4 Questionable Ways the Media Talks About Heroin Addiction

Heroin Addiction

Heroin, smack, horse, or just H.  Whatever people call it, it’s a dangerous drug that can cause a serious addiction, which requires a heroin treatment program.  But when hearing about heroin addiction in the media, one might assume that it is chic, that it’s a lifestyle,  and that only poor people and famous celebrities get addicted. That addiction to heroin is somehow a failing on the part of the person and that the only way is to go “cold turkey.”  The media and popular culture send conflicting messages about drugs, especially heroin.  When a person is searching for “heroin treatment centers near me,” they’re looking for the facts when it comes to their heroin addiction and the right heroin addiction treatment program for them.

Let’s look at four ways the media talks about heroin addiction and how they can be wrong.

Myth 1: Heroin Addiction is a Character Flaw in a Person

One of the biggest misconceptions is that heroin addiction is a serious character flaw in a person.  In action movies, heroin addicts are always the person with the shady character and not someone to care about.  Movies show the disease as the person, rather than a person with a disease.  Heroin is an extremely addictive substance which requires a person to enter a heroin treatment program, but it is not an indicator of a person’s value or moral character. People who experiment with heroin can easily become addicted, and those who use heroin regularly develop a tolerance for the drug, meaning that in order to get the same high, they must increase their dosage over time.  This becomes a dangerous cycle, which can lead to overdose or even death.

Some people try to go “cold turkey” to get off heroin, but the withdrawal symptoms are too great. In fact, no one addicted to heroin should ever try going “cold turkey,” because the withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous. Withdrawal symptoms can include severe bone and muscle pain, insomnia, restlessness, cold flashes with goosebumps, vomiting, diarrhea, and uncontrolled leg spasms.  These withdrawal symptoms can be so severe that many addicts have no choice but to return to using the drug.

For those who are in the terrible heroin cycle, there is hope.  In a heroin treatment center that has a non 12 step program, heroin users can find the heroin addiction treatment program that is right for them.  In non 12 step programs, people struggling with heroin abuse can learn that their addiction is part of a larger problem in their life, rather than a character flaw that means they are a bad person. Addiction to heroin has a cure, but it may be a complex cure for a complex problem.

Myth 2: Heroin is Chic

Remember “Heroin Chic” in the 1990s, made famous by designer clothing models?  Skinny women and men with dark, sunken eyes and no muscle tone were all the rage.  Emphasis was placed on looking sallow, emaciated, and otherwise unhealthy. The skinnier the body and the darker the circles under the eyes, the better.  The popularity of the look eventually disappeared after drug overdose deaths in the fashion business.

But is heroin chic?  Any heroin addict recognizes the outward symptoms of emaciation, lack of sleep, and lack of muscle tone. Fashion may go for extreme looks, but, in this case, it comes at the expense of peoples’ health. Those who have these symptoms should find a heroin treatment program that is right for them.

When looking for “heroin treatment centers near me,” those suffering from addiction should look for non 12 step programs that emphasize health and physical fitness as well as treating the addiction.  By treating the person holistically, that is, through their body, mind, and spirit, a non 12 step program can treat the addiction and the cause of the addiction as well.

drugs and heroin

Myth 3: Heroin Is a Cool Lifestyle

Society and the media are full of mixed messages about drugs, and especially heroin.  From movies like Rent to actors and actresses using smack, it’s easy to think that because celebrities do it, it’s a cool thing to do. But nothing is further from the truth. Celebrities like John Belushi, Philip Seymour, Cory Monteith, Janis Joplin, and Carrie Fisher were found dead due to heroin.  As amazing as their work was, they could’ve produced even more amazing work had they not succumbed to the drug.  Others, like Robert Downey Jr., have been in and out of jail due to their addictions, and Kurt Cobain committed suicide with large doses of heroin in his system.

Anyone who has been in jail will say that being in jail isn’t cool.  Nor is dealing with all the trauma that comes from a heroin addiction. That’s why if one has a heroin addiction or substance abuse problem one should look for a heroin treatment center that specializes in a non 12 step program.  Non 12 step programs recognize each person is an individual, and their addiction is unique to them.  That’s why their treatment will be tailored to their particular situation.

