Following the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, more people are waking up to the sad and scary reality that is heroin addiction.
Hoffman’s case illustrated the new zeitgeist of the drug. More people are using heroin now than ever. Those who may have become addicted to prescription painkillers in the past inevitably run out of money, and heroin is the next logical step in the mind of an addict.
This poses a problem, though: what are people taking, and how strong is it?
That’s the question every addict wonders, whether they care about the outcome or not. The reality is it could be anything—and in some cases, it intentionally laced with a substance intended to kill the user. But, we are addicts; we keep taking it until it takes us, or we find help.
In five years (from 2007 to 2012), heroin deaths nearly doubled to a staggering 669,000 people. That is just for heroin—a drug that had long been relegated to “those” parts of town, “those” people, or some other label we generally use to separate ourselves from the grim reality that the disease is alive, well, and prevalent. Today, anywhere can be “a place like that,” and anyone can be “one of those people.”
Indeed, the biggest problems are no longer in the cities—they are in the rural areas and suburbs. Vermont’s recent State of the State address dealt solely on opiate addiction and the heroin problem that has ravaged the state. Pennsylvania has had a recent spike in deaths due to heroin laced with Fentanyl—a painkiller usually given to those who are terminally ill.
But still, the attitude is, “Not my child,” “It can’t be my loved one!” Well, sorry to say, but it is. Drug addiction has nothing to do with circumstance. A person can come from the most wholesome, privileged, and/or supportive background imaginable, and yet they can still have the disease of addiction.
There is a saying in recovery: “Whether you read The Wall Street Journal or sleep under it, we have a seat for you.”
It is the truth. While it might sound like a “no true Scotsman” fallacy, it is entirely true that no true AA or NA group will turn away an alcoholic or addict (respectively) looking for help. That is why such groups exist. We call it “Our singleness of purpose.”
So, if you are afraid of being stigmatized because you or a loved one are suffering from opiate addiction or any other substance addiction, you are not alone. The disease is gaining ground rapidly. No one deserves to live the life of an addict—period. There is another way, but it only reveals itself once some very elementary actions are taken.
To find out what those are, and how to get help for you or a loved one, call us now. We would love to speak with you.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section below!