The life of a drug addict can be baffling to someone who has never abused substances. When someone has reached the point of addiction to drugs, alcohol, or a behavior, he or she will do just about anything to get the high associated with the drug of choice.
Have you ever been in need of something badly enough that you questioned your own morals? Did you want something so badly that you participated in a behavior you would not have otherwise?
Sadly, we hear about female crack addicts selling their bodies to make quick cash to buy drugs. We hear about heroin addicts stealing from their own family members to support their habit, and we see alcoholics sitting outside convenience stores begging for spare change.
Have you heard of the heroin addict who stole meat to support his drug addiction? While it can seem like a laughing matter, when you really think about the struggle that must have lead this man to believe that his idea should be carried out, do you feel more empathy for the life of a drug addict?
What Does Heroin Do to a Person?
Heroin is an opiate, a class of drugs derived from opium found in the poppy plant. Morphine, codeine, and methadone are also opiates, and pharmaceutical versions of the drugs, called opioids, were manufactured to mimic the effects of opiates.
Opiates and opioids are highly addictive. After just a handful of uses, you can become physically and psychologically dependent on a painkiller, at which time your body and brain feel they need the chemicals for everyday functioning. If you are taking Vicodin, for example, the most widely abused prescription drug in the United States, and you can no longer find pills, your body will let you know just how dependent it has become on hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen.
Withdrawal from Vicodin, and other chemically-comparable prescription opiates like OxyContin, Percocet, Norco, Demerol, and Opana, are physically unbearable. When symptoms begin, all you want is to use an opioid or an opiate, the two are substitutes for one another. Opioid or opiate use, that used to create a euphoric high, is now just a way to ward off painful withdrawal. Maintenance rather than a pleasant experience becomes a heroin addict’s life.
Additionally as a heroin addict, you have to come up with enough money to stop withdrawal each day. When you have no money left, what do you do? This is when people start selling their bodies, stealing from their own loved ones, and spending all their time begging for spare change.
If stealing bacon to support a heroin addict sounds outrageous, just think about other avenues this person must have tried already. Maybe this individual felt a little better about stealing meat than taking money from his mom’s purse, or than selling a family heirloom to a pawn shop for next to nothing.
This particular event happened in York, Pennsylvania and the man was caught in the process of stealing the meat. His plan was to sell the meat outside the store for cash, most likely at a discounted rate so that buyers would be happy to purchase this product instead of paying more at the store. How much money could he have really made though? The effect heroin, and other opiates and opioids, has on the brain is clear; the process of rational thought and decision making is impaired.
Do you know someone who is using heroin, Vicodin, or any prescription painkiller? If you sense that he or she is dependent upon an opiate or opioid, the treatment team at Balboa Horizons can help you determine what steps to take. Call now!
Photo Credit: miguelmccann