Heroin is processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seedpod of the Asian poppy plant. Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder. Most people imagine heroin being used through injection but most begin with either snorting or smoking the drug. Many even begin using heroin unknowingly believing it is another substance. Others begin using after developing an addiction to prescription drugs and turning to heroin due to financial constraints. Regardless of how their use began, everyone suffering from an addiction to heroin find a similar experience and escape in their new drug of abuse. Once they reach this stage of addiction to heroin they may need an intervention to achieve recovery.
The Wizard of Oz depicts a world in black and white, void of color until Dorothy and her companions reach a field of poppies. Afterwards it shows a world of intense color and a peaceful rest. This is a valuable analogy as it is an accurate depiction of the addicted persons motives in the beginning stages of their use. The addicted person turns to this drug due to a lack of purpose or trauma in their lives and they find comfort -in the beginning- by using this substance. Heroin use transforms into abuse and creates physical dependence and addiction to the substance. This is true not only psychologically but physically due to the intensity of withdrawal symptoms if they do cease use of the drug.
Let’s not kid ourselves about the allure of pleasure and the avoidance of pain. The desire for gain and the fear of loss are prime movers in human nature. Heroin is purely a vehicle for acquiring a greater degree of pleasure than one imagines possible using more benign and/or less active compounds. It is risk versus benefit and both the perceived benefit and real risk of continued use of heroin are higher than almost any other substance. These facts make staging an intervention for heroin addiction a formidable threat as the addicted persons drive to continue use seems absolutely necessary, and just “one more use” can result in overdose and/or death.
Heroin is reputed to be almost instantly dependency-forming (addiction). This means that one dose creates an experience that is nearly perfect to the user. The pendulum, however, swings quickly and equally in the opposite direction to a state so below normal that heroin is the only means of escaping the pure hell that an addict experiences without the influence or hope for the drug. This daily swing create a cycle of highs and lows that seems unbreakable to the abuser.
Abuse of heroin specifically means self-inflicted maltreatment, injury, or damage to one’s person with heroin. This includes the physical body of the addict and the social and/or financial harm that will affect this same “natural person” within society. It includes the family, friends, coworkers, and congregation members who are likely victims and/or enablers of the addict’s abusive behavior. This is depicted in the stereotype “heroin addict” as a homeless person who may steal, beg, or even prostitute themselves for their “next fix”. Studies show heroin addiction is not limited to this stereotype studies show that people from all walks of life; Business people, blue collar workers, executives, and celebrities all find themselves in this cycle. Although heroin addiction is seen in all socio-economic groups it eventually leads many users to lose their status in their group which created the previously mentioned stereotype.
Heroin Addiction and Dependency
Beyond abuse, addiction and dependency are a potential mix of the physiological need for heroin and psychological or behavioral need for self-medication with heroin. This stage creates a seemingly unbreakable cycle for the addicted person. Ultimately the addict has to desire to be free of their drive for the drug and/or its effects. While this desire is present in all heroin addicts the reality of their day-to-day lives keep them trapped. Unfortunately, a great deal of damage – if not death – is far more likely than an addict seeking a treatment center on their own. This unfortunate reality is the creating the daily news stories of overdoses and deaths in communities nationwide.
Intervention for heroin addiction
If you or a loved one is in the grips of heroin addiction it can be overwhelming. It is unthinkable that their Son, Daughter, Spouse or friend could be a heroin addict. The questions that every family asks include “how did this happen? How do I help them? Why won’t/cant they stop? These questions all lead to a head when you ask “what do we do now?” which is the most important question of all. The answer is to facilitate them admitting into a detox and treatment program.
Getting someone to treatment is much easier said than done as most addicts will resist treatment. In order to be treated they must be willing. If they are in denial that they need treatment, or even have a problem, an intervention may be appropriate. A Heroin Intervention will be one of the most difficult things you or your family have been through. It can also be the most rewarding; With the correct support, it will be a catalyst for the return of your loved one. The same loved one you thought was lost to addiction forever.