PATRICK BAILEY: Is There A Heroin Problem In Roanoke?

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, West Virginia topped the United States in opioid deaths and overdoses in 2018. Many people wonder if there is an opioid or heroin problem right here in Roanoke. The fact is that yes, there is a problem here, but various entities are taking measures to protect people and help those affected by the opioid crisis here and elsewhere in the United States.

Like many other places throughout the country, we have not been shielded from the opioid problem. But social workers, law enforcement, medical professionals, clergy, and others are dedicated to helping those affected and to removing the drug from our area. These sources can help people find centers that teach them how to quit heroin and face other addictions.

The Heroin Battle Is Both Personal and Broad

Every region of the United States has been affected in some way by the opioid crisis, heroin specifically. Heroin abuse and addiction are not big-city things, they’re not rural problems or problems within a particular group. Addiction transcends class and county lines, as these statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about heroin-related overdose deaths indicate. 

Along with the life-shattering problems that heroin itself creates for users and their loved ones, heroin also contributes to other problems. Infectious conditions such as HIV and hepatitis are on the rise in the same areas that have the highest rates of injectable drug use. (People often use heroin in injectable forms.)

Heroin abuse and addiction are serious problems and their effects are far-reaching. Because the problems affect people of our town and many others across the nation, we know that battles will need to be both on a personal level to help individuals and on a broad level to address the sources of the drug and other problems.

Roanoke offers many judgment-free options and quality resources for those who are struggling with heroin use or other addictions. The need is great.

Police chiefs in Virginia note that more drug overdoses occurred in 2020 than in previous years, even with the COVID-19 pandemic. The numbers show that we’re not immune to addiction or overdoses, but we can take steps to help those who need addiction treatment and aid families affected by addiction. These efforts can assist law enforcement and legal entities who are working to remove opioids from the streets.

Heroin Is Addictive but Resources Can Treat Addiction

Many experts consider heroin to be one of the most addictive drugs. Some people claim that it only took one use for them to become addicted. The drug can affect the brain and other parts of the body so quickly that people might fall out, or lie down where they are when they take the hit.

The opioid epidemic across the nation is real, and many people struggle to recover after they tried it that one time and became hooked. Heroin and other opioids can make people feel trapped and abandon everything else to find the next hit.

Once a person is recovered from heroin, they are more likely to overdose if they return to their old lifestyle. Their bodies might not be accustomed to using drugs like they once did when they were actively using. A single hit can be very risky.

If you are in the Roanoke area and know someone with an opioid problem or are facing addiction yourself, there are useful resources if you want to learn more about heroin addiction and the path to recovery.

It’s important to understand that you are not on this journey alone. There are professionals who are dedicated to helping you every step of the way and to offer support for your family or loved ones who may be hurting and confused.

Recovery starts with a desire for a better life and choices. Individuals in Roanoke and the rest of the nation deserve all the support possible during their recovery. There is no way to exaggerate the harm that heroin does to individuals and their families, and bringing the spotlight directly to the issue is the first step to helping all those who are affected.

Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.

Sources – Opioid Summaries by State – Heroin Overdose Data

drugabuse.govVirginia: Opioid-Involved Deaths and Related Harms

wdbj7.comRoanoke City, County See Rise in Overdoses Compared with Last Year – Resources for Heroin and Opioid Addiction, Treatment and Support

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