13 Dec Heroin Addiction and Why Addicts Can’t Stop Using
Understanding heroin addiction can be baffling to comprehend. Why would someone knowingly inject a toxic substance into their body? There is no question that heroin addiction in a son or daughter is painful for a parent to witness. Pain is the predecessor to all addiction, whether it is physical, emotional or spiritual pain, it all starts with pain and it started somewhere.
So many parents find this very difficult to accept. Their kids attend church, play sports, have good grades, and go on family vacations. Then one day, their child becomes a heroin addict. What went wrong? Why can’t their child stop using heroin? Why did they start using heroin to begin with? Rejection of this idea in these families is severe yet logical. However, when they understand that every person has their own threshold for pain, that as unique as every person looks on the outside, is as different as they are on the inside.
Parents may not know what happened away at camp – bullying perhaps, at a neighbor’s or relatives house – sexual or physical abuse maybe, in school on a regular basis – being teased in front of the opposite sex and rejection, or maybe a young person was involved in or a witness to a severe accident where someone they loved was hurt.
As more and more information reveals itself about addiction, and especially heroin use, it has come to light that there is pain at the bottom of it. When heroin addicts describe why they can’t stop using heroin, this is the general consensus:
Why Heroin Addiction is so Hard to Stop
1) Many addicts who experience emotional and physical trauma when they are young gravitate towards opiates. The effect caused by heroin is much more effective for pain than morphine. Heroin helps the pain of not being able to express unresolved grief. It is the ultimate drug used to “check-out.”
2) Heroin can be sniffed, snorted or injected, making it a versatile drug.
3) The euphoria of a heroin high begins in the throat first, like a strange tugging feeling. Then it travels to the stomach (some addicts will throw up here), then it flies up the scalp and cascades all over…very warm and the pupils constrict so things look “vivid and brighter.” The feeling is like an orgasm turned inward magnified by 10,000, and many people shudder or collapse with the feeling…the typical “heroin slump.” The feeling of the high, coupled with being pain free is incomparable. Imagine an addict telling himself or herself they will never, ever have an orgasm again? Would they want to stop?
4) The ritual is addicting as well. Coming home to the bedroom, locking the door, putting on music, getting the drug paraphernalia out, addicts are addicted to the ritual of use as well as the drug. There is an anticipation that began before the addict ever gets home and in a sense, the using has already begun. The ritual is a huge part of heroin use.
5) When loved ones lay guilt on addicts, it enables the cycle of abuse to continue, giving more reason for using.
6) Heroin is habit-forming. Not just psychologically, but physically. The body becomes adjusted and dependent on these toxins being put into the body. Once a dependency is built, the body begins to experience heroin withdrawal.
7) The withdrawal symptoms are excruciating and each time an addict starts to stop. Symptoms include hot and cold flashes, body tremors, constipation, fever, aches and pain in the bones, and severe discomfort. Heroin addicts cannot bear the pain, think they will just use a little to get by and before long are back to square one.
Is Your Child Using Heroin?
The best advice any parent can heed when dealing with heroin addiction is to get help for them selves first. Al Anon is one great place to start http://www.al-anon.alateen.org and has resources for the entire family. Talk to other parents of heroin addicts and hear how they were able to let go and take care of them selves during these tough times.
Heroin is a nasty foe and requires firm boundaries and implementing a strict plan for detoxing that the addict is sure to commit to. Be wary of using drugs such as Suboxone to get off the drug. More information is being released daily about trading one addiction for another.
Find out if possible, what pain is driving the addiction. Try to understand the addict’s triggers, speak to his doctor, and find out what is driving the addiction. If you can understand the addiction and the descriptions listed above, you’ll be in a better place to offer aid.