Every day, thousands of men and women all over America lose their lives to heroin addiction. In every state, there are families and communities suffering from the loss of friends, neighbors and loved ones. Heroin addiction is more prevalent than ever before in our country.
At the same time, there are people every day trying to give up using heroin and other opioid drugs. Some people try to do it on their own, and very few of them succeed. Many end up relapsing due to the pain of withdrawal and the intense dependence on this life-threatening drug.
But there is hope. With professional help and safe, medically assisted heroin detox many people have the opportunity to build a strong foundation for recovering from their addiction.
Let us look at what you need to know about heroin detox when you reach out to get help.
Heroin Detox: Understanding Drug Dependence
Like most drugs, excessive and prolonged abuse of heroin leads to a medical condition called Substance Use Disorder (SUD). But a crucial part of the development of a SUD is drug dependence, and there are two particular kinds of dependence that people should understand.
This is about how your body adapts to substances. When the cells of your body can’t function without a substance, that is a clear indication of physical dependence. The body gets used to the presence of a chemical over time, so when the chemical is no longer present the body is forced to regulate itself.
The body also stops producing certain chemicals in the brain naturally because it gets them artificially through drugs. However, once you stop using the drugs the body is no longer producing what it needs.
Physical dependency becomes pretty apparent when you try to stop using heroin without any medical help. When you try to stop using abruptly you experience extremely uncomfortable physical withdrawal symptoms because of the imbalance in the body.
Psychological or emotional dependence is a result of the changes a drug creates in the mind. It is defined as a compulsion or perceived obsession for the substance. So while the individual may not be experiencing intense physical withdrawal, they may be psychologically impaired by the abrupt absence of a substance they have adapted to.
Instead of developing healthy coping skills, most heroin users tend to rely on the drug for dealing with emotional or behavioral issues. If they suddenly remove the drug, they are left defenseless against their issues.
If someone relies heavily on drugs for feelings of pleasure and stimulation, removing the drug may cause them to feel they cannot be happy without it. This is impacted by the drugs chemical interaction with the brain.
And at the end of the day, physical addiction can have psychological side effects, and vice versa. That is why heroin detox should not only offer medical assistance, but also therapeutic resources.
Heroin Detox: Withdrawal Symptoms
Suddenly stopping heroin without any medical assistance is called going “cold turkey” and it throws you almost immediately into withdrawal. “Cold turkey” is not just uncomfortable, it is dangerous. These heroin withdrawals manifest both physically and psychologically, and the symptoms can range in severity and frequency. Some examples of heroin withdrawal symptoms including:
- Extreme anxiety
- Excessive yawning and sneezing
- Runny nose
- Cold sweats
- Cramp-like pains
- Involuntary spasms in the limbs
- Severe muscle and bone aches
Trying to go through withdrawal from heroin without help is extremely difficult. Some people find it impossible due to the severity of their symptoms. Many people find themselves trapped in a cycle or relapse and attempts to recovery because withdrawal symptoms can be so hard to overcome.
This is why heroin detox is so important. This level of care can help ease you off of heroin and other opiates gradually with the use of medications specifically designed to assist with heroin withdrawal symptoms. Having a safe and experienced medical staff makes this process much more manageable. With a physically and emotionally healthy environment, you can start to establish a comprehensive recovery plan.
Heroin Detox: Safe, Medical Care
Heroin detox should always consist of two phases: evaluation and stabilization.
During this first stage of heroin detox, the individual will be given an assessment in order to determine the best course of treatment. It will include obtaining information about:
- What drugs they have been using
- The presence of drugs in their system
- What quantities of drugs have they been using
- How long have they have been using these drugs
- Other medications
- Co-occurring conditions
This is done through a drug screen, along with any further information you provide during the assessment. Because programs for heroin detox are in a medical setting, the results of your drug screen and information disclosed during your assessment are strictly confidential just like any other medical information is.
During a heroin detox program, the stabilization stage will utilize all the information you provide during your initial assessment to design an effective detox plan. Taper medications are often used in order to wean you off of heroin in both a safe and comfortable way. Detoxing from heroin and other narcotic opiates like prescription painkillers should always be done in a professional and effective manner.
There are many kinds of medication designed to help combat opioid addiction. Carefully consider your options with the medical addiction specialist to ensure you are getting the best possible care. Be sure to provide them with accurate health information for the best results.
Quality care during stabilization should also include providing therapeutic resources for the emotional and psychological side effects. Having support for your mental and emotional well-being is also extremely important for relapse prevention. It lays the groundwork for developing healthy and sustainable coping skills. With the right care, you can take this time to design a personalized recovery plan that is right for you and addresses all of your specific needs to help you be more successful in recovery.
