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The New Face of Heroin Addiction: Part 2

In “The New Face of Heroin Addiction: Part 1,” we discussed how today’s society has a new image of heroin addiction, but also how addiction doesn’t have one pure, distinct look.  Putting an image on what an addict should look like is considered a stigma, which is exactly what should be expunged if substance use disorders are to be best understood and treated.

Understanding Heroin Addiction

What exactly are the effects of heroin addiction? Heroin is considered a downer, meaning that it alters the brain to make the person feel drowsy, relaxed, and in a state of euphoria.  After continual use, the drug user may stop being able to achieve the standard highs and only continue using to chase what they once felt, and thus they have become entangled in the cycle of active addiction.  Cynthia and Stephanie are two individuals who shared their separate experiences about becoming addicted to the drug heroin after being prescribed pain medication.

A parent’s story

Cynthia is a prime example of an addict who typically wouldn’t be expected to be suffering from a heroin addiction because she is a mother of eight children, a grandmother, and a committed member of the PTA board.  Before heroin, she was prescribed a plethora of pain medication to treat hip pain, of which included OxyContin, oxycodone, soma, Flexeril, and Valium.  For one woman to be on this amount of pain medication is absurd, which is why when she eventually saw another doctor who questioned the amount of medicine she was on and decreased her dosage, it was unfortunately already too late.  “My addiction was in full bloom,” the woman described.  “Ultimately, I ended up on heroin … more bangs for my buck and it made sense.”

A child’s story

Stephanie was a young adult who was once in the hospital, had pain medication administered through an IV during her stay, and then left with a prescription for pain medication.  The only issue she had was that she became addicted to the prescription medication.  She was an Honors student and never intended to become addicted to these potent painkillers.  She was later introduced by friends to larger doses of prescription pain medication.  After stealing from people around her to feed her addiction, it was only a matter of time before she could no longer afford the pill habit.  “My boyfriend introduced me to heroin,” says Stephanie, as she described how her heroin addiction began to unfold.  “At first I didn’t want to try it because I thought of it as being dirty … that I was better than that, but it was cheap and it was available and I needed it all day and every day.”  She wasn’t just a girlfriend though.  Stephanie referred to herself as “an all-American child,” growing up in a home that was well off.  She never expected to wind up a heroin addict.

These are similar types of stories where the new faces of heroin are demonstrated.  By these average citizens from our society sharing their stories, there is hope to break the stigma and false image of a heroin addict.

Are you suffering from a heroin addiction and longing to recover from the seemingly hopeless state of mind and body?  Recovery is possible and you can attain it.  Call The Watershed Texas today at 1-800-211-7375 give yourself the chance to for freedom from obsession.

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