The heroin epidemic in the United States has been escalating in recent years. There was a long period when drug addiction was thought to only affect those in lower class areas. However, the recent heroin problem has silently crept its way into the middle and upper classes. More and more everyday, everyone from housewives, to teenagers and even older generations are becoming addicted to heroin. The path to heroin addiction is different for everyone, so it’s important to understand what the signs of heroin use are. Recognizing them may give you the tools you need to help a loved one before it’s too late.
Becoming Addicted to Heroin from Pain Medications
The United States prescribes millions of narcotic pain medications each year. This epidemic really became an issue when OxyContin hit the market. This medication was marketed in the early 2000s as the perfect pain medication, but it didn’t take long for people to see that it was highly addictive. Along with OxyContin, medical professionals began to prescribe many other opiate-based medications. Some of the most prescribed narcotic pain medications include:
The signs of heroin use often start after the abuse of prescription pain medications. Generally, a person becomes dependent to pain medications, and eventually need something stronger in order to get the feeling that they’re looking for. Those who can no longer obtain prescriptions often turn to heroin as an alternative as well.
Signs of Heroin Use in Teens
In the Northeast United States, the heroin problem is much worse than in other parts of the country. One noticeable trend in recent years is that fewer people are entering treatment for alcohol and prescription drug addiction. Instead, more are entering for heroin addictions. What we can take from statistics like this is that more people who are abusing substances are beginning to go straight to heroin, and many young people are becoming hooked on this potentially fatal drug.
Those who begin using heroin may display alarming changes in behavior. You’ll begin to notice someone who has been abusing heroin become more withdrawn from society. They may start to spend more time alone or begin hanging around a new crowd. Those who abuse heroin often lose quite a bit of weight as well because they lose their appetite, or they simply can’t hold any food down. While marks on the skin may be a sign of intravenous use of heroin, it’s important to remember that heroin can also be snorted or smoked.
Getting Help for Heroin Addiction
If you believe your child, spouse, family member, friend or coworker is struggling with a heroin addiction, there is help available. Heroin is a lethal drug that takes many lives each year, so don’t wait to find help for your loved one. Pinnacle Peak Recovery specializes in helping people who struggle with heroin addiction, and we’re here to teach them a better way of living clean and sober.