While the passing of rapper Mac Miller was extremely tragic, a glimmer of hope can still rise from his untimely demise. When someone dies young, they leave behind masses of sorrow. When a person dies from a drug overdose, it forces many dealers, users, enablers, families, friends, and lovers face the harsh realities of drug addiction. It is to the hope of many that a new outlook for the future of the opioid epidemic will emerge from Millers death.
We have come together as a unified society over many issues in the past. For decades activists have fought the negative stigma attached to both drug addiction and mental illness. Unfortunately, celebrities are not invincible, and the Hollywood scene has seen just as much suffering as the general public, if not more. This was seen several weeks ago when the famous pop singer Demi Lovato overdosed on heroin and was rushed to the hospital after receiving Narcan, a lifesaving drug that can be used over the counter in situations involving an opioid overdose.
Narcan is helping to alleviate the negative stigma attached to drug overdoses. It is available over the counter at most pharmacies, and is cheap. It is supposed to be like a regular first aid kit; something you should have in the case of an emergency, but never plan on or intend to use. I have reserved fears that perhaps people will begin to use more drugs on purpose, because the ability to easily obtain Narcan is a safety net to prevent death. It is still extremely important and amazing that pharmacies provide this medication, because it does save lives.
Addicts often fear coming forward and asking for help in fear of being judged or being seen as weak. They are afraid of the harsh judgements attached to the label of being a ‘drug addict.” They do not want to be seen as powerless or sick to their loved ones and the people they care about.
In order for us to reverse the negative stigma attached to drug addiction, it is important to spread awareness and education for people of all ages, races, and genders. Each and every person should know how to prevent addiction, how to spot the signs and symptoms of addiction, how to get help for addiction, and how to help others struggling with addiction.
While not all opioid addicts use heroin as their drug of choice, it is extremely popular in most areas. Heroin addiction consumes and controls the life of the user, leaving them powerless to the drug. It can leave a person broke, diseased, and alone.
Opioid addiction does not have to control your life. Treatment is available, and ready whenever you are. It is important for individuals going through recovery to have emotional support, and be unafraid to tell the truth about their habits and emotions, and ask for professional help.
Symptoms of heroin withdrawal
Heroin recovery is a long and painful process. A person going through withdrawal may experience extreme anxiety and panic attacks. They may have tremors, nausea, and uncontrollable vomiting. It can last anywhere between a few days and an entire week, depending on how long the user was addicted, and their body type. This portion of recovery is best spent under professional care here the addict can have constant supervision, care, medication, and treatment. This is usually done in a rehab treatment center or care facility, where there is constant support.
Going through heroin withdrawal can cause a person to be in constant pain. As the drug fully detoxes from a personas system, they may get pounding headaches or migraines, muscle aches and pains, and cold chills with hot flashes and heavy sweating.
The heroin withdrawal symptoms are not just physical, but can be mental and emotional as well. Going through a drug detox can cause a lot of harm to a personas mental health, and they should be getting emotional support in addition to physical treatment. Going through heroin withdrawal can cause a person to be extremely agitated, emotional, upset, and angry. Addicts will often lash out at those they care about when trying to get clean, but it is important as a friend to not give up on them and to forgive them in order to move on with their recovery process.
Heroin is not the only drug that is finding its way into households, classrooms, and other common places. Prescription pills are being abused at an extremely alarming rate, and it is showing no signs of stopping or slowing down. They are abused across all demographics, and all over the nation. Even a simple google search of “Opioid Addiction,” leads directly to a public health safety alert that reads, “The U.S. is in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic. If you or someone you know needs help, effective treatment is available and can save lives. HHS.gov/opioids.” These warning signs are everywhere, and people just need to pick up their heads and look.
Living in Baltimore, it is hard to walk anywhere without seeing strung out, passed-out, drug users laying in the streets. The other day I went to a baseball game, and passed a woman ‘sleeping’ or in a drug coma, on a bench with her hand still in a McDonalds bag.
Heroin addiction recovery is not impossible. There are viable, proven effective forms of treatment for all types of people all over the nation. It does not matter your age, race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, or financial background. Health care providers all over the country are ready to help you curb your addiction and get started on the path to a better life today!