall unconscious in a state called “nodding out” where the brain is somewhere in between consciousness and unconsciousness. They are paralyzed, unable to move, unable to think, unable to be anything but severely affected.
Heroin addiction doesn’t have to be your life. There is hope and freedom in recovery. At Design For Change, we are changing lives one step at a time, helping men and women find the refuge they need from addiction to build a life of recovery. Call us today for information on our full spectrum of residential treatment programs and specialized recovery services. (877) 267-3646