What You Should Know About The Heroin Addiction Epidemic: Protecting Your Loved Ones

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If you have tuned in to the news in the past several months and even years, you may have heard reports about the rising problem of heroin addiction all across the United States. Heroin, once a drug limited to a smaller subculture within the community of illegal drug users, has exploded and expanded like nobody could have predicted. If you have been operating under the assumption that nobody you love or care about could even become addicted to heroin, recent trends would show that nobody is immune. Get to know more about heroin addiction and the heroin addiction treatment options so that you can protect your loved ones should they show signs of a developing heroin problem.

Why Is Heroin Addiction On The Rise?

Many people wonder why heroin addiction is on the rise in the United States when it once seemed to be going in the opposite direction. While a single event cannot be blamed for these changes, there are some factors that experts believe are contributing to the problem.

One such issue is the great increase in the number of patients being prescribed prescription opioid pain medications. Prescription opioids, like heroin, are derived from a substance fond in the seed pods of a poppy plant. Because they are so similar, if someone becomes addicted to prescription pain medications but cannot continue to obtain them legally, they may turn to heroin as another source of similar effects that is cheaper than prescription opioids.

How Can You Tell Someone Is Addicted To Heroin?

There are numerous symptoms and side effects that go along with heroin abuse and addiction. Because heroin is most often injected directly into the vein, one of the most obvious signs of abuse is needle marks (also known as track marks) on the inside of the elbow.

In addition to those marks, heroin users often have flushed skin when they are under the influence and may nod off repeatedly and suddenly due to the extreme relaxing effect the drug has on the body. Sudden and drastic weight loss can also be a sign of heroin addiction as well as nausea, constipation, vomiting, and abdominal pain. These are among the most common signs that a person is abusing and addicted to heroin.

What Are The Treatments For Heroin Addiction?

Due to the rise in heroin addiction cases in the United States, heroin treatment treatment options have begun to grow as well. Several different prescription medications can be used to help wean the body off of the opiate effects of heroin.

Suboxone and other newer drugs are essentially opioid blockers. They contain small amounts of opioids as well as drugs that counteract the effects of opioids in the body. This means that when the person takes the prescription, they get just a hint of the opioid effects and then have it countered by the other component of the drug. This prevents extreme withdrawal pains and gives the addicted person time to get therapy and other treatments to beat their addiction.

As previously mentioned, the use of medications for heroin addiction treatment should also be paired with therapy, both in group and individual settings. Therapy will help the addicted person get down to the root of their drug addiction and help the patient to overcome those underlying issues without turning to mind-altering substances.

Now that you better understand the epidemic of heroin addiction and the treatment options available, you can better protect your loved ones should they begin to show signs of a heroin issue.