Options in Treating Heroin Addiction

Every day we wake up with a list of things to do.  Buying or selling heroin or other illegal substances probably isn’t something we would think to add, but it might be for some.  According to a study by the CDC, 3.4% of children ages 12-13, and 6.7% of adults ages 35 and older used an illegal substance in the United States in 2013.  In 2012, 669, 000 Americans reported using heroin in the last year.  These people are well acquainted with the drug and what it looks like, but there are many more people that ask have to ask “what does heroin look like?

Most often heroin comes in a powder form and it will be brown, black, or may possibly be white in color.  The color and name depend on the additives that are used.  When it is black and sticky it is called Black Tar.  It may also come in a powder form that looks like ash.

Brown heroin is cheaper and therefore it is more common.  It is sometimes referred to as “base” which means it does not easily dissolve in water.  It burns at a lower temperature than other types so it is often used for smoking.  Heroin may also be injected or snorted depending on how the user desires to use it.

White heroin is the purest type and it is the hardest to make.  White heroin is cut with some type of white powder.  The white powder might consist of:  sugar, a sugar substitute, strychnine or something more dangerous like rat poison, or cocaine.  The appearance will depend on what it is cut with and may vary depending on the additive.

All forms and types are addictive and there are several treatment options available.  When choosing treatment, you might get a prescription for a one of several drugs such as:  Methadone, Buprenorphine, or Naltrexone.  Behavioral Health Therapy is another option and often includes the use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and can be done in an outpatient, or inpatient setting.  The idea of therapy may not be well received, but therapists do not have to ask “what does heroin look like” because they are well-trained in working with people dealing with addictions.

Methadone also known as Dolophine or Methadose is a slow acting opioid agonist that is taken orally.  It is not available over the counter and must be dispensed at an outpatient treatment program.  Buprenorphine is also known as Subutex and is a partial opioid agonist and was one of the first FDA-approved treatments made eligible to be prescribed by a physician.  Naltrexone is also known as Depade, Revia, or Vivitrol and is an opioid agonist that comes in a pill or injectable form.

The type of treatment chosen will vary from person to person, but it is important that you decide what is best for you.

George Abbot

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