Heroin Addiction Myths
Heroin Addiction Myths
Table of Contents
Of all the opioid drugs that have been linked with abuse and dependence, heroin is the most implicated. Heroin, also known as smack, junk, and brown sugar, is a narcotic derived from morphine, obtained from the opium poppy. Of all the opioid drugs that have been linked with abuse and dependence, heroin is the most implicated. The widespread use and abuse of heroin are primarily because it is very addictive, even by opioid drug standards.2
What is Heroin Addiction?
Heroin addiction refers to a condition where an individual cannot stop taking or “using” heroin, even in the face of mild to severe side effects directly from heroin use. There are many misconceptions and misunderstandings regarding what addiction is. Before looking at heroin addiction myths, you will need to know what addiction is and what it isn’t.
Addiction: What It Means
How is Addiction Different From Dependence?
Some Of The Most Common Myths About Heroin Addiction
Myth: Heroin Addiction Happens Instantly
One of the most common heroin addiction myths is that heroin addiction occurs instantly with the first intake or use of heroin. However, although heroin is very addictive and heroin addiction tends to happen quickly, this is not true. Several factors determine how fast heroin addiction occurs. These factors include mental health status, genetic disposition, and frequency of use.
Myth: Heroin Is Less Dangerous When Smoked Or Snorted
Myth: Addiction Is A Character Flaw That Only Affects Bad People
Risk Factors Of Heroin Addiction
Myth: There Are Many Highly Functioning “Recreational Users” Of HeroinSeveral people think that frequent heroin consumption is not among heroin risk factors; “after all, there are a large number of highly functioning recreational users of heroin.” According to the National Drug and Alcohol Research Center, this is a false belief because there is no evidence to support this claim.5
There has been research carried out to explore the veracity of this claim, and results have shown that recreational heroin users, if they exist at all, are an infrequent phenomenon.
Myth: Heroin Is A Young Person’s DrugThe opinion or belief that heroin is a teenager, or “young person” problem is one of the widely believed myths about heroin addiction. However, it isn’t true. Studies have shown that over 30% of heroin users are aged 40 and above. This statistic is steadily increasing, with heroin overdose deaths becoming increasingly common among people in their 50s and 60s. Heroin addiction cuts across all age groups.5
Myth: Addiction Is a Choice
It is important to consider the family history of heroin addiction. Many people believe that addiction is a choice; after all, people who are currently struggling with addiction started taking addictive drugs of their own volition. While it is true in most cases that the decision to start using was entirely “discretionary,” the belief that heroin addiction is a choice is still one of the myths about heroin use.
Contrary to popular belief, drug addiction is not a choice. Drug addiction has a long-term effect on your brain, sometimes drastically, sometimes quietly, but nearly always in ways that lead to compulsive and even uncontrolled drug use.
Common Myths About Recovery From Heroin Addiction
Myth: It’s Impossible to Quit Using Heroin
Myth: You Can Do It On Your Own
Even if a person had enough “willpower” to quit using (which is very rarely the case), they would still risk experiencing addiction withdrawal effects. When these effects are not correctly managed, death has been known to occur. If you’re currently struggling with addiction, you should get help and support from a treatment center. That’s the option that guarantees you a safe and complete recovery.
Myth: Treatment Should Work The First Time
The belief that drug addiction treatment should work the first time is a wrong one, and it can have a serious impact on recovery success, making it one of the most “dangerous” myths about heroin addiction recovery. The thing to note is that relapse is a “factor” in recovery from addiction, and as such, it may occur multiple times for several reasons. However, relapse does not imply failure, so a person can require numerous treatments to finally kick an addiction.
Another thing to note is that ultimately, addiction is a personal journey, so it differs from person to person. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to rehabilitation since everyone’s route to recovery is unique, just like their life experiences. As a result, therapy may not always work the first time for everyone.
Myth: Recovery From Heroin Addiction Is Rare
Common Myths About Heroin Addiction Treatments
Myth: Medication-Assisted Treatment Just Switches One Addiction For Another
Some people believe that heroin addiction treatment is a “sham,” saying that it just switches one addiction for another. This belief is understandable, seeing as some potential addiction-causing drugs like methadone and benzodiazepines are used to treat addiction.
Nevertheless, it must be said that this belief is false. This is because drugs used in medication-assisted treatment for heroin addiction have been proven to be very effective. They also help to reduce the possibilities of overdose effectively and significantly.6
Myth: Methadone Will Make You Feel High
Methadone is an opioid drug commonly employed in treating and managing addiction.7 Due to its nature (as an opioid), some people believe methadone elicits feelings of being “high.” However, that is not true at all. Methadone does not have the euphoric effects commonly associated with opioids; instead, it is designed to inhibit those sensations, ergo its inclusion in medication-assisted therapy.8
Myth: It’s Difficult to Stop Using Methadone
Myths About Rehab
Myth: Rehab Will Cure My AddictionOne of the most common myths about rehab is that rehab is a cure for addiction. This is not precisely the case. While proper rehab can help you get better, stay sober, and be addiction-free, there is no “cure” for addiction.
What most people refer to as an “addiction cure” involves the conscious implementation of rehabilitation and relapse prevention strategies to ensure addiction patients can live addiction-free lives.
Myth: Treatment Is Unaffordable
Some people also believe that addiction treatment is unaffordable, so unless you have a large stack of cash or money in the bank, you can’t get treatment. Although it is true that some treatment options for heroin addiction are quite expensive and so may not be “available” to everyone, there are also much more affordable yet effective solutions as.
There are several subsidized government programs to assist people in paying for treatment. Effective 12-step support organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are also free to join. Price is not a hindrance to quality treatment.6