Are you struggling with a dependence on heroin? Are you trying to quit but have failed on your own? Consider reaching out to the caring and compassionate professionals of Palm Partners Recovery Center. If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now. We want to help.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
Imagine if you went out for a night at the movies, and next thing you know you’re watching a testimonial from someone who lost their loved one to an overdose? Would that leave a pretty strong impression? Well some people think this is the kind of heroin PSA that could wake people up and get them talking.
Heroin addiction and opiate abuse are not a foreign concept for the people of the state of Maryland. Like most communities have been experiencing in recent years, Maryland has seen first-hand the devastation brought on by heroin addiction. Baltimore at one point was known as “Heroin Capital of America” and as the opiate epidemic continues, more people all over are suffering. While heroin addiction and overdoses increase across the state, officials in one area are taking the fight to the silver screen. Now movie-goers can see a message meant to spread public awareness.
Heroin Hitting Maryland
Health officials in the Maryland area say heroin is cheaper and more deadly than ever.
- Back in 2015, over 1,200 people died from overdose deaths in Maryland
- From January to June of 2015- 601 overdose deaths
- From January to June 2016- 920 overdose deaths (over 300 more deaths in the same 6 month period)
Baltimore City battles what is a public health emergency concerning the heroin addiction issue. As the heroin continues to devastate communities and families, officials are looking for new ways to hit back. Baltimore City, Anne Arundel County and Baltimore County all are experiencing and ever-increasing rate of heroin addiction. Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen says,
“Here in Baltimore there are more people dying from overdose that are dying from homicide,”
A statement that was also made about New York at one point when NYC saw more overdose deaths than murders. The heroin PSA (public service announcement) is another way state officials are trying to make a bold declaration and educate the public.
We’ve seen more and more footage and images in the media over the last few months of overdoses caught on camera. There have been photos posted by police departments, videos shot on phones and posted all over the internet. The reality of the opiate epidemic and the graphic faces of overdose and death have been put out in front for all to see. Now Harford County officials are bringing the message to their local movie theaters with a heroin PSA.
Movie-goers in Harford County are coming face-to-face with the grim reality of heroin addiction. A series of videos before their regularly scheduled films features people that have lost relatives to heroin overdoses.
The heroin PSA is pretty powerful. One clip shows Jade, a 12 year old girl who’s cousin died from a heroin overdose in 2015. Jade says,
“She always loved to have fun, it didn’t seem anything was wrong.”
One shows a young girl named Mara talked about her sister Kelsea, who struggled with heroin addiction until dying from an overdose on Christmas Day 2015. Imagine sitting with your parent, or child, and listening to these people describe the person they loved so much and talk about their death. This is Maryland’s new strategy to get the conversation going in families.
Barry Glassman, Harford County Executive, commented on the heroin PSA saying,
“What better than to go into movie theaters when parents are with their children, to continue our efforts at prevention?”
Again, the whole goal of the heroin PSA is to get parents and children having the discussion. The video clips in the heroin PSA are already in circulation. The goal of the heroin PSA is to get parents to have real conversations about the dangers of heroin.
Movies and Media
The conversation is definitely a necessary one. Many families don’t know how to have this conversation, or how to even begin having the conversation. The media and television timelessly prove that they have the ability to influence people, so why not exploit it for a better good?
Raising awareness is a primary objective these days in fighting the opiate epidemic. It is right there with providing education and prevention resources. Giving people the information they need is crucial, and part of the heroin PSA is just showing people how important it is that they seek the information. So utilizing movies and the media to spread the word makes perfect sense.
Once people are informed as to the realities and the risks, we also should provide them with the information to get help. Heroin addiction is a frightening reality, but overdose and death is not the only conclusion. There is real help out there.
Overdose death and addiction destroy lives and tear apart families. With more programs becoming available to help those who are hurting a healthier future is closer than ever, and you can have it too.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)
Author: Shernide Delva
Canada has taken a controversial approach to fighting heroin addiction. The Canadian government has just quietly approved a new drug regulation that will permit doctors to prescribe pharmaceutical-grade heroin to severe addicts. Essentially, Canada’s strategy for treating addicts resistant to other forms of treatment is simple: let them have heroin.
While this is a first for Canada, other countries have similar programs. The approved regulation ensures that Canada’s trail-blazing clinic, Crosstown, in Vancouver, will be able to expand their special heroin-maintenance programs. These programs allow addicts to come and go as many as three times a day to receive prescription heroin from a nurse for free.
