When you hear “heroin addict” what do you picture? Does a specific image come to mind? Do you see a certain type of person? What is he or she wearing? Where does this particular person live? What family life do you envision?
Now to shift gears a little bit, what do you know about Orange County, California? Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, San Clemente, and Laguna Beach are all in Orange County, also called the O.C.. Have you seen the show Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County? The kids shown on the reality TV portrayal of life in Orange County show well-to-do, upper class families whose kids have never gone without anything.
When you picture a beautiful and wealthy beach community, do you also picture that same heroin addict? If not, it may surprise you that an Orange County heroin epidemic is affecting the upper-middle and upper classes’ kids at alarming rates.
How It Starts
The young, privileged kids of Orange County have been introduced to prescription painkillers through various avenues. Whether their parents or ailing grandparents had extra pain pills leftover from an injury, accident, or terminal illness treatment, or whether friends introduced them to the pills at a party, Vicodin, OxyContin, Norco, Percocet, and other prescription opiates are running rampant in the O.C.
When you have been taking your mom’s leftover Vicodin, for example, and that runs out, you want to find more pills. Heroin is much easier to find, and is sold at a much lower cost. These prescription painkillers were pharmaceutically created to mimic the effects of heroin and other opiates like methadone, morphine, and codeine. The Orange County heroin epidemic has seen this story time and time again.
What Is Being Done
Heroin is a problem all over the United States and help is needed everywhere. With more money, the Orange County heroin epidemic can be addressed more aggressively.
A shot called Vivitrol is being given to heroin addicts once a month as an alternative to the drug, methadone, that has also been used to wean people off heroin and other opiates. Methadone has a potential for abuse, dependence, and addiction though, whereas Vivitrol is not habit-forming.
Formal treatment is best approach for heroin addiction though. To stop using such an addictive class of drugs, an individual must process prior emotional pain and be given tools and strategies for alternative behavioral choices, and to navigate everyday life without drugs.
The Orange County heroin epidemic can be treated. The team at Balboa Horizons is ready to help you and your family recovery from such a debilitating disease.