Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in an apartment in New York City with a needle in his arm and heroin within the apartment, an obvious loss to the world of entertainment and those who enjoyed his work. Sadly, Hoffman was just one of the over 100 Americans who die each day from substance abuse, people whose deaths largely go unnoticed unless they retained a certain level of celebrity. According to a 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, almost half a million Americans are considered dependent heroin users, a number that has more than doubled since 2002.
“Having been in the substance abuse treatment field for almost 10 years, I can say we have definitely noticed an upward trend in the number of heroin users checking in to the facility for treatment,” says Barnett Gilmer, owner of Gulf Breeze Recovery near Pensacola, Florida. “It’s an incredibly addictive drug with long-term ramifications that need to be addressed in an intensive treatment facility.”
Part of the danger of a substance like heroin is that there is no regulation on how potent or pure it is, and no way for users to know just how much heroin they are using at any given time. Heroin manufacturers also frequently mix in other chemicals or painkillers to increase the potency and these cocktails are essentially a game of Russian roulette since the user has no idea what could be in them. Authorities are doing what they can to slow the arrival of drugs into our country but traffickers and sellers continue to find new and creative ways to get their product to their customers, who will also go to great lengths to attain it, regardless of the laws that make it illegal.
The “War on Drugs” that has been ongoing for decades seems to be in some ways contributing to an escalating problem, by keeping addictive substances illegal where it cannot be regulated and dispensed to those who are medically addicted in a controlled manner — those individuals must then turn to drug dealers who often don’t know themselves what exactly is in the cocktails they are selling.
Addicted individuals need to be able to get the help they need medically in conjunction with a personalized treatment plan that will focus on complete mental, physical and social well-being in order to begin a healthy life drug free. If you or a loved one needs help finding a drug treatment facility that is right for them, please call toll free at 1-855-485-3273 to speak to a placement counselor today.