BLOG


February 27, 2015 Marissa ObrienAddiction0

As the world becomes increasingly connected, as the internet becomes an increasingly important part of everyone’s daily life, the typical heroin addict is changing.

Now don’t get me wrong, I doubt the internet is the main reason the demographic of heroin addicts is changing, but I do think it plays a part. as information about heroin, painkillers, and other drugs is spread across the web, more and more nontraditional addicts are born.

The massive gentrification of American society, and the resulting massive wealth gap, also plays a part. I’m speaking from personal experience here. Growing up in a typical, boring suburban town made the allure of drugs all the greater. And no drug had a greater allure than heroin.

Of course, there’s a difference between me and many other people – I’m an addict and alcoholic. I tried anything and everything to change the way I felt. Of all the chemicals I tried, opioids did the best job.

So no, the internet and an increasingly gentrified society aren’t to blame for the recent spike in heroin addiction, but they do play a role.

What Makes a Heroin Addict?

As recently as ten to fifteen years ago, heroin addicts were thought of as homeless, mentally ill, disheveled individuals. They were all assumed to live under bridge and panhandle for money. They were assumed to be violent, or at best unstable, and beyond aid.

Today, that stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth. Today’s heroin addicts are largely middle class kids in their twenties and thirties. To put it another way, the millennial generation might as well be called the heroin generation. Sound a bit over the top? Well it isn’t.

Consider that among eighteen to twenty-six year olds heroin is one of the only drugs that’s increasing in use. It’s one of the most popular drugs, behind only marijuana, painkillers, and spice (synthetic cannabis).

Consider that today’s heroin is so pure users don’t need to inject it. In years past, heroin was under 10% pure. This meant the only way for heroin addicts to really “feel” the drug was via injection. With today’s heroin being around 50% pure, new users can simply snort or smoke the drug. This decreases the taboo associated with the drug and leads potential users to try it.

Of course, there’s another factor that influences potential heroin users. I’m talking, of course, about famous heroin addicts.

Famous Heroin Addicts

Heroin has a mystique of hipness around it. This is due in no small part to the many famous heroin addicts who have abused the drug. Smart, creative, attractive, and influential people have all contributed to the “sexiness” of heroin.

Don’t believe me? Think I’m making a bit of a stretch? Google “famous heroin addicts” and see what pops up. More to the point, consider that an entire fashion movement sprang up around the emaciated look common to heroin users. It was called heroin chic.

So, who are these famous heroin addicts? Well, they range from rock stars to actors to writers and beyond. Jim Morrison, William Burroughs, Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday, and Chris Farley all had one thing in common. They were all heroin addicts.

Their creativity was often attributed to their opioid use. This, in turn, led heroin to be thought of as some sort of artistic muse. It’s a misconception that persists to this day. I’m sure the myth of the famous heroin addict has also played a part in heroin’s booming popularity.

How to Help the New Heroin Addict

Okay, heroin is popular. That point has been driven home by this article and, more importantly, by a generation of heroin addicts. So, how can we help the “new” heroin user? How can we offer hope to those who so desperately need it?

The answer is actually rather simple. We let heroin addicts know that recovery is possible. That’s it, nothing more and nothing less.

Treatment centers need to be more than simply havens for those struggling with substance abuse. They need to be institutes in every sense of the word. They need to shout from the mountaintops that sobriety is possible for everyone.

Individuals who have successfully kicked their addiction also need to speak up. I’ll use myself as an example. I’m an individual in long-term recovery and I take every opportunity offered to make that fact known. I don’t walk around town with a sign over my head, but I don’t shy away from mentioning my past if it’ll help someone else.

With treatment centers offering a message of recovery, and with sober individuals living a message of recovery, change can’t help but come. It’s that simple my friends. I promise.


Fiona StockardWe are proud to feature this guest blog post by Fiona Stockard. Fiona has been in recovery for over 5 years and now works at a Florida addiction rehab, helping addicts recover each day by delivering her message of strength and hope.



January 5, 2015 Marissa ObrienRecovery0

It was recently reported that a staggering 1 out of every 3 American citizens struggles with addiction of some kind – this can be anything from drug addiction or alcoholism to eating disorders or nicotine addiction. It has also been proven that no matter what type of addiction an individual struggles with, a regular incorporation of yoga can help appease symptoms immensely. By uncovering the underlying causes of addiction and treating the mind, body, and spirit of the addict inclusively, recovery can be a highly effective process. However, it is a lifelong process – one that must be upkept on a daily basis in order to prove effective in combating addiction permanently.

