Heroin Addiction and Dependence: Why You Should Seek Treatment Today

One of the most popular substances abused today is heroin, an opiod drug processed from morphine and taken from the seed pod of poppy plants.

Despite the many potential risks and side effects that come with the drug, many people abuse and eventually become addicted to heroin. Regular heroin users often develop a tolerance, leading to a need for higher and more frequent doses.

Overview

Heroin use has steadily risen among men and women in the US, accounting for over 13,000 deaths in the past decade.

Heroin enters the brain quickly, becoming morphine in the liver while increasing the body’s endorphins. The drug often creates a feeling of euphoria and drowsiness that lasts several hours. However, users may find that these effects begin to decrease in length with each additional use as their tolerance for the drug increases.

Despite an understanding of the effects of heroin, the drug continues to maintain a dominant presence in movies, television, and news outlets. The depiction of the drug in the media lacks a deeper acknowledgement of how heroin continues to affect both the individual user and their direct family members.

Heroin Use and Withdrawal

Heroin can be injected, snorted, or smoked.

Common signs of heroin abuse include nausea, vomiting, and constipation. Continuous use of the drug can lead to tolerance, dependence, addiction, and for some, death.

Health risks of short and long-term heroin use include:
  • Infection
  • Abscesses
  • Slowed breathing
  • Dry mouth
  • Liver disease
  • Uncontrollable itching
  • Slowed heart rate and breathing
Other health risks include:
  • Hepatitis
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Pregnancy:
    • Miscarriage
    • Low birth weight

Many users who inject the drug into their bloodstream will suffer from collapsed veins.

As soon as the high dissipates, the user experiences unpleasant sensations such as severe itching, lethargy, or heaviness in the arms and legs. The drug can also cause deterioration to the brain, leading to problems in cognitive function and memory.

Many users may attempt to stop using heroin on their own, developing symptoms such as insomnia, diarrhea, anxiety, and bone pain. It is advised that withdrawal be supervised by a medical professional.

Treatment

Addiction causes more than just physical and mental damage. It can ruin relationships, end careers, and create financial problems. These circumstances can easily overwhelm the user and lead to cravings and the continuation of abuse.

The best course of action is to seek rehabilitation. A combination of medical detox, behavioral therapy, and counseling allows professionals to give heroin users the skills they need to adapt to a drug-free lifestyle. Contact us today if you would like to speak to a representative about our treatment services.