Heroin Addiction

Topics: Heroin, Drug addiction, Addiction Pages: 6 (2116 words) Published: December 7, 2005

Cheyenne is one of the main characters in "Union Square" who is a homeless heroin addict. Her stages of drug addiction have gradually progressed into the worst stage, which is named the crisis trap stage. In this documentary, Cheyenne talks about many of the stages of drug addiction and how they pertain to her. As she tells her story of where this heroin use began, she displays the stages of consumption increase and identity centers on use, tolerance increases, preoccupation with use begins, source of supply is a matter of worry, uses drugs in inappropriate places, the number of times being high increases per week, amount of money spent increases, being high becomes normal, solitary use begins, isolation increases, avoid problems and reality, high almost constantly, physical condition worsens until she finally gets to the crisis trap stage (Alpert, 11).

Cheyenne's consumption of heroin increases because she has developed a tolerance to this drug, so she needs more of it in her body to get the same effects as she used to get when she first started using the drug. Her identity centers on the use of heroin because all she is worried about is being high and when she is not high, she is going through painful withdrawal symptoms and trying to make money on the streets in order to buy more heroin to get high again. Her source of supply is then a matter of worry because since she is homeless on the streets of New York without of phone or any consistent way of being able to get a hold of a drug dealer. So, she has to hope that certain people are in spots where drugs are sold so that she can get her supply to stay normal. She definitely uses drugs in inappropriate places because she has no privacy. She sleeps on the streets, so the only places she can shoot up heroin are inappropriate such as public bathrooms. Cheyenne's number of times being high during the week increases because she needs to keep a large quantity of heroin in her system in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms and extra to get high. Since her use increases, the amount of money she spends per week increases as well to accommodate for her drug addiction. Her solitary use and isolation increases because she has left her family and friends because of her heroin addiction. She only has her few fellow heroin addicts on the street; so of course, she is much more isolated with her use. By her leaving her family, she is avoiding her problems with heroin and with reality. She has a daughter who she abandoned because she let heroin take over her life. She cannot see her daughter and lives in this fantasy world of heroin. So, since she is high almost constantly, her physical condition worsens in that she needs to do at least three bags of heroin per day to stay normal, so her level of physical dependency keeps increasing, therefore she is now in the crisis trap stage. Cheyenne's life cannot get any worse. She is homeless, cannot see the one person who is supposed to be the most important person in her life, and is physically and psychologically dependent on heroin. 2) INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL CONSEQUENCES

An internal consequence is defined as "harm being done to one's self" as in physical, psychological, and emotional damage (Alpert, 46). Cheyenne cannot possibly fathom the amount of damage being done to her. Physically, Cheyenne's body is so worn out. Since she has been addicted to heroin for so long, her heart will eventually fail and she will die because her body had been working so hard so long to sustain her addiction. Since she lives on the street, she also has a higher potential for being prone to diseases and illnesses because of the unsanitary conditions in which she lives. Her fingernails are beyond filthy; her skin is scarred and damaged from not being able to properly take care of it; and sleeping on concrete could cause orthopedic issues as well. Psychologically, heroin has completely ruined her perception of what...
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