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Why is heroin such a problem here and across the country?

The highly addictive nature of heroin is part of what makes it such a dangerous drug. It has been around since the late 1800s when people believed it to be a safe substitute for morphine. Nothing could have been further from the truth.

It doesn't matter whether you flip burgers at a fast food restaurant or run a Fortune 500 company; the chances of developing a debilitating addiction to this drug are the same. As a result, you could end up crossing paths with police who continue to believe that arresting you and locking you up for using and possessing heroin is the way to handle your addiction.

The problem is bigger than you think

Millions of people across the country abuse heroin. In fact, many say that its use has reached epidemic proportions. This shouldn't surprise anyone since heroin is an opioid. The number of people in higher income brackets, women and those with private insurance who use heroin continue to grow. Men tend to die from an overdose of the drug four times more often than women do.

Around 200 to 300 people overdose and/or die here in Rhode Island every year. You can imagine the numbers in larger states. An overdose or death isn't the only risk of using heroin. The first issue that many addicts exhibit include the following:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Lapses of consciousness
  • Decreased respiration
  • Dry mouth
  • Inability to focus
  • Heart palpitations and arrhythmia
  • Depression and anxiety

The longer that you use the drug, the more intense and serious the repercussions to your body become:

  • Cognitive damage
  • Memory loss
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Heart disease and damage
  • Lung problems
  • Increased risk of pneumonia
  • Circulatory system issues
  • Collapsed veins
  • Increased moodiness, depression and anxiety
  • Potential for overdose

Your body simply can't take the beating that prolonged heroin abuse gives it. Eventually, using the drug will catch up to you. What you probably need more than incarceration is treatment. The damage to your heart, brain and other vital organs may reverse if treatment begins sooner rather than later. Prolonged usage could result in permanent damage that cannot reverse, but it could stop any further damage from occurring.

Getting the help you need

An arrest for possession of heroin could provide the impetus needed to get the treatment you deserve. In order to do so and not become another statistic, you probably need help in getting the chance for treatment that could save your life instead of ending up in the criminal justice system.

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