According to experts, heroin is the deadliest illegal substance on the market. Many heroin addicts feel as if there is no way for them to get off the drug once they have become addicted to it. However, recovery for heroin addicts is more than possible. No, it won’t be easy, but it is possible.
Heroin is purchased as a white, brown or black powder. While the powder version of heroin is commonly sold on the street, it’s also marketed as a black, sticky substance, which greatly resembles tar. This powerful drug is made from morphine, which is a naturally occurring substance. The poppy plant is responsible for producing morphine.
A large percentage of heroin users prefer to inject the drug because it provides an unbeatable rush and powerful high. When it’s injected, heroin is mixed with water, and a syringe is used to inject the solution. Many users will snort or smoke the powder version of the drug. Heroin users refer to the act of smoking heroin as chasing the dragon because of the unique way the drug is smoked. Today, heroin is viewed as one of the most addictive drugs in the United States.
Disturbing Heroin Recovery Statistics
About 25 percent of all individuals who try heroin become addicted to the drug. During 2008, roughly 3.8 million people tried heroin for the first time. During 2007, 14 percent of all emergency room visits were linked to heroin abuse. Many heroin users spend up to $150 every single day to support their habit. About 35 percent of patients who seek treatment for heroin addiction through outpatient care complete the program.
Close to 65 percent of individuals who ask for help for heroin addiction through inpatient treatment complete the program. Studies show that medication therapy for heroin addiction can be quite useful. However, the success rate for treating heroin with low dose methadone is about 20 percent while treatment with a higher dose of methadone can yield a success rate of 72 percent. In the United States, about 1.2 million individuals use heroin casually. Out of this group, over 200,000 people fit the description for having a heroin addiction. According to some recent estimates, over 700,000 Americans need treatment for heroin addiction but aren’t getting the help they require.
What Makes Heroin So Addictive?
Maybe you’re wondering how such an ugly substance can be so attractive to drug users. The unmatched addictiveness of heroin is caused by the way that it affects the brain. It grabs hold of the brain and produces very pleasurable effects, which trick the brain into seeking ever-increasing amounts of the substance. This is how most illegal drugs work, but heroin just does a far better job than most of the alternatives.
Ironically, heroin is created from morphine; once it reaches the brain, it transforms back into morphine. Morphine is a chemical that binds to rewards receptors in the brain and stimulates them. Heroin is known to cause a sense of euphoria that fills the entire body. Most heroin users get hooked on the drug very quickly because they want to continue experiencing the powerful sense of euphoria produced by it.
Information on Recovery for Heroin Addicts
Heroin is a highly addictive drug. According to NIDA, over four million Americans have tried heroin at least one time. One in four first time heroin users become addicted to the drug. The process of breaking an addiction to heroin can be a long one. In many cases, it can last for several years. Many studies show that seeking inpatient treatment strongly correlates with long-term recovery from heroin. Professional treatment appears to be a major factor that determines whether or not a person will get sober and stay off of the drug.
Statistics also show that a longer stay inside of an inpatient treatment facility correlates with greater overall recovery for heroin addicts. Support groups, spirituality, practical components and social factors all influence a person’s ability to quit using heroin. In most cases, the only way to truly help someone who is suffering from heroin addiction is to enter them into an inpatient treatment program. Some of the benefits of inpatient care and recovery for heroin addicts are healthy nutrition, peer support, 24-hour monitoring and a greater focus on quitting heroin and staying sober.