Back in May 2016, Canada was in the beginning stages of legalizing prescription heroin. Health Canada explained in a news release:
“A significant body of scientific evidence supports the medical use of diacetylmorphine, also known as pharmaceutical-grade heroin, for the treatment of chronic relapsing opioid dependence,”
Health Canada continued stating they were considering the idea of legalizing prescription heroin since several other countries have used it and found it effective.
“Diacetylmorphine is permitted in a number of other jurisdictions, such as Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Switzerland, to support a small percentage of patients who have not responded to other treatment options, such as methadone and buprenorphine.”
Lowering the Cost of Addiction?
Furthermore, Dr. Scott Macdonald, a physician with Crosstown Clinic, explained that heroin maintenance programs are much cheaper for taxpayers than paying for the cost of drug addiction. A person battling drug addiction can cost the tax base $45,000 Canadian Dollars (around $35,000 in U.S. dollars) per year in crime costs, health care costs and more. On the other hand, prescription heroin in a Vancouver clinic costs around $27,000 or $21,000 in American Dollars.
The government ensures that this type of treatment is for a small minority of users “in cases where traditional options have been tried and proven ineffective.” The purpose is to give health-care providers access to a wide variety of life-saving treatments options.
In 2005, Crosstown Clinic conducted their first clinical trial of prescription heroin and has operated ever since. The clinic provided diacetylmorphine to 52 addicts under a special court-ordered exemption. They expect that number to double over the next year if supplies can be obtained.
The Case for Prescription Heroin
A regulation like this will raise controversy. However, studies in the past argue the benefits of using prescription heroin over harm-reduction treatments such as methadone. The studies found that patients stayed in treatment longer and relapsed less in comparison to those who received methadone.
Furthermore, researchers found that those receiving diacetylmorphine had a longer life expectancy compared to those receiving methadone. When it breaks down to costs, prescription heroin costs society less.
Researchers also found that those receiving diacetylmorphine had a longer life expectancy than who received methadone. Crime costs reductions occur with both options. When it breaks down to costs, methadone therapy costs society $1.14 million, compared with $1.09 million for prescription heroin.
“The question I get most about heroin-assisted therapy is whether we can afford the increased direct costs of the treatment,” co-author Dr. Martin Schechter of the University of British Columbia said in a news release. “What this study shows is that the more appropriate question is whether we can afford not to.”
A Two-Sided Argument
Still, many remain solidly against the option. Collin Carrie, a Conservative member of Parliament, stated that his party adamantly opposes the use of prescription heroin.
“Our policy is to take heroin out of the hands of addicts and not put it in their arms,” he stated.
However, Scott Macdonald reiterated that the patients considered for these treatments are long term users. Typically, they have been on heroin for decades and have tried treatments like methadone with repeated failed attempts.
“Our goal is to get people into care,” he said.
When it comes to addiction, the entire world is seeing an outstanding amount of deaths related to drug overdoses. Treatment options like these are controversial, but unfortunately, they need to be a topic of discussion. Still, the best option remains learning to live a clean, sober life in recovery. Do not let your addiction go on for too long. There is time and hope for you. Do not wait. Call today.
CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135
Author: Justin Mckibben
As if you haven’t heard about this before, and if you haven’t I’d hate to be the one to show you the writing on the wall, the heroin and opiate epidemic in America has claimed an insurmountable number of lives. Towards the end of 2015 the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the entire nation had reached a devastating point in the drug addiction issue and with the overdose death outbreak in America, stating that 47,000 people died from drug overdose– 28,647 were opiate related deaths.
The state of New Jersey is no stranger to the inevitable pain and destruction caused by heroin. As a well-populated and thriving suburban area some of the communities of New Jersey have experienced frequent spikes in heroin related deaths, and in some an analysis of the state medical examiner data showed that heroin has been named in more than 5,267 deaths in New Jersey since 2004- half of which took place since 2011! But with the events of this week, that number may get bigger before anything gets better.
Bigger Body Counts
Bringing with it a wave of devastation, a new form of heroin has hit the streets of Camden, New Jersey and in just 24 hours killed 15 people! Heroin in its purest form has hit suburban New Jersey hard and now police are struggling to fight back. Emergency responders and law enforcement are troubled about the potential of more deaths, and the community is in shock.
Camden Metro Police Chief Scott Thompson was reached for comment in regards to this sudden string of tragic deaths, and in his statement to members of the press Thompson stated:
“Right now we know that there is something out there that’s putting people in near death situations,”
These 15 overdoses occurred in several surrounding towns since Tuesday, March 22 and of the 15 cases 14 of the victims were young individuals. Thompson described the situation and the victims as in their younger 20’s and named the some of the impacted areas as:
- Washington Township
- Cherry Hill
The Chief emphasized to the public that this is a drug that knows no social or economic barriers, and that heroin does not discriminate against who it hooks, or who it kills.
