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Heroin Addiction and Young Adults (5 Must-Know Facts)

by Landmark Recovery

February 1, 2018
Two individuals learning facts about heroin addiction

Heroin addiction; its just as prevalent as the drug, and It’s Everywhere. Parents and caregivers are more concerned today about different substances harming their children than they were twenty-five years ago. Heroin abuse is on the rise, and every state in America is affected by the increase of production and distribution of the highly addictive and deadly synthetic opiate drug.Each day, heroin overdose claims the life of a young person with untapped potential and loved ones are left picking up pieces of a family torn apart and devastated. Read five facts about heroin abuse so that you understand the challenges young adults are facing today.


5 Heroin Facts You Must Know


1. Heroin Abusers Are Young Adults

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in 2012 almost 700,000 Americans reported using heroin in the past year, a number that is steadily increasing. However, it’s not teenagers primarily abusing this dangerous and illicit drug; its young adults aged 18-25.

What causes young people to use heroin and become addicted? People generally start with a “gateway drug” such as marijuana, cigarettes, alcohol, and more commonly, prescription pain pills. Young people get hooked on illicit painkillers and turn to heroin because it’s drastically less expensive.

While illicit opiates cost from $20 to 60 dollars, heroin costs between $3 to 10 dollars a bag, and as recreational use develops into full-blown addiction, it’s easier to support a habit when the product is cheaper.


2. Heroin Demographics Might Surprise You

Most of us equate drug addiction to the poor, unemployed or minority groups that do not have the same advantages in life as more privileged classes. Interestingly, recent surveys have shown that a staggering 90% of heroin users are middle-class, Caucasian individuals.

What do heroin statistics show us?

Drug abuse does not discriminate. Every race, ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic class is affected. This means that everyone, from homeless and destitute, to business executives making six-figure salaries, is susceptible to heroin addiction.

Heroin “sucks people in” with the first use. Addicts describe the sensation as far beyond the high they encountered through other substances. The pains and disappointments of life are replaced with a euphoria so immense and indescribably “good” that effects from the high cannot be explained with words.


3. Damaging Long-Term Effects Happen Early

Unlike other less addictive and toxic drugs, heroin begins to damage and destroy body systems after several months of repeated use. Not only are you mentally and emotionally dependent on another hit to make it through the day, but your body also goes into serious (and unbearable) withdrawals when you go without it for a few hours!

Your heart has to work harder to maintain an optimal blood pressure because heroin causes your cardiac system to be in a constant state of overdrive. There’s simply no time for your heart to rest, and the continuous state of hypertension causes young, and otherwise healthy individuals to be at an increased risk for heart attack, stroke and untimely death.


4. It’s Hard For Heroin Addicts To Ask For Help

Denial is a hard fact that families have a hard time wrapping their head around. “How is it that my loved one can’t see that he’s lost thirty pounds in two months?” and “Why can’t he/she cut back after losing custody of her kids?” are just a few of the countless questions asked by loved ones of addicts.

Essential heroin fact: Heroin is like air to the addict. They feel like they can’t breathe without it.

Getting the drug replaces the desire for everything else, and the need to have a constant supply of it becomes the sole purpose of life. To outsiders looking in, it’s hard to fathom choosing a life of addiction over a family, friends, and life of purpose. However, you can’t reason with a heroin addict, and you can’t make him/her see the path of destruction they are headed down.


5. Heroin Recovery is Possible

While you can’t make your loved one see through your eyes and stop abusing heroin, there are things you can do to facilitate the process of change and recovery. Consider using a professional interventionist who can help you get through to your family member when you cannot. Be prepared to learn about some unsettling truths about enabling, setting boundaries and following through with rules.

You cannot recover from heroin addiction alone. If your loved one is an addict, you’re going to need an immediate plan to get him or her into a drug rehab and he or she will need a long-term recovery plan (commonly referred to in treatment as a“relapse prevention plan”).

Addicts can stay sober for years – even a lifetime!

Successful recovery requires a daily commitment to abstinence and surrounding yourself with sober peers, mentors and addictions professionals that provide encouragement and support. Replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones won’t be easy, and addicts need ongoing groups and addictions classes that instill knowledge, insight and confidence.


Next Steps

Is someone you care about battling with a heroin addiction or use of other harmful drugs? Landmark Recovery will provide help and expert guidance to your loved one so that they can live drug-free during and after treatment. Get the help you need with heroin addiction today.

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About the Author

Landmark Recovery

Landmark Recovery

Landmark Recovery was founded with a determination to make addiction treatment accessible for all. Through our integrated treatment programs, we've helped thousands of people choose recovery over addiction and get back to life on their own terms. We're on a mission to save one million lives over the next century. We encourage all those struggling with substance use to seek professional help.