Heroin Addiction Treatment on Staten Island
Heroin addiction treatment has become a number one priority on Staten Island, New York, due to the fact that heroin addiction has risen to alarming levels in the United States with Staten Island claiming the dubious distinction of having the largest number of addicts and deaths due to heroin of all the Burroughs in New York City. It is a highly addictive drug and one of the most difficult addictions to overcome. In 2012, approximately 500,000 people sought treatment for this addiction. It is now estimated that this number has increased to anywhere from 2.1 to 2.5 million people. Emergency room visits have more than quadrupled between 2012 and now. And these numbers do not discriminate based on age. The average age of the first time heroin user stands at 20 and this number may lower as more teens are trying prescription opiate based drugs and then moving on to heroin.
What is Heroin and How Is It Used?
This highly addictive drug is made from the resins of poppy plants. Opium is refined and turned into the drug named morphine which is further refined into heroin. It is different from other drugs as it can be sniffed, injected or smoked. As far as its physical description is concerned, it usually comes in white or brown powder form or as a tar-like substance. Some users cut it with sugar or powdered milk while others do it with other dangerous substances, a fact that increases its danger for those who use the drug, as there is often no way to tell what substances are truly present in any given powder.
Users feel a sensation of euphoria after taking heroin popularly termed as a ‘rush’. When injecting heroin, the feeling is almost immediate. The high is felt a little slower when it is smoked or snorted. When addicted, a user needs to constantly inject, snort or smoke heroin as their body becomes dependent on this substance and they show withdrawal symptoms when the drug is stopped. A user will get sick if they don’t ingest heroin within a few hours of their last use and some even react violently due to their dependency on the drug. Many users combine heroin with other drugs such as cocaine and alcohol making it even more lethal. This makes getting clean and sober even more challenging.
The Signs of Heroin Use
There are many noticeable signs of heroin addiction that one can spot to determine the person’s dependence on this substance. Signs of heroin use and addiction include:
- Needle marks or track marks on the arms, legs or hidden parts of the body
- Slowness in responding to stimuli
- Unresponsive or unmindful when under influence
- Forgoing the purchase of life’s necessities (e.g. food, clothes, utilities, etc.)
There are a few other use and addiction symptoms and indicators that family members or loved ones would notice.
- Failing in grades or unable to perform in professional life.
- Addicts focus on acquiring their daily dose often ignoring other primary responsibilities and obligations.
- There is a noticeable change in their behavior as they tend to turn violent, depressed, and reclusive without any reason and these changes take worse turns as time passes by.
- Another major change among heroin users is that they tend to become lethargic and their overall physical health starts to deteriorate.
- Drug addicts usually start caring less about personal hygiene. Their appearance declines and they don’t attend even to the minimum hygiene requirements.
- Drug addicts usually go broke and start requesting money to buy drugs. They may also start stealing in their own homes and you may notice valuable things missing.
Who Are At Risk?
Though any individual, irrespective of his/her age, can become a heroin addict, certain groups of people are at more risk compared to others. Here are some groups that are more likely to take to become heroin addicts:
- Teens – They are among the high-risk group and often try heroine due to peer pressure or when they attend parties and other social events where others take drugs.
- Veterans – Combat veterans often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. And many of them seek relief in heroin to cope up with this stress.
- College Students – This is another group that is prone to heroin addiction. Stressful schedule in college and the pressure to perform often leads them to alcohol and drugs. Most of them start attending parties and there is constant pressure from others to try these drugs.
- Professionals – Working professionals are another group that is prone to drugs. The pressure of the corporate world and the constant demand to perform often pushes them towards drugs to cope up with the problem.
Treatment for Heroin Addiction
Heroin treatment combines different methods and the process starts with detoxification. For many, there must be a heroin addiction intervention which involves the addict being confronted by loved one who plea with the addict to get help by going away to a heroin addiction rehab center.
Treatment typically begins 12 hours after the last dose of the drug. The purpose of this process is to help free the user’s body from the drug and based on the severity of addiction the person would show mild to severe withdrawal symptoms. Some of these symptoms include
- Nausea and vomiting
- Excessive Sweating
- Anxiety and Irritability
- Jitters or Shakiness
- Fatigue and Lack of Appetite
Severe withdrawal symptoms may even require hospitalization and this includes:
- High Fever
- Organ failure
If the addiction hasn’t reached alarming levels, self-help and determination may help the person get over the addiction. However, the success rate for such method is abysmally low. In many cases, counseling by support groups and those close to the person may help him or her triumph over addiction. A trained medical help counselor may also be of great help as they teach coping techniques to the addict.
Inpatient Treatment is however considered the most effective way of helping an individual quit heroin addiction and staying clean. The treatment involves everything from detoxification and counseling to alternate therapies which together act as a comprehensive method to help a person overcome craving for the heroin. This is followed by outpatient counseling for maximum results.
If your child, or any other loved one, is addicted to this dangerous substance, you must act immediately and seek help. Addiction Angel provides heroin addiction intervention in Staten Island and placement services in some of the top heroin rehab centers in the country.