As many as 20.6 percent of all emergency room visits related to drug use are caused by heroin abuse and addiction, according to NBC News. The rate of heroin abuse has doubled in the last five years, a backlash to the upsurge in painkiller addiction that has been addressed through tighter regulations regarding prescriptions. Patients who were once dependent upon opiate painkillers have turned to heroin, and the results have been devastating.
Attorney General Eric Holder called heroin abuse in the US an “urgent public health crisis.” Deaths due to heroin overdose increased by 45 percent between 2006 and 2010.
Signs of Heroin Overdose
Heroin is an opiate, and opiates depress the respiratory system, slowing the user’s breathing and heart rate. A heroin overdose occurs when the user’s heartbeat and breathing slow so much that they stop completely. When the brain is without the oxygen supplied by these functions for more than a few minutes, the person will die.
If you believe that your loved one has overdosed, you should immediately call for emergency medical help and
- Stay on the line as the operator tells you what to do.
- Do not hang up until emergency medical personnel arrive.
- Supply all information to the operator that he requests.
- Do not attempt any “remedies” that you may have heard that work.
Signs of Heroin Addiction
An overdose is a serious event, and if your loved one survives and yet still continues to abuse heroin, this is an indication of addiction. Being unable to manage or stop drug use despite serious consequences is one of the characteristics of addiction. Others include withdrawal symptoms when without the drug and cravings for the substance that override every other thought and action.
When It’s Time to Get Help
It’s time to get help the second you realize that your loved one is living with a heroin addiction. Every day spent shooting up or smoking the drug could be the last day of your family member’s life. It is a serious medical issue that requires immediate attention.
To some, this may sound easier said than done, but procrastinating is not an option. It is essential that you find a drug rehab that offers detox as well as long-term therapeutic treatment. In this way, you can be sure that your loved one is safe physically and mentally as he learns how to live without drugs after addiction.
If you’re ready to help your loved one begin the healing process through treatment, contact us at Axis at the phone number above today.