Instances of heroin use are skyrocketing in America, and has become an epidemic among many teens and young adults. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 8,000 lives have been taken by Heroin in just the last year. That number is expected to triple as use of the illicit drug continues to spread.
Anyone Can Become A Heroin Addict
The interesting thing about the rise in heroin usage is that it is affecting all age groups, income levels, and other demographics. Unlike other drugs that mainly affect lower income levels, heroin is affecting groups that have never felt the struggle of a substance abuse epidemic.
What’s Being Done
With such a growing problem, the government is taking notice and working to prevent the problem from growing exponentially. The first step is educating the public about how most opioid addictions begin. Many people who are prescribed prescription painkillers are at high risk of developing these kinds of addictions, and certain organizations are offering education to doctors about how they can screen patients for potential problems.
But, what about those who are already struggle with heroin addiction? Today, most states are ramping up efforts for substance abuse. There are both short-term and long-term treatment options for those looking for help. Many relief centers like the Union Gospel Mission in Twin Cities offer temporary shelter, food, and education on where addicts can go to get treatment. With both in-patient and out-patient solutions, rehab centers are also working to address all the issues, both physically and mentally. Just getting an addict to quit using is only putting a bandage on the problem. It is important to address any underlying mental problems an addict may be suffering from.
A Promising New Treatment
The drug, Vivitrol is being called a saving grace by many recovering heroin addicts. After going through the severe symptoms of detox, a patient can begin getting injections of the medicine. The injections are taken monthly and are meant to block the body’s receptors to opioids. This means that even if an addict tries to relapse, they won’t be able to feel that high they crave. The drug is become a miracle to many trying to win their life back from this debilitating addiction. As heroin-ravaged states, such as Vermont, witness Vivitrol’s powers, officials are finding ways to make this treatment option readily available to the masses that need it the most.
It is a nasty fact that heroin use will continue to spread throughout America, but everyone can help reduce the rising rate. With the proper education and the right resources, more lives can be saved from this deadly epidemic.