It is an unfortunate truth that many Americans today, some of them adolescents, are addicted to heroin, or addicted to opioids in general or other “hard” drugs. Drug addiction today is a very real and serious problem, and in fact it kills many people every year due to drug overdoses or radical lifestyle changes for the worse. Treatments for opioid addiction are available in cities and towns across the United States, fortunately, and many Americans visit these heroin detox or rehab clinics to free themselves of drugs. As one might expect, opioid withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant to say the least, but enduring them is necessary for kicking a drug habit. These opioid withdrawal symptoms and symptoms of other drug withdrawal may vary somewhat, but any drug requires detoxing first before the addict can be fully rehabilitated. What are the opioid withdrawal symptoms, and how often are Americans abusing these drugs?
Drug Addiction in the USA
Many Americans are abusing drugs for various reasons, and often, drug addiction starts with prescription painkillers or other legal, over-the-counter substances. In fact, four in five new heroin users had started with abusing prescription painkillers, and one could conclude that it is a slippery slope with substance use (and abuse). Estimates say that around 23% of all Americans who use heroin will end up with a full-blown heroin addiction, and this can often be fatal. Drug overdoses are killing many Americans per year, often due to opioid abuse. In fact, drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in the United States today, and in 2015, for example, some 52,404 people died from it.
Who is abusing these drugs? Most often, adults are abusing these drugs, but sometimes, adolescents or even Americans as young as 12 years old are abusing these drugs. In 2015, for a recent example, close to 591,000 Americans suffered from a heroin use problem, and 6,000 of them were teenagers and 155,000 were young adults (in their 20s). And in that same year, around 20.5 million Americans aged 12 and over had a problem with substance use, and among them, two million were abusing prescription pain relievers and 591,000 were using heroin. The good news in all this is that recovery is always possible, and many Americans find the courage to visit rehab services and endure opioid withdrawal symptoms so that they can go through rehabilitation and counseling to free themselves of drugs.
Getting Clean of Drugs
The first step to kicking a drug habit is to clear all substances from the body before starting counseling. Otherwise, relapses are far too likely. Many drug addicts go “cold turkey,” stopping their drug use abruptly to enforce discipline. Alcoholics may do something similar for drinks, and smokers may do this for tobacco use. It may be noted, though, that withdrawal from drugs is unpleasant to say the least, and the drug user may be badly tempted to relapse to avoid opioid withdrawal symptoms. That, and opioid withdrawal symptoms may become dangerous in some cases. For these reasons (and others), someone seeking a detox should not attempt this alone and in the privacy of their residence. Or else they may suffer a medical emergency and no one will be available to help them.
Instead, someone ready to face opioid withdrawal symptoms should visit local detox centers, and they and helpful friends or family may help them find these centers online or through references. Once there, the addict seeking recovery can stay a few days and allow the drugs to leave their system naturally. The whole time, that person will be closely monitored in case something should go wrong, and medical staff will be ready to provide assistance if the patient is in danger. These opioid withdrawal symptoms may vary, and drug withdrawal symptoms may range from goosebumps to vomiting to insomnia to chills, a fever, pain, loss of appetite, and even seizures in some cases. The patient won’t actually enjoy this, but it’s necessary to endure, and afterwards, an addict may start rehab and counseling to clear their mind of drugs as well, and after some professional guidance, the former addict will start a new lifestyle and learn to live their life without dangerous drugs in their system.