Heroin is an extremely addictive synthetic opioid that produces feelings of extreme ecstasy. Heroin use has been on the rise among men and women, in most age groups, regardless of their economic backgrounds. Moreover, in the age group of 18 and 25 years, heroin use has almost doubled in the last decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
With the increase in usage, the number of deaths related to heroin overdose has also gone up. Some of the startling statistics have been given hereunder:
- Since 2010, deaths reported due to heroin overdose have increased almost four times.
- From 2014-15, deaths due to heroin overdose have increased by 20 percent.
- Almost 13,000 people succumbed to death from heroin overdose in 2015.
- Males between the age group of 25 and 44 had the highest death rate due to heroin overdose, that is, 13.2/100,000. This was almost 22 percent higher than that of 2014.
Past use of a prescription opioids greatly increases chances of heroin addiction. People generally transition from the medical use of prescription opioids to its non-medical use and then to heroin. Increased availability of low priced heroin and the availability of highly purified heroin in the U.S. has also contributed to an increase in the number of users.
Identifying subtle signs of heroin addiction
It is very important to be watchful if one suspects that a loved one is behaving strangely and may be addicted to illicit substances. If detected at a nascent stage, one can be easily pulled out from the grim world of addiction. Listed below are some signs that can help an individual identify an addiction problem in a loved one.
- A person usually snorts, smokes or injects Therefore, if one comes across bottle caps, missing spoons, syringes, metal pipes or small pieces of glass, one can suspect that something is wrong. These are the tools which might be used for cooking heroin before use and for administrating it thereafter.
- Some classic signs of addiction can also be easily observed such as weight loss or gain, half-lidded eyes, pinhole pupils, extreme scratching, nodding off, wearing sweaters in summer, etc.
- People addicted to heroin might also develop personality changes. They might start hanging out with different set of friends, withdraw from family and avoid social gatherings. They might even get into arguments with people and may experience blackouts.
- People addicted to heroin might reach a stage when they are hard pressed for money. Always requesting for some cash, borrowing from friends, selling personal belongings, overdrafts from the bank accounts, all signal abnormal behavior.
- The user will have a lesser sensitivity towards pain and if pregnant, might undergo a miscarriage.
- The user may also suffer from frequent constipation and might be on laxatives.
Heroin addiction is a trap
A heroin user may feel so drawn into an addiction that for him, acquiring the day’s quota might be the most important thing. In the quest to obtain the drug, he or she may completely neglect professional and personal commitments. If someone suspects that a person is grappling with some addiction, he must be helped, immediately. While addiction has consequences, it is preventable and treatable.
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