Breaking the Cycle of Heroin Addiction: Support, Structure and Service

In 2016, heroin was reportedly used by 948,000 Americans in a given year. As an opioid made from morphine, heroin  can be injected, sniffed, snorted or smoked. The effects of heroin do not last very long, which is why many people take hit after hit – a process called speed-balling. One of the potential causes of addiction, as researchers have found, is through genetics. Family members have a higher risk of developing an addiction if other close relatives have also battled addiction; and while this does guarantee that someone is destined to experience addiction in their lives, there is still the question of how families can break this vicious cycle.

With the opioid crisis, heroin addiction has really sparked concerns over this very issue. Dr. Adi Jaffe, an instructor at UCLA and Cal State Long Beach, told CBS News, “To be honest with you, it’s something we’ve been seeing for the past 10 years, but it’s become a big enough problem now that it’s catching the public’s attention.”

The American Psychological Association (APA) suggests a number of potential strategies for breaking this cycle:

  • Providing more support for treatment centers at the community level
  • More education provided to students and families on opioid addiction and resources to seek help
  • Greater cognitive-behavioral therapy as well as general psychotherapy to help individuals work through some of the issues that have been weighing them down
  • Higher quality of care in treatment programs

Many families do not realize the harmful effects that are lingering from one generation to another and this all starts and ends with knowledge. If your family has struggled with this in the past, join a support group, such as Al-Anon (a 12-Step recovery program for friends and family of those with addiction) and learn more about combating this disease. Recovery is possible, but more support, structure and service must be provided.

Cumberland Heights is a nonprofit alcohol and drug-addiction treatment center located on the banks of the Cumberland river in Nashville, Tennessee. On a sprawling 177-acre campus, we are made up of 2 12-Step immersion campuses, 12 outpatient recovery centers and 4 sober living homes. We believe that each person has a unique story to tell – and that’s why we always put the patient first.

Call us today at 1-800-646-9998 to take the next step towards your happiness and health.