Herion Addiction – The Elephant in the Room

24 May

Heroin Addiction & Treatment

The difference between an addict and a social drug user is very simple. A social drug user has the ability to use drugs as and when they choose. An addict has lost the ability to make this choice. They are fully aware of the damage they are doing to themselves and those around them. They are aware of impact their drug use causes to their health, finances and relationships. They are also aware that the damage increases with time but are still unable to control the overwhelming need to use.

So what is the best way to deal with the problem?

According to the N.I.C.E. guidelines, the first intervention is to prescribe a substitute opiate, address the issues that lead to the addiction, and then reduce the medication gradually over a period of time. This usually means prescribing either Methadone or Subutex, both synthetic opiates which stop the physical withdrawal symptoms associated with the cessation of Herion use. Addressing the physiological causes of the addiction will vary depending on the individual and the reasons for their addiction.

In practice this approach is mostly ineffective.

In my own experience the substitute prescribing, whilst stopping the physical withdrawal symptoms, does not stop the mental health problems which are the reason for using the drug in the first place. No emphasis is placed on dealing with these issues and you find yourself in exactly the same position as you were in before seeking help, only now you are addicted to another drug alongside the Herion.

In my case I first sought help 16 years ago and have been addicted to Methadone and Heroin for the duration. Throughout this time my health has deteriorated, I have lost my home, all of my possessions, relationship and the support of my family. At no point have the services with which I have engaged made any attempt to find an answer to my problem.

In my despair I have done some research to see if there is another way to approach things. What I have discovered is that there is a scientifically proven way to achieve the desired goal. However, it is the Elephant in the room and it is for this reason that it has not been considered.

The damage that is caused on all fronts is directly caused by my need to use Herion. Would it therefore not be logical to prescribe Herion (Diamorphine) and in doing so remove all of the destructive and chaotic behaviour surrounding it, which has destroyed my life over the past 16 years?

In all clinical trials where Diamorphine has been prescribed it has been shown to be the most effective cause of action. So why hasn’t it been done? Because of the Elephant in the room. If drug services were to take this course of action it would be headline gold for the “red top” newspapers. “Heroin prescribed to addicts on the NHS”, you get the picture. The reality is that this is already happening albeit under another name.

The logic for doing this is simple. It would immediately end the damage currently being caused by the ineffective practices used at present. There is no legal reason for not taking this approach, nor is there any clinical or practical reason.

I am in the process of challenging my treatment with a view to being prescribed Diamorphine with a view to rebuilding my life. I feel a may have a fight on my hands.

I’ll keep you informed……


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