America’s Growing Heroin Epidemic
A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (see above) points to an alarming nationwide heroin epidemic, citing increases in use among demographic groups that have reported lower rates of use in the past, including women and Americans with higher incomes. The report also states that more than 9 in 10 people who use heroin also use at least one other drug.
Heroin Use in NJ
Considering the epidemic nature of heroin use in New Jersey, more and more families are facing this issue every day. There was 45% increase in heroin-related deaths between the years 2012 and 2014. New Jersey also faced 557 deaths due to heroin in 2013, 112 of which were in Ocean County. Monmouth County saw 31 overdoses in one year, exceeding the number of deaths caused by homicides and car accidents combined in the county during the same time period.
What is Heroin Dependence?
Heroin dependence is a medical condition through which the wiring of the brain changes with increased use. The condition can, however, be treated through inpatient and outpatient programs, including behavioral therapy and medication.
Detoxification alone cannot treat addiction. For long-term and life-long results, ongoing treatment is key. Untreated addiction can result in coma or death, while continued use often leads to blood-borne diseases, such as HIV, as well as chronic problems, including muscle weakness, depression, intense itching, decreased sexual drive, and respiratory illness.
Four Keys to Heroin Recovery
You or your loved one don’t need to be part of the statistics. Remember these key steps to start the recovery journey.
Awareness: Understand that heroin is cheap, widely available, and affecting more and more people across all ages, races, and socio-economic groups in New Jersey.
Involvement: If you have a loved one struggling with heroin addiction—see a counselor, attend community forums and support groups, read about codependency and addiction, and let your loved one know that you are there to assist in healthy ways as they seek a sober life.
Help: When it’s time to get help, start with a 24/7 medically supervised detox program. This ensures the best chance of success. Following detox, a professionally guided rehabilitation program should be devised. For many people, lasting recovery is most possible through a combination of behavioral therapy, support groups, and medications. Methadone is one possibility, but newer medications, such as Suboxone and Vivitrol, are also available. These are often easier to fit into a daily routine and have proven extremely effective.
Ongoing Recovery: Addiction is considered a chronic disease. This means an occasional setback, even a relapse, is always possible. However, treating relapse as an opportunity for growth can lead to greater self-awareness and potentially a more gratifying sober life. Utilize a support system and seek professional help as soon as you need it—whether for yourself or your loved one.
Help For Heroin Addiction
It is imperative to remember that heroin addiction is treatable and people suffering under its grip can reclaim their lives with the right help. Carrier Clinic®’s Blake Recovery Center™, an NJ drug rehab facility, understands this growing problem and provides treatment through our 24/7 medically supervised heroin detox program. Inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, aftercare, relapse treatment and help for loved ones of people struggling with or recovering from addiction are also options.
With rehabilitation and continued support, we continue to return individuals to healthy, happy, and productive lives.
To reach the 24/7 Access Center call: 800-933-3579.