The Resurgence of Heroin: A Cheaper High?
When you think of Vermont you probably don’t think about heroin abuse. Great winter skiing, leaf peeping in October, rustic farms and Ben and Jerry’s – that’s what Vermont is all about, right?
Not according to Vermont’s Democratic governor, Peter Shumlin who moved heroin addiction to the top of the list of challenges faced by this pristine example of nature’s beauty and rural America.
In a recent State of the State speech, Governor Shumlin talked exclusively about the dangerously dramatic rise in heroin abuse in the Green Mountain State. The Governor described the heroin abuse problem in Vermont as an “epidemic,” increasing in abuse since 2000 by 770% in the natural beauty of Vermont – a problem that grows worse over time.
Heroin and Opiates: The Economics of Drug Abuse
Why this resurgence in heroin abuse – a drug that is highly addictive and extremely difficult to stop abusing?
The growth of heroin abuse isn’t limited to the bucolic state of Vermont. It’s become a national problem for a couple of obvious reasons.
First, heroin abuse declined as pharmaceutical opiate addiction increased. Drugs like OxyContin are expensive. A single 80mg tab of this opiate can set an addict back $80 to $100 a tab. On the other hand, an addict can get ripped on heroin for $9 a dose. If you’re an addict, a day’s worth of heroin is worth more than a single tab of Oxy that might give you a few hours of pleasure, while heroin addicts can load up 10 times for what a single Oxy tab costs. On the street.
City Kids and Their Country Cousins Learn About Heroin
Heroin has been a common street drug in our cities for decades. And addicts – even the most susceptible addicts – are inclined to stay away from heroin, according Chicago’s Police Captain John Roberts, who founded the Heroin Epidemic Relief Organization (HERO) to help city kids stay clear of heroin and other drugs.
Captain Robert’s son died of a heroin overdose, and as he explained, “Kids in the city know not to touch it, but the message never got out to the suburbs.” Or, Vermont according to that state’s Governor.
Heroin and Painkillers
Opioid pharmaceuticals are derived from opium and include drugs like morphine, oxycodone and hydrocodone. These painkillers were developed to treat the most serious pains in a monitored setting like a hospital or hospice.
Heroin is also an opioid and, as such, has the same effect on the brain’s chemistry, attaching itself to the brain’s opiate receptors so the effect (and impact) are very similar on the life of the addict, whether addicted to Oxy, sometimes called “hillbilly heroin,” and street grade heroin sold in the back alleys and clubs in big cities.
The abuse of heroin has grown dramatically. Between 2007 and 2012, reported use of heroin increased from 373,000 addicts to 669,000 people looking for that next fix (and the money to pay for it).
The death rate from a heroin OD doubled in 28 states in two years from 2010 to 2012, growing from 1,779 in 2010 to 3,635 in 2012. That’s a big jump in a short time, and the problems associated with substituting heroin for oxy and other pharmaceuticals continues to grow
Kicking the Heroin Habit
It’s not easy to admit to a heroin addiction, but it’s even harder living with one. Your entire life revolves around scoring from your street supplier. You don’t have any money, you don’t eat every day, but somehow, if you’re a smack head you’ll find a way to beg, borrow or steal the money you need to fend off the sometimes painful effects of heroin withdrawal.
Methadone is often recommended to wean an addict off of heroin, but methadone is also addictive, so in many cases, addicts simply trade one opiate (heroin) for another (methadone).
The withdrawal from heroin doesn’t have to be painful, though most addicts need help to get through the experience. At Hawaii Island Recovery (HIR), located in the Kona district of the Big Island, heroin addiction and other opiate addiction is part of each day. Using evidence-based therapies, the addiction specialists at HIR provide the strength and guidance to kick a heroin addiction forever. Through the initial stages of withdrawal to Relapse Prevention Therapy (RPT) HIR prepares you to engage life again within the stunning natural beauty of Hawaii.
Maybe you’ve tried to call it quits before without success. Maybe your heroin addiction is corroding your personal life, your professional life, and how about your family life? Are you spending the grocery money on a glassine bag of heroin, and cooking it up before the kids get home from school.
Heroin can kill you with a single overdose, the powder you buy on the street has no quality control. You don’t know how much it’s been cut with milk sugar, and you may find yourself injecting a lethal dose of a destructive, addictive drug.
Call us today at Hawaii Island Recovery to talk with one of our professional counsellors, some of whom have been where you are now. No judgements. No punishments. Simply an endless supply of helpful knowledgeable support and a variety of traditional and holistic therapies await you as you embark on a better life for yourself and all those who care about you.