There’s a disturbing trend going on in the Granite State, and has exceeded the fatality rate over traffic accident related deaths. According to latest statistics, heroin and other addictive substances killed about 300 people last year. Out of those deaths, 97 were caused by heroin addiction or its variants and combinations.
Even in a small town like Dover, there have been seven drug-related deaths in the last six months, averaging about two overdoses a week.
Several possible factors account for the heroin epidemic, such as the recession which causes depression enough for people to turn to drugs for comfort. The state also seems wanting in terms of state resources for prevention and treatment education, as well as imposition of tighter measures on heroin prescriptions. According to some sources, the drug is quite easy to manufacture in clandestine laboratories. Implementation of drug laws in the state didn’t seem adequate to curtail drug abuse.
Heroin Users & Stereotypes
What’s more disturbing is that there is really no fixed profile of a typical heroin addict. Anyone can be a user, from a high schooler to a 69 year old retiree. The person could be working in a factory or corporate office.
Many parents, educators, and employers in the state are clueless when it comes to spotting the symptoms which could have led to prompt treatment and rehabilitation to aid the addict in getting back to a normal life. They also don’t have the expertise to deal with a confirmed case of addiction.
Heroin Use & What Symptoms to Look For
A big key to addressing the drug issue has to do with being able to spot the tell-tale signs of heroin addiction, particularly the following:
- Inability to pay attention or respond coherently
- Slurred speech
- Dry mouth
- Nausea and vomiting
- Red flush of skin
- Shallow breathing
- Alternating bouts of sleeping and wakefulness
- Memory loss
- Runny nose
- Neglect of hygiene
- Inability to eat properly
- Frequent or constant wearing of long-sleeved garments even when unnecessary
- Presence of used syringes, small pipes, dirty spoons, or belts with rubber tubing
- Presence of dark, sticky residue
It will also help a lot to know the long-term effects of heroin addiction, especially the following:
- Severe decline in health
- Complete shut-off from social interactions, always putting his heroin needs first
- Liver disease
- Hepatitis B or C
- Bacterial infection
It is often the case that the heroin addict does want to get help for his condition but is unable to do so because of very heavy dependence on the drug. Withdrawal symptoms are also quite difficult to cope with; hence there is a need to get professionals to handle this phase of addiction.
So what can be done to curb heroin addiction? Here are some suggestions:
- Educate youngsters at home or school about the dangers of heroin.
- Be sympathetic and open to their emotional needs. Don’t scold children because of academic problems or misbehavior. Often these are signs that they need your love and attention.
- Work closely with a medical professional and a counselor on dealing with heroin addicts.
- Don’t shun or deny the problem. Face it head-on by getting immediate help.
- As soon as possible, find a suitable treatment and rehab facility.
- If your loved one incurs heroin charges, seek the services of a NH criminal defense attorney immediately.