Myth 4: Only Poor People in the Inner Cities Get Addicted to Heroin

It’s common to assume that poor people, minorities, and those living in the inner cities are the only ones who get addicted to heroin. While there are heroin users in that demographic, there are other groups who use heroin as well.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) notes that there have been marked increases in heroin use by groups that have low heroin use rates such as women, people with higher incomes, and those who are privately insured. Between 2010 and 2017, heroin deaths have increased five times, according to the CDC.  In 2015, there were 26 heroin overdoses out of every 100,000 people who visited the emergency room.  This is a significant number.  What’s more, between 2016 and 2017, there was an increase in heroin deaths in rural areas and in counties with populations less than 250,000.

California has seen almost a 22 percent increase in heroin overdose deaths, making it a statistically significant problem.  That’s why when a person enters “heroin treatment centers near me” in a search, they need to look for the right kind of heroin treatment program. A treatment program that works with the addict to treat not only the disease of addiction but also the cause of their addiction as well.

Put Aside the Myths and Look for Answers

If one has been a heroin addict for any amount of time, one knows how foolish those myths can seem. Long term heroin addiction can lead to kidney and liver disease, collapsed veins, heart problems, lung diseases, pneumonia, insomnia, and mental disorders. Plus there’s always the chance of an overdose or poisoning.  Heroin is often cut with other drugs and fillers, which can make it even more dangerous. This is why it is so important to enter a heroin addiction treatment program before one becomes another statistic.

Every heroin addict is a person.  A person with dreams, desires, and fears.  Remember what it was like to be free from drugs?  Being free from heroin takes more than just wishing it were so.  That’s why it’s important to find the right heroin treatment center that will treat each addict like the individual that they are.

Ask Questions about the Heroin Addiction Treatment Program

Ask questions when on the phone or visiting a treatment center.  Do they treat the disease of addiction, or do they blame the addict for their addiction?  Do they believe that addiction can be cured, or do they believe that the addiction is only in remission and they must be treated for life?

Our treatment program consists of detox, which uses holistic methods of treatment.  People going through detox have their own customized version which works at reducing the amount of medical treatment used during detox. After all, it’s no good to the person with an addiction to substitute one addiction for another. They use drug-free methods to detox, even if the person must have medication temporarily to help them through the detox.  By limiting the number of medications to what is absolutely necessary for comfort and safety, not only will the patient have a successful detox, but is more likely to experience success in eliminating their addiction.

Elevate Addiction Services

Why Choose Elevate Addiction Services?

Elevate Addiction Services recognizes that its clients are human beings. Each person who enters through their doors is an individual with their own hopes, dreams, aspirations, and goals.  This is the real person who knows that all the media hype and glamor about heroin is just a lie — and that they need to end the cycle of addiction before they end up self-destructing like some of the celebrities they read about.

Elevate Addiction Services works holistically to end heroin addiction. After detox, there are three phases of inpatient treatment which last about three months. The inpatient treatment starts by strengthening the body through exercise and nutrition. The clients learn how to control their thoughts through mindfulness practice and work with skilled therapists who help them see what led them toward addiction.

Elevate Addiction Services also has an outpatient treatment program which helps those who must still work or go to school to get treatment. Sometimes it’s not practical for some people to put their entire lives on hold while their heroin addiction is treated.  Or maybe their insurance will only cover shorter inpatient treatment. In this case, outpatient treatment may be the answer to the problem.

Through counseling and through training, clients learn tools to help them deal with the stresses and strains of their everyday life, as well as coping mechanisms that allow them to handle difficult times. Clients learn who they need to keep in their lives and who they need to say good-bye to in order to maintain their own sanity and health.

Once the client has graduated from the program, the client still receives support from Elevate Addiction Services.

We have an aftercare program that helps guide their clients after they are drug and alcohol-free. Aftercare is totally free as clients have paid for it with their initial treatment.  There is no set time for aftercare and clients can use their resources as long as they need to.

Tim Sinnott, MFT

With several advanced degrees from the University of San Francisco (Doctor of Education in Counseling and Educational Psychology and Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology, emphasis in Marital and Family Therapy), Rutgers University Center of Alcohol Studies (Certificate, Summer School of Alcohol Studies), and the University of California, Santa Cruz (Certificate in Alcohol Studies, Advanced Counselor Training Program), and a strong history of directing recovery facilities, Tim is a capable speaker and leader in addiction treatment services. Tim also has extensive marriage and family counseling knowledge and prides himself on his ability to connect with clients and professionals on an individual basis.

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