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a group talks through issues during a heroin addiction treatment programHeroin is a highly addictive, illegal drug. It is used by millions of addicts around the world who are unable to overcome the urge of taking this drug every day of their lives, knowing that if they stop, they will face the horror of withdrawal. Heroin (like opium and morphine) is made from the resin of poppy plants. Milky, sap-like opium is first removed from the pod of the poppy flower. This opium is refined to make morphine, then further refined into different forms of heroin. Don’t let a heroin addiction take over your life. Our substance abuse treatment programs can help. Take the first step today by calling 844.910.0686.

What Is Heroin?

Heroin, also known as diamorphine, is an opiate most commonly used as a recreational drug due to its euphoric effects. Medically, it is occasionally used to relieve pain and in opioid replacement therapy. Heroin is typically injected, usually into a vein. However, it can also be smoked, snorted or inhaled. Onset of effects is usually rapid and lasts for a few hours. Most people inject heroin, creating additional risks for the user, who faces the danger of AIDS or other infection on top of the pain of addiction. It is extremely deadly and addictive. Heroin abuse during pregnancy can create major complications with the baby, including stillbirth. Signs of heroin addiction can exhibit themselves in different ways, but most common are behavioral changes such as depression, theft, and lying or physical changes such as weight loss, nausea, and lack of sleep.

How Does Heroin Work?

When taken orally, heroin undergoes extensive first-pass metabolism via deacetylation, making it a prodrug for the systemic delivery of morphine. When the drug is injected, however, it avoids this first-pass effect, very rapidly crossing the blood–brain barrier because of the presence of the acetyl group, which render it much more fat soluble than morphine itself. Unlike hydromorphone and oxymorphone, however, administered intravenously, heroin creates a larger histamine release, similar to morphine. This results in the feeling of a greater subjective “body high” to some, but also instances of pruritus (itching) when they first start using it.

Why Is Heroin Addictive?

Many people experiment with heroin thinking, “I’ll try it once or twice. I can always stop.” But those who start down that road find it nearly impossible to turn back. The problem with heroin is that once you start using, it’s much harder to stop than any other drug. A person can innocently go from just “partying” with using a little heroin on the weekends, to a full blown addict, with all of the problems that go along with being a heroin addict, in a very short period of time. Each time the user does some, there is less satisfaction unless the dosage in increased. As the dose increases, so the chance of overdosing, and possible death. At any point, if regular use is halted, the user will go into withdrawal that is very uncomfortable, and can only be cured by taking more heroin. Symptoms of heroin withdrawal can include difficulty breathing, insomnia, and tremors.

There are many reasons why individuals become addicted to heroin. For teenage heroin drug users, the drug may be a way to cope with self-image issues, or even fit into a certain peer group. For men and women struggling with depression, the drug is often a means of self-medicating the pain they feel as a result of their mental health issues. Whatever the reasons, once heroin addiction takes hold, it can overwhelm a person’s life and destroy everything they hold dear.

Common Heroin Drug Combinations

Some people intentionally use heroin in combination with another substance, while others mix drugs accidentally without even knowing it. Unfortunately, this accidental mixing is quite common, as heroin addicts often do not know the purity of the substance they are purchasing. Heroin is an opiate drug that comes from alkaloid substances in the opium plant. While people often take heroin on its own by injecting, smoking, or snorting it, many people also combine heroin with other drugs.

Heroin, alcohol, and benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants. These drugs possess the ability to slow brain activity, heart rate, and respiratory rate. When heroin is combined with other central nervous system depressants, there is an increased risk of:

  • Respiratory depression
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Coma
  • Death

To overcome your addiction to heroin or other substances, please contact our heroin addiction treatment program today at 844.910.0686.

Get Treatment at Addiction Rehab Centers

Heroin addiction does not discriminate based on age, gender or socio-economic status. In fact, if you were to look at the demographic breakdown of heroin addicts in the United States, you would be amazed to find such a comprehensive cross-section of Americans who are dependent on this highly dangerous drug. With heroin use on the rise, rehabilitation centers from coast to coast have become filled with people that end up needing professional help to stop using it. The popularity of heroin has made it the drug of choice for people that use and experiment with drugs. Heroin has become rather easy for anyone to obtain, and the cost is very low, dollar for dollar, when compared to powdered or crack cocaine.

The effects of heroin are much more desirable than cocaine, and when given a choice, most drug users will choose the heroin. However, you don’t have to become a victim of heroin addiction. When you reach out to our heroin addiction treatment program, we give you the tools to end your substance use. Please contact Addiction Rehab Centers today at 844.910.0686 to learn more about the treatment options available.