Heroin, opiate and drug addicts are stigmatized, judged and ridiculed on a daily basis. In fact, many people feel strongly that those suffering from heroin addiction are beyond help and/or don’t deserve help. Addicts are blamed for choosing addiction and if they were smart or worth saving, they wouldn’t be sticking a needle in our arm on a regular basis.
The above stigma and judgments are typically from people who don’t understand addiction and often mistake the disease of addiction with the physical act of actually using drugs. Then there are others who refuse to believe addiction is a disease, many of which claim that by declaring addiction a disease that we are making excuses for our behaviors and are then absolved from all accountability and responsibility. But this isn’t the case at all. See “Addiction Vs. Using Drugs: Why Addicts Can’t Just Stop Using Heroin” and “The Role of Accountability and Responsibility in Recovery“.
Perhaps if people who don’t understand or can’t personally relate to an addict took the time to educate themselves and/or knew just how bad people suffering from heroin addiction are hurting, they may just change their minds.
Trying to Feel Better is in our Human Nature
As we described above, there is a clear distinction between the act of using heroin, opiates or other drugs and the disease of addiction. Before someone becomes an addict, some underlying discontent, pain, trauma and/or reason leads someone to use heroin. Now using drugs, regardless of the reason is a choice. And nobody questions the reality that it’s a bad choice. But people in a lot of pain (physical or emotional) will do almost anything to change that. Heroin and other drugs provide temporary relief from the painful realities of an individuals life.
Myth: Smart People Would Never Use Heroin
It doesn’t matter how intelligent someone is or how much somebody already knows about the dangers of heroin, drugs and addiction. It is built-in to our human nature to desire contentment and to flee from anything painful. Sometimes the desire to escape a painful reality is greater than our understanding that heroin, drugs and alcohol can cause serious damage and hurt us. The truth is, some very intelligent people have gotten sucked into using drugs because they were under so much pressure, stress or pain and they felt they needed something to provide temporary relief
The Onset of Addiction Makes it Hard to Say No Moving Forward
Not everyone who use heroin, opiates, drugs or alcohol will become addicted to it. Continued use of certain drugs, especially heroin can cause someone to be dependent on it so that if the user tries to quit cold turkey, they will experience nasty withdrawal symptoms. Heroin addiction is something completely different and its onset can occur the first time heroin enters your bloodstream. Addiction is a disease that causes a chemical reaction and structural changes to the brain, creating a strong connection to the “object of addiction” causing powerful urges and compulsions to continue using it without stopping. See “Proof that Addiction is a Disease: How Addiction Affects the Brain”
Addiction + Dependency + Feelings of Euphoria = Slavery
So because addiction creates a strong bond and compulsion to continue using, saying no moving forward becomes extraordinarily difficult…especially when you combine addiction with dependency (creating a fear of withdrawal) and the overall “positive feelings” heroin or one’s drug of choice creates.
When someone first starts using heroin, they don’t want to quit because everything is great…or so it seems. But after awhile, these feeling of euphoria are reduced as tolerance increases and re-creating the same experience of elation becomes almost impossible. Furthermore, it becomes real costly and every dollar goes to feeding our heroin addiction, dependence and attempts to re-create the same warm, fuzzy feeling that is now almost impossible to achieve. Furthermore, relationships start to suffer, our jobs become in jeopardy and we start to lose interest in anything and everything that doesn’t include heroin.
Because of the above, we eventually become aware that we are addicted and the happy feelings we once experienced are gone. We recognize that we’ve become slaves to heroin and sometime we even want to stop. So why do we continue?
Addiction + Dependency – Money – Relationships – Jobs = Desire to Quit
Often times we have a desire to stop using and break free from our heroin addiction but we simply feel lost and don’t know what to do. We might even try to go cold turkey but often times people cave and use because the withdrawal symptoms are so bad due to our dependency that any relief in the moment becomes top priority. Coupled with addiction that often causes the mind to make excuses, many people go right back to using.
But, a desire to quit using heroin, opiates and/or any drug is very important and often the first step in getting help and treatment.
Desire to Quit + Hard Work + Perseverance = Recovery
Desire is the first step but it’s not enough to stop using drugs and getting clean. Recovery is a word that defines our desire to get clean, hard work and perseverance to not only break free from the bonds of addiction and dependency but to reinvent ourselves and become productive member of society.
Let’s face it, when we were using, that’s all we cared about. Sure some people suffering from heroin addiction may have been semi-productive and even did their jobs well when using however, an addict’s mind is enslaved by the drug and not on living a life of freedom that gets to choose when and when it’s not appropriate to work hard, play hard, socialize, etc.
Recovery = Freedom and a New Life
Some people think that recovery is just about quitting heroin or drugs. That’s obviously an important part of it however, recovery provides people with a chance to reinvent themselves and become new and fresh. Going back to the “old life” before using heroin and/or other drugs is not advisable. After all, something in the old life must have led us to make a decision to use drugs in the first place. Thus, in recovery we need to deal with whatever pain and trauma that led to our choices to use drugs in the first place and then develop strategies to better cope with pain, stress and trauma in the future. Recovery is also about developing and changing our routines, becoming an independent adult, being responsible and accountable for our actions, etc. But recovery is also about having fun and enjoying a new life of freedom!
Recovery can be whatever you want it to be…because you are free. You can become the man or woman that you’ve always wanted to be. You are no longer defined by your disease and actions you take are inspired by freedom. No longer do you have to live in fear and make decisions around your addiction. Your life is finally yours and you can be whoever you want and do whatever you want.
I am living proof that recovery is possible and so are a multitude of members who’ve shared their heroin recovery stories on our free heroin addiction and recovery forum and Facebook page. You are encouraged to share your story by clicking on the above links.
If you are ready to quit using and you have the desire but don’t know where to turn. Please contact us and let us help you start your journey into recovery and freedom.
Written and Published By,
William – Publisher and Founder of Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™
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