Magazine article USA TODAY

Recovering Users Mourn "Lost Love"

Magazine article USA TODAY

Recovering Users Mourn "Lost Love"

Article excerpt

Heroin addicts trying to kick the habit often profoundly grieve their lost "relationship" with the needles they use to inject the drug, maintains a study by a University at Buffalo (N.Y.) doctoral student. This intense personal connection with the needle, which some addicts described as a "love affair," may be a factor in the high relapse rate among recovering addicts, suggests Davina Moss, who interviewed patients in a detoxification facility.

Each described the intense grief experienced while away from the drug and great sorrow for personal losses resulting from the addiction. "I was surprised to hear the addicts in the study describe their love for the needle," Moss admits. "They described a feeling of 'oneness' with the needle, how they would caress the needle, and how they would never forget their first time using the needle--much like someone would describe a first love."

One user even suggested that, if he did not crave the feel of the needle, he might be able to kick his habit. …

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