The Rise in Heroin Use

May 5, 2014

In the 1960s and 1970s, heroin was a drug of choice for many individuals looking for a high. Indeed, heroin became somewhat of an epidemic as it swept through the country, especially affecting urban areas with high poverty rates. Heroin is an opiate that offers an extremely strong high, which can be enhanced depending on how the drug is delivered.

Over the course of time, the heroin epidemic gave way to synthetic opioids, most commonly in the form of prescription pain medication. Indeed, for the past couple of decades, prescription pain meds have been a leading cause of opioid dependency and prescription drug abuse. The distribution of these drugs was exacerbated by the rise in bogus pain clinics throughout the country, writing pain medication prescriptions with little justification or oversight.

Today, however, with a nationwide crackdown on so-called pill mills, combined with additional anti-abuse measures built into new medications and crackdown by the FDA, the ability for prescription pain medications to be abused cheaply has diminished. This has given heroin renewed life and the drug has made its way back into American society in a big way. Much like the 60s and 70s, heroin affects the entirety of the country; however one significant difference is that heroin is no longer a scourge of the inner-city. Significant abuse has been noted in cities and suburbs alike. Very few if any communities have been spared.

Heroin and opiate abuse comes with very specific challenges for treatment. The withdrawal phase is debilitating and prolonged, especially if higher quantities of the drug have been abused for some time. This is why a highly and specifically trained medical staff should be the primary caregivers when it comes to detoxification from opiates. A properly trained medical staff such as that the one at Fellowship Hall, can safely and effectively conduct medical detox while also keeping patients as comfortable as possible through the conservative use of medication.

Some facilities advertise withdrawal from opiates using a technique that essentially keeps the patient anesthetized for the entirety of the withdrawal. This, with the claim that they will not feel any of the withdrawal symptoms as a result of anesthesia combined with medication. Programs such as these should be avoided because not only are they unproven in the medical sphere, but they can make a non-life-threatening process very dangerous.

If you or someone you love has a problem with heroin, prescription pain medication or any opiate, we suggest that you contact Fellowship Hall as soon as possible for a confidential consultation to see how detoxification and subsequently treatment is the right course of action.