Millions of people struggle with heroin addiction. Heroin is an opioid drug that causes addiction and physical dependence quickly. Heroin users develop physical dependence when their bodies become accustomed to taking opioids regularly. Without daily heroin use, a person experiences severe withdrawal symptoms. Due to the extreme withdrawal symptoms that heroin addicts go through, they cannot stop using heroin independently. In the case of people who have used heroin long-term for many months or years, most are ready to stop. However, finding and using heroin every day is difficult, mainly because heroin is illegal and expensive.
Should Heroin Be A Legal Drug?
The debate about legalizing heroin and other addictive drugs is an ongoing issue. Many of the supporters of legalizing drugs like heroin do not endorse the use necessarily but are against the criminalization of drug addiction. Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs that exist. It causes physical dependence, which means the person must use heroin every day or go into heroin withdrawals. People on heroin then commit minor crimes to support their habit. This is the junction where opposers or legalizing heroin and supporters intersect.
Can You Get Heroin Legally?
Globally no country has legalized heroin. However, the government of Portugal is the first to ever ‘decriminalize’ the possession of heroin. In 2001, Portugal brought into law that drug possession was not a crime, and all global media agencies took interest.
Under the 2001 Portuguese law, drug dealers still go to prison. But anyone caught with less than a 10-day supply of any drug—including marijuana and heroin—is typically sent to a local commission, consisting of a doctor, lawyer, and social worker, where they learn about treatment and available medical services. And in Portugal, no distinction is made between “hard” or “soft” drugs or whether consumption happens in private or public. What matters is whether the relationship to drugs is healthy or not. (Time, 2018)
Oregon and Heroin Possession
Like Portugal, Oregon also decriminalized possession of hard drugs like heroin and cocaine. The new laws took effect in 2020. Again, their bold legal statement made global news coverage.
Oregon becomes the first state to decriminalize hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. The Oregon drug initiative will allow people arrested with small amounts of hard drugs to avoid going to trial, and possible jail time, by paying a $100 fine and attending an addiction recovery program. (CBS, 2020)
What is Drug Decriminalization?
The decriminalization of drugs means removing criminal penalties for possession of drugs for personal use. Many U.S. cities and states have taken steps toward decriminalization. The benefits of decriminalizing drug possession also mean investing the resources formerly used to convict drug possession crimes in rehab centers. In addition, decriminalizing drug use reduces harms of addiction and can provide significant benefits for public safety and health, including:
- Fewer court cases and a reduction in public funds spent to convict addicts
- A decrease in incarcerations and less prison overcrowding
- Increase in drug treatment participation and availability
- Quicker intervention and less loss of life
Description of a Heroin Addict
A heroin addict never intended to become a full-time drug user. Heroin causes debilitating withdrawal symptoms that can only be relieved with more heroin. Their life is consumed by using the drug. Heroin addicts eventually begin committing crimes related to theft, drug possession, and other illegal activity that provides them with money to avoid getting ‘dope sick’ (withdrawals). There is not a single heroin addict that exists that is content with their physical addiction. Heroin detox symptoms start every morning, no matter what. Finally, all heroin addicts require medication-assisted treatments that include opioid replacement meds so they can quit.
Heroin Detox is the First Step at Evoke Wellness
The first step in ending this addiction is to be admitted into our medically managed heroin detox. We provide medications that reverse heroin withdrawals immediately. We then offer rest and recovery to get through detox for as long as they need to become stable. Once they complete detox, they begin their personalized treatment program with us. So call to end the daily horror of needing heroin. We have the answer. Let the addiction specialist at Evoke Wellness help you on your path to sobriety.