Book Explores The Pain, Joy, Defeat of Battling Drug Addiction
According to research conducted by Joan F. Epstein and Joseph C. Gfroerer on heroin abuse in the United States, "numerous reports have suggested a rise in heroin use in recent years, which has been attributed to young people who are smoking or sniffing rather than injecting. The purity of heroin has increased to a level that makes smoking and sniffing feasible. The increased purity and concern about AIDS may be causing the shift from injecting to smoking and sniffing among heroin users. "
The authors went on to affirm the data they presented come from a variety of sources. One source is the Community Epidemiology Work Group (CEWG), a network of researchers from major metropolitan areas of the United States and selected foreign countries who meet semiannually to discuss the current epidemiology of drug abuse. It provides ongoing community level surveillance of drug abuse though the collection and analysis of epidemiological and ethnographic research data.
Another source, "Pulse Check", a series of qualitative interviews with ethnographers, treatment professionals and law enforcement agencies which provide a quick and subjective picture of what is happening in drug abuse across the country. The authors described heroin use and effects in detail and pointed out, "A narcotic derived from the opium poppy, heroin was originally developed as a substitute for morphine in an effort to deal with morphine’s addiction problem. However, it was quickly recognized that heroin is even more addictive than morphine. As a result the drug was made illegal. Produced in Mexico and Asia, heroin is reported to be widely available throughout the U.S. At the street level, heroin is "cut" with a variety of substances, leading to variation in purity over time and in different areas."
Their research noted estimates of the purity of heroin have shown substantial increases between 1984 and 1995.
In terms of the effects of heroin, the authors wrote: "When injected, sniffed or smoked, heroin binds with opiate receptors found in many regions of the brain. The result is intense euphoria, often referred to as a rush. The rush lasts only briefly and is followed by a couple of hours of a relaxed, contented state. In large doses, heroin can reduce or eliminate respiration. Withdrawal symptoms include: nausea, dysphoria, muscle aches, lacrimation or rhinorrhea, pupillary dilation, piloerection or sweating, diarrhea, yawning, fever, and insomnia."
Further, Joan F. Epstein and Joseph C. Gfroerer examined the trends in heroin use, its increase in use, and consequences. The authors went on to note, "Data suggest that there has been a rise in heroin use in recent years and that this rise has occurred among younger persons who are smoking or sniffing heroin rather than injecting. Some indicators exhibit an overall rise in heroin use, some display a rise in heroin use among youth, college students, and adolescents in small metropolitan areas and others suggest that new users tend to smoke or sniff rather than inject. In addition, there is some evidence that the time between first use of marijuana and first use of heroin is decreasing. "
Jerry Seper writing for THE WASHINGTON TIMES pointed out that "heroin use in the United States increased substantially during the past decade, with more than a million people nationwide believed to be addicted to the drug, according to Rogelio E. Guevara, the Drug Enforcement Administration's chief of operations."
Statistics estimate there are believed to be at least 700,000 people in the United States who need heroin addiction treatment but are not receiving it.
Dr. Barbara Sinor, in her book, Addiction: What's Really Going On? Inside A Heroin Treatment Program explores the struggles faced by individuals working to free themselves of drug addiction.
" The book follows approximately ten years in the life of a drug counselor (my friend and colleague) working in a methadone treatment facility located in southern California. It accurately portrays the lives of her clients' struggles of trying to be free from heroin and other drugs. It contains powerful true stories woven together to form a tapestry filled with pain, joy, defeat, and success. It also unravels the questions relating to the use of methadone, detoxification from heroin and methadone, how our society has fallen into it's drug use, and what's really going on in "the life" of those with an addiction," she said.
She said her colleague,Deborah McCloskey who passed away in 2006,asked her to compile notes, and that prompted the writing of the book. "She shared notes with me over several years, in a book format. We worked together until her death and I am honored that I was able to complete this potent book which brings a "gritty and gripping look as the reader enters the lives of those who are like crabs trying to get out of a barrel," she said.
When asked how she envisioned the book would impact readers, Dr. Sinor said: "The field of addiction is a short step from childhood abuse and this issue has been my focus for most of my counseling career. My books Gifts From the Child Within and An Inspirational Guide for the Recovering Soul both surround the topic of healing and recovery from painful past childhood abuse, incest, negative programing, and PTSD issues. With evidence that a large percentage of child abusers were addicted to a substance at the time of the abuse and the fact that many adults who were abused in childhood became drug addicts and/or alcoholics, it is clear the two topics are tightly connected."
"Because this book surrounds the life of Deborah, not my own, I can only relay what I know of her intention to share her story and those of her clients with the public. Deborah wanted the public to become more aware of our nation's addiction population and what was really going on surrounding drug and alcohol abuse. She was torn between realizing most of her clients were content to stay on methadone even though she struggled to teach them they could be free of all drugs. She wanted the public to be aware of the real life of those addicted to any drug and/or alcohol and felt there was a better way to help those addicted and their children. Her message is to educate, understand, and have compassion for those caught in the trap of addiction."
The process of researching material for the book included interviews with recovering addicts and drug counselors. "My research consisted of educating myself with the issues surrounding heroin addiction and the use of methadone. I studied and talked with counselors, active and recovering addicts, and other professionals in the addiction field to gather my information. The data and statistics were taken from national agencies and governmental data banks online. Most of my contribution to this book is found in the Introduction and the Epilogue, however, I interjected much of the technical information throughout the book. The Foreword is written by Mark Parrino, the President of the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence which states this book, "...effectively captures the dynamic activity within the OTP and demonstrates the incredible relationship between the patients and the caregivers," she said.
Promotional Link: Proper drug addiction help and treatment are available for addicts to stay away from their chronic habit.
Tags: Jackie O'Neal , Dr. Barbara Sinor , Heroin Addiction , Southern California , Drug Addiction Treatment
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