Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Report from the Front Line of Heroin Addiction

Almost daily, I hear accounts of how heroin abuse/dependence has destroyed a life, a family, a career, and even a country.  From Mexico to Afghanistan and from Kiev to Kalamazoo, heroin has made a huge comeback.  Much of it is due to the low cost and availability - opium brought down the last Chinese dynasty - it's damage to the US economy is severe and immeasurable.  

I see the effect of heroin use and abuse every day in helping addicts, but news of the drug and its myriad effects is ubiquitous.  I hear about it on the BBC almost daily.  I read about its effects in Eastern Europe and of its effects in Western Europe and the US is not novel, unless it is about the death of a celebrity like Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who died in February of this year.

I have heard of clinics across the world attempting and succeeding in different treatments with limited long-term abstinence.  I have heard of programs, drug courts, interventions and pharmaceutical therapies with marginal success.

What I do know is this "every user needs to know that he or she is loved and that he or she is very sick - addiction is fatal - and that he or she must take responsibility for his or her own recovery."  It is not their fault that they are addicted, but it is their responsibility to accept and use a solution that works for them to quit and stay clean.

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