The main aim of the discussion is to look at whether the current way of treating addicts through a strict therapy and rehab system with multiple different drugs is as successful as many would like to believe. As previously discussed in my literature review I saw the four main drugs that are currently used to help an addict recover from heroin addiction. With results released from the British government, you can see that 40 to 60 percent of drug addicts relapse. If you change these results to look purely at the rates for heroin relapse rates you can see 91 percent of patients discharged from detox relapse with 51 percent using heroin within a week of being released. The detox where the rates are from is a 6-week detox program as well. This means it is the most common program you can find. These rates do decrease with a strong after-care ritual and having longer detox with lots of support but as many addicts cannot have access to this support this means it either needs to be accessible for everyone or a different method needs to be found.
Why should heroin addicts be helped?
One of the main arguments is that how much help the government should provide to addicts and whether it is their responsibility. I believe that there is a limit to the support the country should provide but that support should be the best to give the greatest chance of staying clean and discouraging a relapse. This support should be given because the more addicts that are helped to become clean the fewer criminality and gang crimes there will be. As mentioned in the literature review when all addicts in a town are helped to become clean the crime rates can drop as far as 96 percent. This is due to the fact often to support a drug addiction the easiest route is to sell the drugs you are using yourself. This can introduce more people into drug use and lead to a constant flow of more people becoming dependant on drugs. This is also a reason why I believe the support should be provided as it removes the need for money so they no longer are required to sell drugs. There is also the question of if the user has become addicted to heroin should the addict be treated as a criminal or as someone who is ill and therefore should be treated by the NHS with the same respect and care as every British citizen is entitled to. In October 2019, the NHS provides free care for drug addicts just the same as any other illness would be treated. They have the support, medication, and rehab provided for them.
If an addict has the intention of trying to overcome their addiction that means they’re taking steps towards recovery. Often it is said that rehab and support are only successful when the user has the intention for it to work. Therefore, I think before a user is admitted to rehab or given the option of support they should have shown the willingness of their own accord to recover. I believe this could help the relapse rate.
There are many cases of heroin addiction where people were unsure of what they were taking and then became addicted. Often people believe heroin is only an injected drug but this is a common misconception; heroin can be smoked, snorted, and injected. It is a common occurrence for people to start by smoking heroin either not realizing what it is or not realizing it can still be so addictive when smoked.