The Smack Epidemic | What Is Being Done About It

heroin detox

If you’re familiar with the problem of drug abuse in everyday life, you’ll know that there’s a lot of drugs that you should avoid and look out for. And while there are many to keep an eye on, there is one drug that has continued to persist – heroin.

What is Heroin?

Heroin comes with many names, used popularly in the streets. You’ll be hearing such names where heroin is commonly used, from: dope, H, brown crystal, brown sugar, nod, or one of the more popular nicknames, Smack. “Smack” is one of the most popular drugs in today’s society, alongside cocaine, for all the wrong reasons.

Heroin can be taken in a variety of ways, whether it’s through oral, smoking, or the far riskier hypodermic needle method, which can result in collapsed veins when used for long enough.  This method, popularly known as “shooting up”, hence the saying in popular media, “shooting up heroin”, involves injecting heated heroin mixed with an acid directly into the vein, with the veins of the arm being the most common spots of administration.

Danger of Habitual Use

Adverse effects of long-term cocaine usage include HIV and hepatitis (which results from using needles already used by others) abscesses on the skin and affected areas, decreased kidney function, and poisoning from the chemicals mixed into the heroin.

One of the worst kinds of symptoms for heroin users is withdrawal symptoms. For those who do not know what withdrawal is, it is the effect that long-term users would experience if they decide to stop taking heroin. Withdrawal usually begins about a day after the user discontinues the drug.  Here are some of them:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle spasm
  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Nervousness
  • Craving for drugs

And with such problems continuing to persist, what is being done to combat it, or mostly help heroin users to recover and move on? And what steps are being taken in order to undergo heroin detox to cleanse oneself from both the addicting effects of heroin as well as its associated withdrawal symptoms?

Overdose Death Rates

With each passing year, there has been an alarming increase in heroin-related deaths each year. And there have been many efforts to help reduce the usage of heroin usage and overdose. As early as the 1980s, governments from around the world have initiated heroin-assisted treatment programs to help individuals overcome their addictions.

These programs provide medical treatments for heroin-dependent people.  This process of heroin detox has proven to have greatly improved the health of participants who undergo the treatment, which many have noted to be less costly than by incarceration and other more expensive interventions.

Government Urges Heroin Addiction Treatment

In countries such as the Netherlands, they have taken to researching and studying maintenance for heroin, while Switzerland has programs to assist and treat individuals via the administration of a heroin in controlled areas which overall reduces the harmful effects of heroin abuse.

Others may find better use in letting their bodies remove heroin from their system via detoxification. Heroin detox, while natural and doesn’t take much out of one’s pocket, can still result in withdrawal symptoms if they’re not careful. Heroin detox is mainly done in a hospital setting, or a non-hospital setting if you choose.