There are many beliefs about heroin and heroin addiction that are just flat out false. Unfortunately, many people believe these myths and are either in denial of the fact that they may need help, or end up enabling a loved one who is struggling with heroin addiction. In any case, it’s important to identify the truth about heroin and its addictive properties. This way, both individuals struggling with this type of addiction and their loved ones can seek the help that’s needed to recover.
Myth #1: Heroin is Only Used by Injectors
When you picture heroin abuse, you probably picture a person shooting up heroin from a needle. While this is the most common way to use black tar heroin, heroin can also be smoked and snorted in other forms. So, it’s not true that a person has to use needles to get high from heroin. Or, has to use needles to develop an addiction to heroin.
Myth #2: Heroin is no Longer an Issue with Other Opioids and Prescriptions Around
Many people may be confused about the fact that heroin is still widely abused in the US. This may be due to the opioid epidemic. However, heroin is actually an opioid itself. And, prescription opioid use can and often leads to heroin addiction. This is due to the fact that street prescriptions are costly, and heroin is relatively cheap in comparison. So, when people run out of their opioid prescription or can no longer buy it on the street, they may attempt to halt withdrawal by using heroin. So, it is indeed still a big issue in our nation, especially due to the drug epidemic we’re currently facing.
Myth #3: Abstinence can Help to Treat Heroin Addiction
Abstinence-based treatment involves the belief that stopping the use of an addictive substance is enough to establish a successful recovery. However, while this may work for some, albeit few, people, it’s not the best type of treatment to address heroin addiction. This is due to the fact that heroin abuse may have been developed as a result of underlying conditions. In fact, most of the people who get help for heroin addiction are also diagnosed with concurring conditions. This means that mood disorders or other mental health issues may have stimulated the use of heroin in the first place. And, it also means that without addressing these issues in congruence with heroin addiction, heroin addicts may not have the best chance to establish lasting healing. And, in turn, recover from their addictive behaviors.
Myth #4: Medical Treatment Isn’t Best for Heroin Addiction
The use of medicinal treatment for heroin addiction is a controversial subject. Because many medicines used in the treatment for heroin abuse in a medical setting may involve opioids themselves, people may believe that this type of therapy is simply exchanging one addiction for another. However, this is not the case. In reality, medications used in the treatment of heroin include opioids for two reasons; to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and to reduce opioid cravings. Individuals in these types of treatment settings are not given enough medication to experience a high. Rather, they’re given just enough so they may safely and effectively detox from heroin. This way, they can continue with further treatment initiatives so they may learn the skill sets needed for a healthy life of sobriety.