Two of the articles dealt with the increasing number of babies born in Massachusetts and Rhode Island who were exposed to the mother’s heroin or other opiate use before being born. After birth, they go through a series of symptoms called Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. The name refers to the fact that these newborns are abstinent from the drugs they were being exposed to because the supply via the mother has been withdrawn. Continue reading
Look at this quote from one of our rehab program graduates: “Using marijuana opened the door to other drugs, other people, I stopped caring about life. I stopped going to school. I didn’t have goals any more. I got introduced to heroin, cocaine. And I started using that.”
And here’s another: “I started smoking pot to fit in with everybody. And it looked like everybody was having a good time. And they told me ‘nobody’s died from smoking pot.’ So I did it and it progressed into cocaine and heroin and my life was just downhill.”
Nobody can describe this transition better than a person who lived it. But of course, it’s hard to explain this to a teen or young adult that wants to do what his friends are doing – and seeming to have fun while they are doing it. Continue reading
From Seattle, a report has just come out that illustrates the migration from prescription pain pill abuse to the use of heroin, with deadly results. This is a tragic trend that has been seen in every corner of our country. In New England, the effect of this migration has been particularly brutal.
You may have already heard about this trend in your local newspapers. It’s been on the front pages for the last few years – local kids dying from heroin overdoses to the total astonishment and shock of their families. The potency of heroin is so variable that just because these teens and young adults survived their abuse of prescription drugs, a highly potent dose of heroin could catch them completely off guard and end their chances of recovery, happiness or success in life, forever. Continue reading
Maryland has long struggled with a heroin problem. In fact, the Baltimore inner city has been renowned as a center of heroin abuse and addiction for many years. It’s not uncommon for multiple generations in the same family to seek help for addiction at the same time. But as opiate painkillers introduced a broad spectrum of people to a dependence on this type of drug, heroin abuse has followed and spread across the Maryland landscape. After all, there are drugstores in every town in every state in the US. And far too many states have unscrupulous doctors who are willing to make the money by selling prescriptions for addictive substances. The migration to heroin is seen as necessary when money sources dry up, because heroin is so much cheaper than pills.
Even though Maryland already had a high rate of heroin abuse, recent news reports state that there has been an 88% increase in heroin-related overdoses in a two year period. This increase really takes the problem to a fever pitch in the state. Continue reading
Once upon a time, not so long ago, it was inconceivable that the average American would be addicted to heroin. It was only something that maybe people out on the fringes of society would do. Maybe bikers or jazz musicians or people who spent a lot of time in jail.
This never really was the truth, but it was the impression most middle class Americans had. No one THEY knew would ever use heroin, much less be addicted to it.
Fast forward to this decade. The growing heroin problem in this country is overwhelming public health departments. Not a day goes by that I don’t see a news article about a state or county that is trying to come to grips with overdose deaths and drug trafficking. Like this article from The Pocono Record: Continue reading
The Washington Post just published an article that could be predicting a terrifying trend. According to an April 6th article, Mexican farmers are pulling out their marijuana crops and planting heroin poppies instead. So cheap heroin (far cheaper than prescription painkillers) has been increasingly found crossing the border.
Here’s what I am concerned about. As more states authorize the use of marijuana for medical or recreational use, there will be more of that drug in circulation. Prices will come down. That is, of course, the main reason Mexican farmers are changing their crops. They want a crop with a higher price attached. What would a savvy businessman in the drug business do? Offer another product that might appeal to someone already using alcohol or marijuana that will make the farmer more money. Continue reading
When the unaddicted public thinks of heroin addicts, I suspect that they think of someone strung out due to withdrawal sickness, the way Frank Sinatra was in the movie Man with a Golden Arm. Or if they know something about the drug, they might picture someone “on the nod,” in other words, nodding off as the opiate makes them drowsy.
Not many people realize that many heroin addicts just get enough of the drug to “get well,” as they call it. What they mean is that the amount of heroin they have will just keep the dopesickness, the withdrawal pains away. It’s not nearly enough to get high. Continue reading
When reports hit the news of the heroin overdose death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, one item in the story that attracted attention was the fact that only months before his death, the actor had checked into rehab in an attempt to get sober. If Hoffman had been to rehab, and so recently, shouldn’t he have been clean? Shouldn’t he have been able to avoid a tragic overdose death? Questions like these were in the minds of many after Hoffman was found dead with a needle in his arm and dozens of bags of heroin in his apartment in Manhattan. What many overlooked was the fact that Hoffman’s recent stint in rehab was a brief one. He spent only 10 days in treatment, a period that many in the field of addiction recovery will confirm simply is not long enough to make a meaningful difference. To put it simply, drug rehab is not something you can do overnight, and when so much is on the line — one’s chance of enjoying a future of happiness and health — it is well worth the time and effort to make sure it is done right. The proof is in the results, and the final outcome of the situation confirms that 10 days in rehab simply was not long enough for Philip Seymour Hoffman to beat his addiction to heroin. Continue reading
Heroin addiction can be easy to overlook if you are not familiar with the signs. You might notice that something is wrong with your friend or family member, but you could just as easily mistake the problem for a bout of the flu or a bad mood that passes. A heroin addict, as is the case with someone who is addicted to any other type of drug, will typically make excuses to justify his or her behavior and to cover up what is really going on. Very often, the addict will become quite skilled at lying about the situation, and the excuses that the person offers may indeed be very convincing. If you have reason to suspect that a loved one may be using heroin, read through the following list of 10 of the most common signs of heroin addiction. The list does not include every possible indication that a person may be a heroin addict, but it does include several of the most telling signs: Continue reading
Heroin was originally developed in the later part of the 19th Century by chemists who were looking for a less addictive alternative to morphine. Morphine had been in widespread use for many years as a powerful painkiller, and for all the benefits that it offered, it also carried the significant liability of being enormously addictive. Finally diacetylmorphine was produced as a derivative of morphine which the developers hoped would not have as much of a potential to cause dependence in users. Unfortunately, diacetylmorphine, which was marketed as Heroin for the fact that it caused users to feel a heroic euphoria, was nothing if not addictive. In 1914, the U.S. Congress passed the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act as a measure to restrict the sale and distribution of heroin and similar drugs. Subsequently, heroin was only legally available as a prescription drug, though this did not prevent it from getting into the wrong hands. In the same way that millions of Americans now abuse prescription painkillers such as oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin), countless people in the early 20th Century abused heroin. The drug was, however, not in the mainstream. While alcohol, sedatives, marijuana, hallucinogens, cocaine and crack cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamine and other drugs each took up position at the focal point of the drug scene in the United States throughout the past several decades, heroin has generally been seen as a drug for the urban slums and the inner city. Now, things are changing. Heroin is making a strong move into the forefront of America’s continuing drug problem. Continue reading