The Stigma Against Heroin Addicts: Why It Deters Them from Getting Help

heroin addiction

What Is Heroin Exactly and How Did Addiction Start?

Heroin is classified as an Opioid, which comes from the Opium Poppy or a synthetic chemical similar to it. Opioids not only include Heroin but other nefarious drugs such as Opium and Morphine as well as doctor prescribed drugs like Oxycodone and Hydrocodone.

It all started with an Opium addiction in the US in the 1850s. So the method of helping the addicted come off of Opium was to provide addicts with a substance that was supposed to be less potent and non-addictive, and this substitute was called Morphine.

Morphine addiction soon rose to a greater substance problem than Opium had been.

To help these junkies come off of Morphine, they came up with yet another new, “non-addictive” drug, and this new drug, in fact still as highly addictive as ever, is called Heroin.

One doesn’t need to guess what the cure-replacement to Heroin is, as it is common from “treatment center” to “treatment center” and that is Methadone. Methadone, like the other treatment drugs, is of course, more addictive than Heroin.

Not only does the medical industry come up with this unworkable “replacement drug” but it is they who often get Heroin addicts addicted in the first place. Doctors, rather than dealers, give out pharmaceutical medications, which are in fact, opiates. They are from the same derivatives as Heroin since they are all opiates.

The prescriptions dispensed are, as one could assume, incredibly addictive, but they are also expensive. The person with an injury who was given these to mask their pain, now addicted and time gone by, which does the actual healing of the injury, are now no longer prescribed them, and at this point they are addicted, and naturally, turn to what is most similar in high and dirt cheap -Heroin on the street.    

Heroin Epidemic

Heroin is not just a problem of the tough and gritty, desolate and homeless street-gang member. As mentioned above it is a common problem for those who were prescribed it by the hands of an MD, but they are not the only people it ruins the lives of, Heroin is also in the hands of the small and innocent children.

It is a sad fate, that illegal drugs are being pushed to school children. A little over ten years ago, the Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 9.5% of kids from 12-17 were current illegal drug users. Often starting with marijuana which easily and quickly extends to harder drugs like Heroin. Heroin is not only injected but smoked, or sniffed or used in various other forms, sometimes erroneously conceived as being“less dangerous” or “less addictive”. Another study done even earlier in time, from between 1995 and 2002 found the number of youth in America from age 12 to 17 who used Heroin at some point in their life, had increased by an incredible 300%, one could only imagine what the increase rates are now, almost two decades later.

Around the same time, the mortality rate of Heroin addicts was estimated to be twenty times greater than the mortality rate of non-Heroin-users.

A little bit later on, in 2008, a report was done by the UN Office of Drugs and Crime which stated that 16 million people worldwide used Opiates which includes Heroin, Opium, Morphine and Synthetic Opiates. That same year the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction found that Heroin alone was used by 9.2 million people.

Still, going a bit further on in time, Federal Health Professionals in the USA have reported that between 2002 and 2013 Heroin deaths quadrupled, and every year since then they have continued to rise sharply. It is noted that statistics on overdose deaths tend to be under-reported, and with that in mind, as well as the fact that it has been many years later, one could conclude that death rates have increased astronomically in the present.

The Bird Flu was the most recent scare, thought to become a massive epidemic, and so, professionals like coroners prepared for it thinking that their mortuary would become so full that they would need over-sized trailers to put bodies in, instead there is a different epidemic, that these trailers are being used for; the drug epidemic.

Drugs are the real enemy to Americans. Out of reported overdoses, 64,000 people died from a drug overdose just last year, almost half of them from Heroin alone.

When we realize more people died from drugs last year than from the Vietnam War, or than from Gun violence and car crashes, and even than the AIDS epidemic, we realize the true threat to the American people. There is a consensus among experts predicting that half a million people will die of opioid addiction alone in this coming decade, that is the equivalent of a huge, bustling city like Baltimore!

Millions of people around the world are addicted to Heroin. But do Heroin addicts recover?

Can a Heroin Addict Stay Clean?

One wonders, do Heroin addicts recover? Can a Heroin Addict stay clean? Yes, the answer is yes to both.

Although recovering from Heroin addiction can be tough, and some experts place the rates of recovery possibly as low as 20%, while only 20% of the nation’s Heroin addicts have even sought treatment, it can seem like an uncertain result. This is why alternative and natural rehab facilities are becoming greater and greater in number, they get results.

With Methadone on the rise and with who-knows-what the next “replacement drug” that will be medically “approved”is (and yet a more addictive drug despite reports otherwise), it is no surprise that conventional rehabs are coming out with such low rates, and that more and more high-quality, alternative, detox-focused and nutrition-oriented rehabs are coming to light.

The stigma against Heroin addicts not being able to recover is primarily started from the medicos who addict the prescription-turned-Heroin-user and then turn them on to a stronger, more addictive drug with the assertion and claim that it is the necessary replacement drug to help the addicted get off of Heroin.

The only other mark of disgrace associated with Heroin addicts is truly the fact that they are addicted to a substance which factually causes addiction in humans, and is yet labeled as a “mental illness”.

The stigma against Heroin addicts will be removed as more information and proof is being shared among the public that there is an alternative to getting the addicted off of drugs, and it is not only common sense and true health, but it works.

It will be intriguing to see what the statistics of Faith-based, holistic and other similar alternative drug rehabilitation centers come up with and when asked, “Can a Heroin Addict Stay Clean?”the answer will always be, not out of encouragement, (though there might be some of that in there too) but it will be one out of the sheer fact of it, – “Yes.”

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