Stronger Heroin on NJ Streets
According to authorities directly involved in the investigation these bags of potent and potentially lethal heroin doses are marked in specifically labeled bags. Chief Thompson further explained,
“The bags are branded. That’s part of the marketing scheme of the drug dealer. If you were to walk into the community of drug users and start to talk about bags, you’re talking about locations.”
What some would hope is that this connection would help law enforcement follow the trail back to the supplier, and local police are currently stepping up patrols. Authorities have even put Cooper University Hospital on alert in case of additional incidences.
With the escalating intensity of heroin related overdoses and deaths, the state is trying to take aggressive action towards tracking down the source of this pure heroin product that has been flooding the Camden County area, while keeping first responders on stand-by and expecting the worst while hoping for the best.
15 dead in 24 hours is a staggering and horrifying measurement of mortalities in any state under any circumstance.
Think about that. 1 day… 15 people gone, 14 under the age of 30… that is the grim reality, and it seems to get worse every time we write about it.
Heroin continues to destroy lives and desolate families and homes to an alarming and disastrous degree, while politicians and law enforcement clamor to find a method of effectively fighting back and curbing the calamity that has resulted from this poison clogging the streets. One can only hope that beyond putting a stop to this pure heroin from taking more lives that more heroin abusers and addicts are getting the help they need before it is too late.
A story like this just shows how much we need to share that there is a way out. There are thousands of people who have recovered and there are thousands still who may die without the chance. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135
(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)
Author: Shernide Delva
Deaths from heroin overdoses continue to be a serious issue in the United States. Just this week in Chicago, there was a reported 74 deaths in 72 hours from heroin overdoses. Now, the attention on solutions is shifting toward safe injection centers. No one has ever died in an injection center in other parts of the world. So why are they still illegal in the US?
Supervised injection centers are legally sanctioned facilities where people who use intravenous drugs can inject their pre-obtained drugs under medical supervision. The injections are designed to reduce health and societal problems associated with intravenous drug use. The facilities operate all over the world in dozens of cities abroad. The injection centers have even been shown to contribute benefits towards risk and prevention such as:
- Reducing the incidences of fatal overdoses
- Preventing the transmission of diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C
- Reducing the use of dirty needles
- Reducing impact of drug use in residential areas
- Managing hundreds of overdoses and reducing drug-related overdose death rates.
The United States does not have any facilities that serve as safe injection sites, but many argue that the US should have them so accidental overdoses can be prevented The Drug Alliance is advocating for a supervised injection program in San Francesco and New York City. The hope is to expand the nation’s dialogue on drug control to include policies that mitigate the harms of drug use:
The safe injection facilities provide a safe lower risk, more hygienic way of engaging in drug consumption without the risk behaviors related to injecting. Other benefits are noted such as in case of an emergency, immediate intervention is possible. In countries where the centers are allowed, the facilities have the overdose antidote Naloxone (Nurcan) stocked and ready to use.
Damien Framingham was a kid who died from a heroin overdose at the age of 22 in February of 1997. Almost two decades later, his father Tony spreads awareness of the dangers of drug addiction by becoming a leading voice in harm reduction. Now a psychologist, Tony recounted his son’s story at a panel discussion in Manhattans called “Out of Harm’s Way.”
“It was, of course, a shock even though we knew that death was a possibility with heroin use,” he said. His father said, “That’s one of the ironies of heroin use that the people who die are often the ones trying to give it up.”
Tony latched onto the idea of safe injection facilities (SIF) to provide a safe environment for injection for drug users. In the centers, staffs are available to teach safe injection practices and clean syringes are free for the taking.
The idea of a safe injection facility did raise controversy initially in several countries but eventually countries like Australia were convinced. The controversy was whether or not the centers would encourage drug addicts to continue using. Clearly addicts will use with the clinics or without so for those on the verge of a relapse, there has to be a way to stop those preventable deaths
Furthermore, in Canada, Vancouver experienced a ballooning heroin problem in the 90s. That’s when Canadian Senator Larry Campbell, told the crowd that as overdose deaths skyrocketed, so did HIV and incarnation rates. Campbell has said the SIFS are a crucial part of the shift from punishing addicts to treating addiction as a medical problem,
“Addiction is a medical disease. Addiction is not a criminal offense. No one starts out life saying, ‘You know what, I think I’ll be an addict,’” he said.
As the number of families affected by drug addiction continue to soar, the nation needs to look at every option out there. Safe injection facilities might be the answer to reduce the amount of addicts dying every day and give them another chance to recover. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-561-221-1125.