The Heroin Stigma Must Stop

“Heroin gave me wings, but took away the sky.”    – Drew Gates Heroin addiction is taking the lives of people every day. An epidemic is amongst the United States and it is getting worse, not better. If you aren’t familiar with the toll this epidemic is taking on our country, let’s put it into prospective.


“Heroin gave me wings, but took away the sky.”    – Drew Gates

Heroin addiction is taking the lives of people every day. An epidemic is amongst the United States and it is getting worse, not better. If you aren’t familiar with the toll this epidemic is taking on our country, let’s put it into prospective. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 115 individuals die each day from an Opioid overdose and that number is rising each year.

To some people, the Heroin “junkies” deserve to die but to most, those “junkies” are children, parents and loved ones who just lost their way.

No one chooses or wants to become addicted to Heroin. In fact, on that first day of kindergarten, we chattered about become astronauts, singers, policemen and teachers with excitement to conquer the world.

No child or adult wakes up one day saying, “today’s the day I become hopelessly addicted to Heroin.”

Who wants to become hopelessly addicted to Heroin? No one. It happens to the best of us- the people you would least expect it from. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, 80 percent of the individuals who abused prescription Opiates transition to abusing Heroin.

Most individuals who are prescribed these Opiates are in legitimate pain. This pain may be from a surgery, accident or dental procedure. The people who have been in pain are most likely taking their medication as prescribed but when it runs out, they have an unbearable craving for more.

The Urge to Use Opiates

As soon as that craving hits, there is no stopping what these individuals are going to do next and the next step is going to most likely be getting more pills such as Oxycodone, Vicodin and Fentanyl.

Addicted individuals have a way of manipulating and they may be able to play the doctors for a while, complaining about being in pain. However, this won’t last long. The doctors are trained to be aware of individuals who are possibly abusing pain medication and once the doctor suspects the patient is abusing, no more prescription medication will be prescribed.

This, in turn, will cause these people to find their sources elsewhere. Finding the sources, they need won’t be hard, but it will be intimidating. These people most likely have jobs, families and a life worth living for.

The Disease of Addiction

There is nothing stronger than the phenomenon of craving these hopeless people are experiencing. No words will ever be able to describe the madness going on in the brains of the people we love when they are searching for something they know could kill them but yet they cannot stop.

As noted before, these are people who have family, careers and a life worth living. Not just people who “grew up not knowing right from wrong” or “homeless scum” that society makes Heroin addicted individuals out to be.

Because society makes Heroin addicts out to be such horrible people, it is hard for struggling individuals to come forward out of embarrassment or shame. Becoming addicted to Heroin is already hard enough. The addicted individuals don’t need the world making it harder for them to get help.

This is where we need to come together as a society to end the stigma. Ending the stigma of addiction will save lives and bring down the rates of overdose drastically.

It will bring down the overdose rates because more individuals will feel comfortable about coming forward about their addiction and asking for help.

Stopping the Stigma and Saving Lives

Asking for help for a Heroin addiction is tough and damaging to one’s ego. However, it is worth it.

Getting into a treatment center is the best thing someone can do for their addiction. It is like someone getting chemotherapy treatment for cancer, it can help save their life.

During Heroin addiction rehab, the addicted individual will begin treatment with detoxification. Detoxification will help the individual be in less pain during withdrawal with the help of medication in a supervised setting.

Detoxification will last around a week, maybe longer, depending on the severity of the individual’s addiction. It is vital to start rehab with detox because it will help clear the mind. Going into treatment with a clear mind sets the addicted person up for success.

After detox comes the therapeutic side of rehab. Going through therapy will help get down to the root of the individual’s Heroin addiction.

Getting down to the root of any past problem can only help with how a recovering individual will be in the future. Addiction doesn’t stem overnight, and it will take time to rewire the mind. These people may not be better their first week, or even their first month- which is okay because they are in the right place getting adequate care they deserve.

Getting the right care is important for anyone who has become addicted to Heroin. Keep in mind, these addicts are people’s children and no child wishes to become a Heroin addict, it just happens.

Addiction is a disease the world passes off as “weak self will.” This is not the case and it needs to be known that if we come together and end the stigma, we will save lives.

Heroin addiction is no joke and it does not care about how far you have come in life. It can happen to anyone, even you.

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