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Heroin Addiction & Its Effects

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Addiction is a global human crisis and can be a chronic relapsing condition. The reason why addiction is a crisis, is because it’s the leading cause of death in Americans under the age of 55 years old. Heroin use and addiction has increased dramatically over the year, with both men and woman using across all income levels. “Between the year 2002 and 2003, heroin related deaths have almost quadrupled, and 8,200 people lost their lives to this growing epidemic.”(,n.d) Substance abuse can take a heavy toll not just on the user, but the family as a whole. There are many factors that can contribute to a family member using drugs, poor attitudes, family management practices, divorce, lack of positive relationship functioning and a family crisis.

The goal for family therapy treatment is to reduce the adolescent substances abuse and other behavioral problems, improve family functioning and increase the adolescents productive use of time. In emotionally disturbed clients of substance abuse, they rarely view their own actions as why there are having difficulties in their life. They don’t want to take blame for their actions, this is part of the denial stage Heroin is a growing epidemic and a major social problem. Substance abuse users are unable to maintain honest relationships with others, because they display unpredictable and dangerous behaviors. Individuals may steal from family members and friends, to get their drug fix. Heroin users, have been associated with domestic violence disputes, custody lose of their children and financial problems. Family members have gotten so discouraged with their loved ones using drugs and refusing help, that they will become homeless.

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Heroin addiction can become so severe that they, commit criminal activities to get money for drugs. Substance abuse users are at a higher risk to catch diseases such as HIV and hepatitis, and spread these terminal diseases to others in the community. “The scope of the heroin epidemic in 2016, about 948,000 Americans reported using heroin in the past year, then number have increased since 2007.”( The reports shows that reason for the high increase in heroin users, is the influence it has on adolescents and adults, ranging for 18-25 years of age. Although heroin use between the ages of 12-17 has dramatically declined since 1991. Heroin abuse, is not just an urban problem, it is prevalent in the rural and suburban communities as well.

Heroin use is one of the largest drug abuse issues across several regions of the world, coast to coast. It’s killing our youth, and prevention is key in getting a grip on this societal issue, before more lives are lost. There are indicators that can be easily identified, when you suspect that your loved one is using heroin. Some of the signs and symptoms of heroin use are dry mouth, shortness of breath, small pupils, disorientation, hyperactivity followed my drowsiness. There are many behavioral issues that stem from the use of herion. These symptoms can have a negative impact on the users well-being and others that are close to him/her. Deceptive lying behavior is a strong indicator of heroin use. Other signs include, avoiding eye contact, lack of interest in things that were once enjoyable, loss of motivation, anger, decline in self esteem, skin picking and depression. When some of these signs are prevalent, you loved one may be using illicit drugs.

When looking for an effective treatment plan to combat herion addiction, there are various approaches, but it’s crucial to find the right approach that works for the client and the family. “Some of the outcomes that are assessed during treatment include treatment retention, associated problems, medical issues, legal concerns, family/peer relationships and jobfunctioning.”(Mcgovern & Caroll, 2003) Different methods of intervention for substance abuse clients can range anywhere from, medical management, behavioral therapy and psychosical interventions. Although positive outcomes have been successful in all arrays of treatment. Heroin use can be one of the more difficult additions to recover from and relapse has happened, but there is still light at the end of the tunnel. It’s important to understand why relapse happens to help the client prepare for obstacles, that may arise during the road to recovery.

Herion is a very addicting drug, because when people use, it creates feelings of intense pleasure and an euphoria feeling. Clients mask their problems, with this drug and they feel that their worries go away, even if its for a short period of time,. When you use herion, the substance binds to the brain receptors and floods our system with dopamine, just like pain killers do. Once Herion is used, your brain wants more of that euphoria feeling, and takes over the individuals body. Looking for the next fix, to feed the brain. The brain becomes hard wired, where herion use, is no longer foreign to the body and it’s accepted. Relapse can happen, because of the incredibly addictive behavioral components of this drug.


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