Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Message to New Hampshire Parents about Heroin Addiction

Heroin and Substance Abuse in New Hampshire

The state of New Hampshire has always been hailed as one of the most peaceful and idyllic places in the nation.  But recently, this has been marred by unsettling news about a spike in heroin addiction, almost like a heroin epidemic plaguing the state. 
Deaths attributed to heroin addiction are at alarming levels.  Last year, there are about 300 deaths due to drug overdoses, some of which are due to heroin.   And just in the month of September this year, there have been 75 overdoses and eight deaths just in Manchester alone.  Addicts’ ages ranged from 16 to 69.  Overdose victims were found everywhere -- hotels, restaurants, parking areas, public buildings, and even motor vehicles. 

And it’s not only about deaths of drug users but also other serious consequences that may resort from drug use.  Oftentimes, drug users who drive can cause serious or even fatal road accidents.  They disrupt the peace around the neighborhoods.  They don’t function effectively at school and on the job.

Heroin - Nature and Effects

Heroin in particular has been cited as one of the most used drugs in the area.  It appears as a white or brown power, or even as black tar in big blocks.  It is acquired on the street in mixed form, usually with sugar, starch, powdered milk, or other drugs (usually poisonous varieties). It can be taken intravenously or smoked through a pipe or straw.
Heroin users typically feel a surge of extreme pleasure (referred to as a rush).  It temporarily relieves the user from depression.  The intensity depends on how much was consumed.  Oftentimes, heroin users aren’t aware of the exact intensity or strength of the heroin they purchase on the street.  The users may be injecting heroin doses that are fatal. 

Prolonged heroin use has debilitating effects.  On the short term, heroin causes shallow breathing, clouded mental function, and uncontrollable itching. But the more long-term and serious effects are pneumonia, heart disease, blood clots, bacterial infections, liver disease, arthritis, seizures, HIV, and Hepatitis B and C (from sharing needles).  If not properly treated, these can eventually lead to death. 
Treating heroin abuse and addiction is not easy.  Heroin detox must be done by a highly specialized doctor who is experienced in opiate detox and withdrawal.  Detox and treatment can never be done at home because the results could be fatal.
Coping with Heroin Addiction

Probably the only most effective strategy against heroin addiction is prevention.  Talk to your loved ones about the dangers of heroin and other addictive substances.  Be supportive of their needs so that they won’t resort to taking dangerous drugs just to cope with problems.  Give them quality time and a listening ear so that they have a way to vent frustrations. Keep a close watch on their activities and behavior.  Advise them about choosing their friends carefully. 

You must also be able to detect symptoms of addiction early.  Heroin acts fast on a person’s system.  There’s a feeling of euphoria in a matter of seconds after injection.  The user’s mouth will dry out and the skin will flush.  Pupils will be constricted.  His level of alertness destabilizes as he falls in and out of wakefulness.  Breathing is slowed, and this could also lead to death.  The user may also lose some memory and decision-making abilities. The person also experiences itching, nausea, and vomiting.  Bowel movements may be constricted.  Immunity levels are affected and the person is very prone to illness. 

If any of your loved ones are suffering from heroin addiction, you should consult professional help immediately.  Talk to your family practitioner and ask for recommendations about reliable treatment centers. 

And if your child has been involved in a drug-related misdemeanor, such as DUI, you should seek the services of a competent criminal lawyer in the state of New Hampshire.

By Joseph.Annutto