Heroin use declined for some years in America, but since the turn of the millennium it has come roaring back as a major problem in cities around the country. Government statistics have shown that there has been a surge in the number of people using the drug and dying from overdoses while on it.
Even small towns across America are finding that heroin and other opiates are working their way into communities that thought they would always be impervious to drug use. The fact is that nowhere is really safe from drug addiction. That is not some kind of scare tactic statement. It is a simple statement of the fact that anyone can get addicted to drugs. There is no body type that is impervious to becoming dependent on narcotics. There is no demographic in America that has no drug users in it.
The young and old, and the rich and poor are alike all affected by addiction. If communities want to turn the trend of heroin deaths around, they have to learn why these deaths are occurring and then take real action in their areas to stop the spread of heroin use.
Figuring Out Why People Start Using Heroin in the First Place
One of the first ways that we can prevent more heroin deaths is to help families all over the country to start figuring out why people use heroin in the first place. For example, there are gateway drugs that lead to heroin use. If families knew what the signs of use of these other drugs were and could prevent addiction to them in the first place, then heroin addiction could be prevented before it began.
Preventing Prescription Opiate Abuse
One of the classes of drugs that leads to heroin addiction is prescription opiates. These are drugs that are very similar to heroin in chemical makeup. They are prescribed to dull the ache of chronic pain sufferers, but the drugs can easily be abused. When someone uses these drugs to get high, he has started himself on the path that could lead to heroin abuse. This is because the drugs can be very expensive to buy on the black market, and heroin can actually be a much cheaper but equally powerful high.
Increasing Access to Naloxone
Naloxone is a drug that can counteract the effects of a heroin overdose. It doesn’t actually cure heroin addiction itself, but someone that is overdosing on an opiate can be given a shot of naloxone and have the effects of the heroin overdose start to be immediately counteracted. By making naloxone more readily available to emergency medical and law enforcement personnel (in addition to the general public), we can save more addicts from dying from overdoses.
Getting Addicts into Effective Treatment Quickly
While naloxone is a short-term solution for saving lives, we also have to increase the availability of effective drug treatment programs like Narconon Arrowhead. This is because heroin addiction is never going to be handled in the long-run unless the root causes of the condition are addressed and eliminated. Arrowhead has a long track record of success in doing this, so addicts need to be enrolled in a program like it to make sure that they never overdose again.
Not Using Methadone Programs
A type of “rehab” program that heroin addicts should definitely not use is a methadone drug replacement program. These are shoddy attempts to “treat” addiction that really just give addicts another drug to abuse. The addiction the person is suffering from is never actually eliminated, because he is just using a different drug instead. Avoid these programs completely and use ones that work, such as Narconon Arrowhead.