Fact #1: Heroin Addiction is Not a Choice.
Picking up heroin for the very first time is a choice. There are many reasons why a person might use heroin for the first time. Maybe they developed a prescription painkiller addiction, and transitioned to the “next best thing” once their prescription ran out. Maybe they experienced peer pressure in a social setting; maybe they were attempting to self-medicate an underlying mental illness. While a person undeniably makes a choice the first time they use a drug, drug use becomes compulsive and uncontrollable overtime. The brain adjusts to the presence of the chemical substance, a tolerance begins to build and when the drug is not present in the system the body essentially goes into shock. Most people who struggle with heroin addiction don’t want to continue using the drug, but the symptoms associated with heroin withdrawal can be unbearable when left untreated. While heroin addiction is not a choice, recovery certainly is — and as soon as you make the decision to seek professional help, we will be there.
Fact #2: Heroin Addiction Has a Genetic Component.
Like all addictive disorders, heroin addiction has a genetic component. People who have addiction in their immediate families are more likely to develop an addictive disorder themselves. Genetic predisposition is only one of the factors that make a person more susceptible to addiction — but it is a significant factor. According to NIDA, “Family studies that include identical twins, fraternal twins, adoptees, and siblings suggest that as much as half of a person’s risk of becoming addicted to nicotine, alcohol, or other drugs depends on his or her genetic makeup.” If addiction runs in your family, the best step you can take is to maintain total abstinence, especially when it comes to highly addictive drugs like heroin.