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What Does a Typical Addict Look Like? Not What You Think

Posted on :  January 30th, 2015  |  By :  towardsrecovery

The image of the typical heroin addict was once a junkie with pale skin, tired eyes, and rotten teeth. If this is what you envision a heroin addict to look like, then you are mistaken. Another typical image of a heroin addict is the “heroin chic” look that was popularized by uber-thin models with gaunt faces and empty stares. If this is what you envision, then you are also wrong. The idea of a typical heroin addiction is no longer possible to define, because the typical addict could be absolutely anyone, from your neighbor down the street to the business woman you see on the elevator. While the typical heroin addict is no longer easy to identify, there is one growing group of addicts: women.

Prescription Pills as a Gateway Drug

Many experts consider that marijuana is the top gateway drug; but for many women, the gateway drug is pain pills. Women who work outside of the home and work inside of the home are developing addictions to pain pills. It is not unheard of for some women to take more than 20 pain pills on a daily basis. Those pain pills can cost hundreds of dollars each day and the women with pain pill addictions usually have the money to afford the addiction, at least for a while. When pain pills become too expensive or they no longer provide a satisfying high or their physicians stop prescribing them, these women move to on to something stronger and less expensive – heroin.

Easier to Afford Heroin

In some communities, women with heroin addictions are rather common. Those hundred dollar pain pills can be easily replaced with twenty dollar bags of heroin. It makes it much easier for women to feed their addiction and hide their addiction at home. Interestingly, police officers are making more arrests of suburban housewives because of heroin.

Women in Treatment Centers

Treatment centers are also seeing more adult women in their facilities. Some areas are reporting that one-fourth of their patients are women dealing with heroin addiction. In other communities, the numbers of women being treated for heroin addiction is closer to 15 percent. The communities that are seeing more women in their treatment centers tend to be affluent.

Easy to Find, but Harder to Quit

News reports around North America have released stories about how easy it is for women to become addicted to heroin. In many cases, the women are upper middle class women with college degrees. Once they try the drug, they often find themselves unable to quit and the addiction can build in less than one week. Some women do not look for help until they are in dire straits, usually when they are pregnant and want to make sure their unborn babies are healthy. Unfortunately, not every woman realizes that she is an addict and needs help.

Physiological Addictions Related to Estrogen

Researchers are busy looking to see if women are more likely to develop addictions, especially to a substance like heroin, than men. Researchers have found that female animals are aware of addicting properties, because of estrogen, which triggers the drug receptors so they turn those illicit drugs into pleasure. The brain enjoys the feeling it gets when those drugs hit the receptors, so it forces women and their estrogen to seek out the drugs. The hypothesis is that women feel more joy and bliss than men do, and the blame is being placed on estrogen and how estrogen triggers cravings.

Get Help from Towards Recovery Clinics

In the world of heroin addiction, it is important to get the help you need. Whether you are a wealthy housewife, a homeless man, or a young college graduate, you need to be treated. The professionals at Towards Recovery Clinics will help you get your life back in order.

Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
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