People in general are very stubborn and refuse to ask for help. Now couple that with the shame and guilt suffering addicts feel and the thought of reaching out and asking for addiction help becomes a practical impossibility, at least for some. Thus, many heroin addicts find subtle ways of “crying out for help” without actually doing so.
Most people who get tired of being chained to heroin and realize they need help to break free from addiction understand that it takes a lot of strength, hard work and perseverance to stop using. Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide genuinely believes that each individual possesses a deep inner strength they can harness at anytime to stop using and choose recovery. However, the disease of addiction (that ubiquitous connection and cognitive compulsion to continue using heroin or the “object of addiction”) coupled with dependence (the body’s physical reliance on heroin or a substance that produces withdrawal symptoms if the body suddenly goes without it) makes the degree of difficulty of stopping drug use a 10 out of 10. See “Addiction Vs. Dependence: What is the Difference” for more information. Simply put, it’s not easy to quit using heroin. See “Addiction Vs. Using Drugs: Why Addicts Can’t Just Quit Using Heroin” and “Proof that Addiction is a Disease: How Addiction Affects the Brain” for more information
When I Was an Active Heroin Addict…
When I was using heroin on a daily basis (living in active addiction), I had subtle ways of asking for addiction help without actually doing so. One method I used was to leave traces of heroin behind. This includes white dust residue or empty bags. A part of me hoped that those close to me would ask me about it so I could end the secrets and the lies about my personal heroin addiction. You see…most of my closest friends and family didn’t even know I was a heroin addict. I kept that secret close to my brain. I would also use just enough heroin to experience that “high” or euphoric, elated feeling so that my behavior, speech, etc. was just different enough that somebody might just ask if I was ok. Of course I wasn’t ok! I was using heroin! But nobody knew about it…they may have suspected it, but they didn’t know for sure.
Stigma Prevents Addicts From Reaching Out for Addiction Help
Our Assistant Publisher Crystal Oertle also founded an organization called Erase the Shame, an organization similar to Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide in that they work to spread awareness and put a stop to stigma related to addiction and medicine assisted treatments such as Suboxone, Methadone and Naltrexone (Vivitrol and ReVia). The intrinsic “shame” and “guilt” that we as addicts experience is bad enough without uneducated outside forces hurling insults and false ad misleading statements at addicts. This horrifying behavior only serves to facilitate and enhance stigma and prevents many suffering addicts who are weighed down by their own shame from getting the help and treatment they want, need and deserve. Shaming heroin addicts into thinking they are worthless and beyond help makes it even harder for those who need help to reach out for fear of ongoing judgment by the uneducated and heartless.
Educating the Uneducated and the Heartbroken on Heroin Addiction and Recovery
RJ Vied (right), recovering addict and Director of Public Relations for recommended drug rehab Reliance Treatment Center of North Palm Beach, Florida said recently that there are only two types of people who have the audacity to shame and ridicule someone suffering from addiction (ex: calling them a junkie, dope fiend, etc.).
RJ Vied received a message from someone who had just watched one of his inspiring and educational videos on addiction and recovery. In the message, hey made it very clear how he felt about addiction. This is what he said:
“Hey, I don’t now but you should stop being proud of being a junkie. You have a beautiful family and I’m sure you embarrass them daily with your posts and videos. Don’t take this the wrong way but there’s no way your kids will ever be proud to have a junkie for a dad!”. RJ responded kindly, “Thank you for your thoughts, may I ask you a personal question?”. He responded, “I guess, what?”. RJ responded with the following:
“What was the name of your friend or family member that died from addiction?” . The gentleman responded “How the F#@K did you know that?!?!”.
You see, RJ was right. His final response was “Because there’s only two kinds of people with enough balls to call me a junkie, the ones that are filled with pain and anger from losing someone and the others are the ones who have little to no education about the disease. The sheer fact that you reached out to me shows you have some interest. Buddy, I’m a man in recovery, I’m proud of who I am and no one will ever change that. My kids won’t be ashamed, yet grateful I’m alive!.” Intrigued by this answer, he asked RJ, “Can we talk?”
Only one individual may suffer from the actual disease of addiction, but the entire family is affected by it. People who’ve lost someone due to addiction are angry and heartbroken and in their own way, they’re reaching out for help, support and encouragement.
There is Strength and No Shame in Asking for Addiction Help
People suffering from the effects of addiction, whether they’re the ones using the drugs or are family members and/or friends of someone who uses cry out for help in their own way. Recognizing people’s “cry” or request for addiction help isn’t always easy. But if you are a friend, family member or a concerned individual about someone who you suspect may be using and/or wants/needs addiction help. Come out and ask them. Remind them that there is not only no shame in asking for help, but that it takes a lot of strength to recognize that you are suffering from addiction and even more strength to actually come forward and ask for assistance.
Working Together to Conquer Heroin and Drug Addiction
Conquering addiction isn’t a solo task and requires the love, compassion and support from a number of people. This may include friends, family and other loved ones, professional help from caring staff at counseling centers or inpatient drug rehab facilities, recovery advocates from online recovery groups or in-person meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), etc.
Consult a Top Notch Addiction Treatment Center
Top notch addiction treatment centers such as those recommended on Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide possess a team of experienced and caring professionals that provide individualized attention and care to the drug / heroin addict and their families in order to provide them with the skills, support and tools necessary to live a drug-free, sober life of health, wellness and long-term, lasting recovery. Click on one of the free online consult forms below and fill out a few fields to get started on your road to recovery.
Life Changes Addiction Treatment Center of West Palm Beach, Florida – Free Consult Form
Northeast Addictions Treatment Center of Quincy, Massachusetts – Free Consult Form
Reliance Treatment Center of North Palm Beach, Florida – Free Consult Form
The Well Recovery Center of Huntington Beach, California – Free Consult Form
Waters Edge Recovery of Stuart, Florida – Free Consult Form
Recovery Is Possible
Despite the hopelessness feelings you may be experiencing now living in active addiction, recovery is possible and can be achieved with desire, hard work and perseverance. Some programs have higher success rates than others but the reality is, any program can be successful with the right amount of time, dedication and hard work. Similarly, even the best programs and most effective drug treatment programs or rehab facilities won’t work without desire and putting in the necessary work required to win the war against addiction.
People suffering from addiction genuinely need support to make treatment and recovery easier however, at the end of the day, it’s the addict who makes the choice to either continue down the avenue of addiction, living a life of bondage and slavery or to take the road to recovery, leading to freedom, health, wellness and life.
If you are ready to make a change and choose recovery and life, you don’t have to do it alone. We encourage you to contact us by filling out the brief form and we will be happy to walk with you and help you on the road to recovery.
Written and Published By,
William – Publisher and Founder of Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™
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