May 25, 2022

Myths About Heroin Addiction

an image of someone learning about the myths of heroin addiction

Heroin has become one of the leading illegal opioid drugs in the United States. Statistics from 2019 show 10.07 million Americans age 12 and older abused opioids. About 745,000 opioid users abused heroin; 404,000 used heroin and prescriptions. With the staggering number of heroin addiction victims, some still don’t know what heroin is and how it is used as a drug. That leads us to wonder about what is true and what is considered a myth about heroin.

an image of someone learning about the myths of heroin

MYTHS ASSOCIATED WITH HEROIN

At our heroin addiction treatment centers in Newport Beach and Long Beach, we’ve heard all kinds of strange myths and rumors about heroin addiction. Here, we refute some of the most popular ones. 

#1 — HEROIN ADDICTION STARTS WITH A PAIN PILL PRESCRIPTION GIVEN BY A DOCTOR

Most people believe that users become addicted to heroin because they were first addicted to prescription pain pills. But it has been found that 51.3% of Americans are getting opioids from a friend or relative, not doctors; and even then, it rarely leads to heroin use.

#2 — HEROIN DEATHS OCCUR BECAUSE OF IMPURITIES IN THE DRUG, NOT THE DRUG ITSELF

When heroin is being cut, other substances or toxins are added in, and that is believed to cause the overdose deaths. In reality, most of the deaths are occurring with longtime heroin users and there isn’t any evidence to prove that toxins are causing the deaths.

#3 — HEROIN IS A YOUNG PERSON’S DRUG

Many believe that heroin is only used by young drug users, and that it is a drug that users typically grow beyond over time. Research shows that a third of heroin users are over the age of 40. The average age of users who die from heroin overdose are in their 30s. Users who are in their 50s or 60s are more likely to die from heroin overdose.

#4 — THERE ARE HIGH-FUNCTIONING RECREATIONAL HEROIN USERS

It is believed that there are heroin users that can continue to function normally in society while recreationally using heroin. This statement is false because heroin is a highly dependable drug and the way it affects the brain makes it highly addictive.

#5 — SMOKING OR SNORTING HEROIN IS NOT AS DANGEROUS AS INJECTING IT

It is said that injecting heroin is more powerful and can lead to an almost instant high, so the myth was created that smoking or snorting heroin is not as dangerous. There is also a stigma around needles being associated with drugs, so it downplays the severity of smoking and snorting the drug. The truth is, heroin is just as dangerous, regardless of the method used and it still leads to addiction and overdose.

#6 — HEROIN ADDICTION OCCURS AFTER ONE DOSE

Since heroin is a highly addictive substance, it is believed that an individual can become instantly addicted. Like most drugs, heroin takes time for an addiction to form. While the brain is affected after first use, it requires repeated use of the drug to become an addiction. As the dopamine levels drop in your brain, it requires more and more heroin to feel high, which leads to the addiction.

Get Help for Heroin Addiction at Gratitude Lodge

If you are in search of a heroin addiction recovery program, look no further than Gratitude Lodge. We offer a specialized program for heroin detox and rehab. Our staff is professionally trained to care for and guide you through the recovery process. If you have questions, call our team to learn more.

We have information about who we are and the types of treatment programs we offer. Don’t be afraid to reach out today with your concerns. We will be glad to walk you through the treatment process and even help you understand what a personalized treatment program may look like for yourself or your loved one.

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Joe Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
Jenni Bussi

Jenni Busse MS, LPCC

Jenni Busse MS, LPSS is the Clinical Director at Gratitude Lodge. Jenni oversees the clinical program and the clinical team at Gratitude Lodge as a whole. Jenni has worked in treatment for almost 14 years. Her background as a licensed therapist and her passion for helping others intersected with addiction recovery when she started working primarily in detox residential treatment.

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