The Agony of Heroin Addiction

CANADIAN, OK…”I became a statistic at the age of 20 when I started using heroin,” explains Erica, a beautiful young lady that recently completed the Narconon Arrowhead drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. “There is no way to describe the daily misery and agony I went through while addicted to heroin.” By looking at her one would never guess that she was a former drug addict. Unfortunately her case is not unusual. According to the Office of the National Drug Control Policy there were an estimated 104,000 new heroin users in 1999. Among these new users, 87,000 were between the ages of 12 and 25. 34,000 new users were under 18. The average age among new heroin users is 19.
Heroin can be injected, sniffed/snorted, or smoked. A heroin abuser may use the drug many times per day. Intravenous heroin users are at an extremely high risk of catching diseases that go along with using the syringe such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. Many new users are smoking, snorting, or sniffing heroin - 87 percent are under the age of 20. A recent medical study reports that heroin addicts are 13 times more likely to die than non-users in their same age, gender, demographic etc.
A drug that was once found in cough syrup, heroin’s immediate effects include dry mouth and a heavy feeling, which may be accompanied by nausea and/or vomiting and itching of the face and body and drowsiness lasting several hours. Mental function, cardiac function and breathing is clouded and/or slowed by heroin's effect on the central nervous system. Aside from the devastating effects of taking the drug and the lifestyle that goes with its use, many addicts of opiates such as heroin fear the pain and discomfort of withdrawal from the drug, which drives them to use more. Symptoms of withdrawal include severe bone and muscle pain, insomnia and restlessness, diarrhea, vomiting, goose bumps, sweats and involuntary leg movements. “It felt like I was going to die,” explains Erica of her own withdrawal from the drug.
It is common for heroin addicts to be turned on to synthetic opiates such as methadone for “maintenance,” but replacing one drug for another is not a viable solution for the addiction. Most methadone users wind up increasing their dosage instead of stepping down because a tolerance is built for that drug as well. In addition, methadone is more addictive and more potent than heroin and the withdrawal periods are much more violent.
Regardless of what drug is being used, the effects and cravings last beyond the initial withdrawal stage. Physical cravings for the drug may last several months after usage ceases. In the 1970’s it was discovered that drug particles get stored in the fatty tissue of the body and remain there for years, getting released back into the blood stream when those cells are turned to for energy and a person’s heart rate increases. A unique detoxification program used by the Narconon® Program that was researched and developed by American author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard flushes out the old drug residues and eliminates those physical cravings. A low-heat dry sauna is used in conjunction with essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids and polyunsaturated oils to purge the body of the toxins and replace it with healthy, clean tissue. According to Erica, “It was amazing! I couldn’t believe that I no longer craved heroin or felt the effects from it. I truly felt like a new person.”
Unfortunately, the fact is that millions are presently undergoing the misery of heroin addiction every day in the U.S. alone.

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