(NEW YORK) -- For young people who fall prey to the drug, the journey to heroin addiction and back again can be a deadly cycle.
"They will do anything they can to get their drug. They become vicious as they progress into their addiction,” said Tom Dietzler, a counselor at Caron Treatment Centers.
According to Dietzler, heroin addiction in young adults is a powerful disease that can cause good kids from loving families to make horrible decisions.
Perhaps the most challenging part of the road to recovery is the process of restructuring an addict’s life so it is no longer centered on the drug. Heroin is characterized by the euphoric high it gives users, followed by an intense physical withdrawal. To avoid the pain of withdrawal, the heroin addict is constantly looking for their next dose.
Dietzler said that parents should not expect their children to be cured quickly once entering drug treatment programs.
"Many parents, when they bring their children here, it is almost like [they expect] a 31-day cure pill," Dietzler said. "Wave a magic wand, Mr. Dietzler, make my son or daughter better."
Dietzler’s advice to families who are dealing with addiction in a loved one is to get help as soon as possible.
"The family often is in just as much denial as the patient is...and if the family doesn't get well, the drug addict doesn't have any motivation to get well."
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