Heroin and the Housewife: How Did It Happen to Her?

Mother and daughter cooking food at kitchen.

Blog post contributed by Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, for Addiction Hope

Mothers today have much demanded of them, juggling many roles as they work to sustain their family, balance work and career, and more. The image of “supermom” is something desirable and to be achieved, with many women priding themselves in being able to:

  • Organize multiple schedules
  • Keep a clean house
  • Cook a homemade meal
  • Hold down a job

Add to all this is the unrealistic standards and images portrayed through the media, with celebrity stars showcasing flawless bodies soon after childbirth, pulled-together outfits, and a seamless sense of control. The pressure on mothers today to do it all and have it all is at an all time high, and many women are buckling under these impractical standards.

Heroin Abuse Has Penetrated All Families

Coincidentally, the face of the heroin addict has also changed. Heroin abuse and dependence has penetrated rural neighborhoods and suburbs all across the country. As individuals are losing access to their prescription painkillers, many are turning to heroin as a means of getting high and numbing pain.

According to the Center for Disease and Control (CDC), fatalities from heroin have increased to more than 3,000 annually from the years of 2007-2010 [1]. Sadly, the problematic issue of overdose from heroin has spread into local communities, becoming more common among the middle class with increased accessibility of the drug.

Why Housewives Are Turning to Heroin

For the overburdened housewife, heroin might seem like a temporary solution or a momentary escape from the daily grind. The encumbrances and nuisances of the day might seem more tolerable with heroin, and so a mom might find her day easier to endure under the power of this drug.

Because of the highly addictive nature of heroin, a woman may find that her cravings for the drug will go beyond her original intentions, driving her to seek out new ways to obtain the drug as the cycle of obsession begins to take hold.

Family members may begin to notice that something is off with their loved one, with the family unit slowly unraveling at the seams. What once may have been an attempt to keep everything securely knit together will be the very force that wreaks destruction. The demands of our society are ruthlessly cruel and out of reach, yet we are driven to take whatever measures necessary to achieve them.

For a mom desperately trying to “do it all”, this can inadvertently lead to substance abuse.

Help Is Available: Don’t Hide Your Suffering

If you or a loved one has turned to heroin as a way to manage pain, whether it is emotional or physical, know that there is hope for recovery for you. You can learn ways to cope with the stressors of life without destroying yourself or your family.

There are answers for the pressures that you are facing and freedom from the image you may be seeking to maintain. Heroin is a vicious beast that will hold you captive from a life well lived. If you are struggling with a heroin addiction, take the step towards healing by reaching out for help today.

[1]: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/