coworker addiction to heroin

Middle class, white, working, suburban-dwelling males are one of the biggest populations among heroin addicts in America today. Part of the growing concern regarding the spiking heroin epidemic is that most heroin addicts aren’t “junkies” on the streets. Many heroin addicts are homeless and participating in reckless using like shared intravenous needles. Many more are our neighbors, bosses, coworkers, and friends.

Identifying Heroin Addiction

Heroin is the new drug of choice for making it through a workday. Not typically seen as a drug of productivity, heroin can be used in a high-functioning way. Functioning heroin addicts use small doses throughout the day to keep their high consistent, without the effects of use like nodding out.

The America faced by working males, of any race and income, is full of stress and pressure. Men have to work harder and longer to make enough money just to get by. Americans are globally renown for not taking vacations or enough time away from work. There is a growing need to escape from the pervasive stress. Stress extends beyond the office. Without regulation, stress can take a physical toll. Long stressful work hours drain a person’s energy. Most won’t eat healthy and nutritious diets, get enough physical activity or sleep, and don’t make time for mindfulness based practices like meditation. As a result, they get sick. Chronic back pain has been linked to emotional stress. Stress can cause heart diseases and other illnesses.

Addiction to heroin rarely grows out of experimental or intentional use with heroin itself. When a stressed male goes to the doctor regarding chronic back pain, he will more than likely be prescribed a narcotic opiate painkiller like Oxycontin or Vicodin. Prescription painkillers are made with a morphine base. Morphine is what the body naturally produces when it ingests heroin. Deriving from the opium plant, morphine in pharmaceutical medications is essentially prescribed heroin. Interacting with the brain’s natural opioid receptors, these medications create a very instant dependency. If abused, it is easy to become addicted to these drugs.

Painkillers are expensive, and as discussed, working males today are on a tight budget. Especially when a high-functioning addict is attempting to keep up appearances, there is no room for a drug expense. Avoiding withdrawals means resorting to heroin bought on the street. Thus the cycle continues.


Recovery from heroin is a long process but one that is entirely possible. If you are concerned you or a friend might be abusing heroin or prescription painkillers, call Sound Recovery Solutions today. We offer intensive outpatient treatment programs for men suffering from addiction to opiates.


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