Drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse, in general, has been a steadily expanding and sweeping problem in the United States that has shown little to no sign of dropping down in any way any time soon. Drug and alcohol addiction and substance abuse crisis issues tend to take over and wreak havoc in more ways than one, and they are at their worst ever in the nation today.
Drug addiction has never been as bad or as rampant as it is now. Since the turn of the century, drug and alcohol addiction has been on its way up, and the trend has grown considerably year after year with no sign or indication of it getting any better any time soon. Between the years of 2001 and 2005, the American pharmaceutical companies increased the production and the distribution of harmful and dangerous prescription drugs, namely prescription painkillers. While these drugs might have some medicinal use when utilized correctly, they can also be quite dangerous and deadly too.
Prescription drug addiction has been the fastest growing drug problem that this nation has ever seen, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Substance abuse and addiction issues, in general, are now at an all-time high, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, drug and alcohol addiction is an official epidemic in the United States.
In a big way, it has been prescription drugs and pharmaceutical substances in general that have pushed this spread and created this veritable catastrophe. Painkillers are now a huge gateway drug, and it won’t be long before they beat marijuana as the number one gateway drug in the United States. Unfortunately, with prescription drug abuse and opiate pain reliever abuse, so does also come a lot more heroin abuse too, as the two often go hand in hand. Now, most opiate addicts use the two in tandem or go back and forth between the two. The two drugs have the same euphoric high and essentially create the same effect on those who take them.
The best way to address any addiction problem of any kind is with an inpatient, residential, drug and alcohol addiction and dependence treatment center, detox facility, rehabilitation program, and recovery organization. These by far are some of the best treatment centers out there and they do a world of good for people who are struggling with their own substance abuse crisis issues. With an inpatient prescription drug treatment center, one can finally beat his or her substance abuse habit once and for all. With such rehab centers, effective treatment is very obtainable and within reach. Such rehab centers work hard to help people work on and address the various difficulties and hardships of having an addiction problem, and such rehab centers strive to provide excellence and permanent recoveries to those who come to them for help.
Inpatient prescription drug treatment centers help with both detoxification and rehabilitation in tandem. For those who are addicted to prescription pain relievers, this will be necessary and in fact required for them to reach a full recovery that is lasting and permanent. With such an approach, those who struggle with chemical dependence and mental addiction alike to prescription drugs can find solace and freedom for perhaps the first time in their lives since they became addicted with the help of prescription drug treatment centers.
The most common method is to inject it directly into a vein, which is called “mainlining”. This causes the quickest reaction and biggest rush. Unfortunately, the high doesn’t last as long, so users will more frequently administer the drug to maintain the rush or avoid withdrawal.
It is also snorted or sniffed, which allows the drug to be quickly absorbed though the membranes and into the bloodstream for a quick reaction.
It can also be smoked by itself or mixed with marijuana or other drugs in an attempt to create a different type of high. Some inhale the smoke through a straw, known as “chasing the dragon.” If the purity is very high, it is more likely to be smoked in a pipe or snorted.
The most common street nicknames for the drug are China, Big H, Black Tar, Chiva, Hell Dust, Smack and Thunder.
It is often in the form of a white or brownish powder, but it can come as a thick black sticky mass (known as black tar heroin). According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, it is often “cut” with other materials (such as sugar, starch or powdered milk) as well as with other more dangerous and toxic substances by unscrupulous dealers. The added substances can clog the veins, kidneys and liver as the body tries to process the harmful mixture.
Besides overdosing, users can contract infectious diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis B. The veins that are used for injection eventually collapse, and infections of the heart, its valves, and skin are common. Continued use causes liver and kidney damage because these organs must work abnormally hard to filter the toxins. Trouble with the lungs, such as pneumonia, is another side effect that occurs due to the slowed breathing caused when high.
Most users do not know how much actual heroin is in any given product due to the diverse cutting practices of dealers. Users as a result overdose from thinking their batch was less potent than it actually was. As with nearly all drugs, the body’s ability to build up a tolerance forces users to consume ever increasing doses to continue experiencing the high they are looking for; which is another common reason overdoses occur.
An actual overdose affects multiple body systems which creates slowed or shallow breathing or no breathing at all, muscle twitches, delirium, disorientation, drowsiness, and at the extreme, coma and death. Their pulse will weaken, and their blood pressure will be low. Usually a blue tinge to the skin, nail beds and lips is noticeable.