Yoga and Addiction Recovery

Many treatment centers across the nation have been incorporating holistic methods of treatment into their overall recovery programs, and in many instances, this includes regular attendance at yoga classes. Yoga promotes body awareness that is very crucial to comprehensive recovery. Yoga students are urged to get in touch with their physical beings, and awareness of breath is also a main component of such practices. In many cases, addicts and alcoholics will use their substance of choice in order to numb their senses entirely, making getting in touch with their physical selves nearly impossible.

Yoga has proven such a successful method of spiritual, physical, and mental recovery for addicts and alcoholics that many yoga studios across the nation have implemented classes geared exclusively towards addiction recovery. So why is yoga such a successful method of holistic addiction recovery? Yoga promotes patience, a quality that is essential to the frequent gradualness of recovery as a process. Additionally, yoga contributes to a greater sense of control in the acute stages of cravings, agitation, and insomnia (post acute withdrawal symptoms). Of course, like most things, reaping the benefits of yoga takes time, and continued practice is necessary in seeing results. If you are in the early stages of addiction recovery – or any stage for that matter – it would be a wise idea to seriously consider incorporating yoga into your weekly spirituality regime.



November 26, 2014 wolf_q5c4wqomAddiction0

It’s that time of year again. The holidays are a time that people tend to use either in excess or more frequently to either celebrate or escape. I’ve heard time and time again from folks in recovery that they wanted to wait for the holidays, a wedding, a birthday or other meaningful event to pass before entering treatment to get clean and sober. Unfortunately in many cases, during this time they proceed to make a fool of themselves in front of family, ruin a wedding or potentially overdose in their disease. Was putting off seeking help really worth their health, life and the respect of themselves? No way!

Looking back, in hindsight, the following are other common excuses that are shared by many recovery for putting off seeking treatment. Which one(s) do you relate to?

It’s Expensive

Pay for treatment?! I’ve spent all of my money on drugs or alcohol and have nothing left. I don’t have the money to spend right now. I don’t even have insurance. How can I afford this?

Financially, treatment can be expensive. The good news is that almost all treatment centers will work with you on payment plans or sliding scale costs. Also, there are scholarships in place set forth by the government or treatment centers themselves that can sometimes fund an entire stay in treatment. Make sure to ask about if they have any financial assistance options. Treatment is possible without insurance.

I’m Embarrassed and Scared

What are my friends and family going to think? What will my job or coworkers think? Am I going to lose all of these people because of my addiction? What if I fail? People are no longer going to like me

It’s completely understandable to be embarrassing and scared. Nobody likes to admit they need help – or ask for it! It’s hard.

Everybody else uses as much as I do

I drink just as much as my friends do, if not less. Most people my age use just as frequently as I do. None of them have a problem.

If you find yourself comparing your use to others, stop now. You never know another’s situation or struggles. They may be struggling secretly just as you are. They also may be able to handle their use recreationally differently that you can. Addiction is genetically inherited. Though you may want to be like your peers, if you are reading this article…chances are that you aren’t.

I can change (This is deadly)

I’m not as bad off as other addicts. I can still fix my addiction. I haven’t hit a low enough bottom yet. I may have a problem but I don’t need to fix it now. I work, I pay my bills. I’ll wait to see if I can change. I’m not ready to get help yet.

Unfortunately, this is not only the most common excuse – but also the deadliest. Because overdose comes with zero warning, even a person who has not damaged their health with addiction can die from this disease with just one hit. The longer you wait to seek treatment, the more frequently you are playing Russian roulette with your life.

 

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, know that you are not alone. There is no excuse worth your life. Please contact us today to confidentially find out what your options are and begin battling the disease of addiction today!


The Hope Center

The Hope Center for Rehabilitation offers a full range of services both leading up to, during and following treatment, including professional interventions, a luxury, medically assisted detox program, inpatient rehabilitation (30-90 days), intensive out-patient rehabilitation and out-patient services. Each of our clients become a part of our alumni program at the completion of their treatment to help foster a continued community of recovery.

Copyright by The Hope Center 2016. All rights reserved.