Heroin, without the “e” at the end, is an addictive narcotic derived from morphine. This white, crystalline,  powder was formerly used as an analgesic and sedative, before it was discovered to be a dangerously addictive substance. The drug’s name came from Germany, where in 1898 Friedrich Bayer & Co. registered the trademark and coined the term for their morphine substitute. They used the word “hero” in the name, probably “referring to its aggrandizing effect on the personality,” as it says in the World English Dictionary

However, add the letter “e” and the word becomes “heroine,” a girl or woman of outstanding courage, nobility, etc., or of heroic achievements. 

For women who are addicted to heroin, the reasons and the treatment may be different from male addicts. Dr. Karen Dodge, while completing her doctorate in social work at Florida International University,  discovered that addiction in women was more likely to be associated with low self esteem, lack of traditional job skills, depression and most importantly a lack of a social support network.

Holistic addiction treatment addresses the mind, body and spirit.  Mentally, a women may have the pressures of caring for a family weighing upon her.  When a woman is struggling with heroin addiction, everyone she loves, lives with and works with are affected — an entire community.

Physically, overall health is compromised by the effect of heroin on the system. These can include liver failure, heart disease, cardiac arrest, and seizures.

To address the depression that saps the spirit, dual diagnosis addiction treatment is important in establishing a solid foundation for recovery. A spiritual philosophy for life as well as a social network can be built with the help of the 12 step program. And from there, the strides made in overcoming obstacles and reaching goals should help to raise self esteem. Once you know you can do something so difficult, you will have the determination needed to improve any other areas of your life, whether it is on the career front, relationships, or family.

Heroines come in all shapes and sizes.  For some great examples, go to My Hero.com and peruse the list of Women Heroes. They include women from all nations and backgrounds, from historical figures to modern day activists, poets, scientists, teachers, politicians, and regular women who made amazing contributions to the lives of others.