Is There a Heroin Problem in Hamilton NJ?
The heroin problem has been growing at alarming rates in the past years. In 2013, over 467,000 Americans over twelve years of age were regular users of heroin. Heroin addiction has been identified among the most important drug abuse issues crippling American lives from coast to coast. One area of the United States where heroin abuse has become a crisis is the state of New Jersey. In Hamilton, hundreds of people have died from heroin-related overdoses in the past several years, shattering the way of life in the community.
What is Heroin?
Heroin is part of a family of painkillers known as opioids (also called opiates). Natural opioids are derived from opium poppies. After the colorful flowers blossom and the petals drop off, small seedpods grow rapidly and are harvested for the gooey sap contained within them. This product is raw opium, which is used for both legal and illicit purposes. For medical purposes, it is refined into morphine for painkillers. On the contrary, the morphine may be sold for use in an illicit laboratory to create a semisynthetic opioid called diacetylmorphine better known as heroin.
Research has shown a trend in the progression from abuse of prescription opioids to heroin among addicts. Several street names, including crank, horse, Big H, Skag, hell dust, junk, and smack refer to heroin. Most heroin sold on the street is in powdery form and ranges in color from off-white to brown. The color variation is caused by mixing (“cutting”) heroin with additives to bulk it up. These additives may include sugar, cornstarch, powdered milk, talcum powder, dirt, other drugs, or poisonous substances such as strychnine. Black tar heroin, which is so named because it is black and sticky like roofing tar, gets its dark color from crude processing methods that leave behind impurities.
The Heroin Addiction Problem
When someone uses heroin, a complex chemical process takes place in his or her brain. The heroin is converted back into morphine, which then binds to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. When the brain’s reward center is stimulated, they release abnormally high levels of dopamine, which causes the “high.”
10 seconds after a user injects heroin, he or she feels a surge of euphoria or rush. This is typically followed by the “nod,” a dreamlike state during which the user alternates between being awake and drifting off to sleep. People who are addicted continuously seek the initial rush and are obsessive about attaining that feeling. Nevertheless, after prolonged use of heroin, the euphoria fades into memory. This is because the body adapts such that more and more heroin is needed just to feel “normal” again. In a cruel twist of irony, addicts who used to feel great feel lucky to achieve a little high.
Detox Helps You Kick Heroin Addiction
Contrary to popular belief, heroin addicts are not lost. Many chronic addicts can turn their lives around, stay clean and go on to live drug-free lives. However, overcoming heroin addiction takes a great deal of motivation, commitment, and willingness to work hard and to do whatever is needed to get better. The process starts with detox, which is abstinence while the recovering addict’s bloodstream is cleansed of all traces of toxins.
Due to severe withdrawal symptoms, medical supervision is necessary during detox. Research has established that medication-assisted treatment of opioid addiction helps to manage withdrawal symptoms and achieve abstinence. Medications such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are used, as they act on the same areas in the brain as heroin and morphine. They suppress withdrawal symptoms and help relieve cravings. They also help with recovering addicts to stop drug-seeking and related criminal behaviors.
Once detoxification is complete, it is important to continue with treatment by participating in psychotherapies, such as individual, group, and/or family therapy. Therapy sessions are conducted in an outpatient setting or during the period of stay at a residential treatment center. The latter offers the greatest advantages to recovering addicts.
Find a Detox Program in Hamilton NJ
Although people can and do overcome heroin addiction, recovery is not without hurdles and relapse. The best option for recovery is in a residential detox center. Residential detox programs are successful because they use a patient-focused mentoring approach to help recovering addicts.
At all of our recommended detox programs, residential and outpatient detox helps individuals with drug addiction reclaim their life from heroin addiction. NJ Addiction Resources is committed to connecting you with the best heroin detox in Hamilton NJ and out-of-state. Treatment is on an individual basis. The assessment of your recovery needs by an experienced professional will determine the best approach. We will be happy to be a part of your journey to sobriety, call our addiction helpline today.