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Heroin Addiction/ Abusing Heroin

Heroin is a commonly abused drug in the United States and also an illegal drug in many parts of the world. One of the reasons why heroin is illegal is for its highly addictive properties. Heroin is a member of the opiate family and is derived from the opium poppy plant which can be found throughout South America and only in a few select regions of the world. As heroin is one of the most addictive substances in the world addiction has claimed the lives of thousands of individuals in the United States every year. In many cases heroin addiction doesn’t start out of curiosity or even taking the drug recreationally, instead heroin addiction begins as the last resort medication which is used after a prescription painkiller addiction. The vast majority of heroin users today are attributing their heroin use with a previous addiction to opioids.

Individuals on prescription opioids are at a higher risk of potentially doing heroine are becoming addicted to heroin in the future. If you find yourself addicted to heroin or you know someone that is showing the signs of being addicted to the substance it’s important that you seek the right help as soon as possible. Medical intervention is advised for any type of heroin addiction support as the detox and withdrawal symptoms can be extensive.

Heroin Addiction/ Abusing Heroin

What is heroin?

Heroin can be known under many different names including dope, junk, horse and smack. It’s usually found in a brown powder or a white type of powder as well as in some sticky black tar substances. It’s derived from a poppy plants within the seed pod and it works by creating feelings of euphoria. The euphoric pleasure feelings that many people experience after their first dose of heroin will often be enough to get people addicted to it. Unfortunately the effects of heroin abuse and ongoing use of heroin can be far too difficult and harmful to health to ignore or even try heroin for the first time.

Heroin is closely related to the drug morphine and at one time heroin was used in a medical setting. Heroin binds directly to opiate receptors within just a few seconds after being injected at this time is automatically broken down into morphine which can cause relaxation, lowering of blood pressure as well as arousal. Most users of heroin preferred to inject heroin but it can also be snorted or smoked.

When heroin is injected is extremely potent and users will begin to feel differently almost immediately. Every time that a user takes heroin they run the risk of potentially overdosing. The main problem with heroin is that it is a street drug and it is not regulated at all. As a result many dealers will take an opportunity to cut heroine with a number of different substances which can change the purity. This can make it difficult for the average user to determine the exact purity of the heroin they are taking before it’s too late.

Many heroin users also prefer to mix their heroin with other substances such as crack cocaine which can increase the risk of overdose even greater.

The substances that heroine can be cut with can also cause risks to human health. Drug dealers are more than willing to mix heroin with a number of different substances to increase their profits and consuming drugs mixed with some of these substances can have a number of different negative health effects for regular heroin users.

Common substances that heroine can be cut with include:

  • Fentanyl
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Caffeine Pills
  • Rat Poison
  • Laundry powder
  • Baking soda
  • Talcum Powder

And more

Many of these items are quite dangerous to inject into the body and some can be even more dangerous based off of their reaction with heroin. Heroin that’s cut with caffeine pills for example can change the signs of an overdose and potentially cause a person to go longer without seeking help for an overdose which can then in turn lead to more damage. Mixing fentanyl was heroin can be equally as deadly as fentanyl is 30 to 15 times more powerful than heroin on receptors even in extremely low doses. Many dealers use fentanyl to sell people heroin which is said to be of higher quality but really it just contains a larger dose of fentanyl which can increase the risk of overdose.

What makes heroin so addictive?

It is possible to recover from a heroin addiction but it’s one of the most challenging drugs in the world to withdraw from. Many individuals have tried to completely beat their addiction but have unfortunately relapsed. Many people find themselves returning to heroin after periods of sobriety many times.

The reason that heroine is so addictive is because it has been shown to effectively rewire the brain. When the brain is regularly exposed to heroin and the drug is allowed to have a consistent effect on opioid receptors, this can eventually trick the brain into thinking that this is a state of equilibrium. This means that the brain will eventually lose its ability to effect these receptors are produce compounds naturally which affect these receptors. Instead it will look to regular heroin doses to activate opioid receptors in the brain.

When a person becomes chemically dependent on heroin this means that they are much more focused on acquiring the drug. Without heroin they may feel as though they may never experience joy or euphoria ever again and one of the main withdrawal symptoms of heroin is depression so this can make a person continue to crave the drug even more. When a person becomes dependent on heroin he will often focus so much on their heroin use that they will take extreme measures in order to acquire heroin. This could mean robbing from health clinics to obtain opioids or even stealing items in an effort to gain more money so that they can feed their addiction.

Many users of claim that they turned to heroine as a result of prescription opioids. It’s important to distinguish the difference. Heroin works in a very similar way by increasing the amount of dopamine that is released throughout the limbic system and activating opioid receptors in the brain. In many cases with prescription painkillers, this release of dopamine happens over time. With heroin however there is an instant rush of euphoria and pleasure that happens as the limbic system is basically taken over. Regular use of heroin and repeated use of heroin will ensure that dependence happens extremely quickly for users.

Once dependence begins it’s important to remember that the rehabilitation and detoxification from heroin use can be one of the most difficult. Treatment usually involves ongoing detox, medication support to prevent someone from relapsing, drug tests, ongoing therapy and more. Recovery from heroin addiction is possible but it becomes extremely difficult especially with heroin being a drug that causes chemical dependence quite quickly. Many regular heroin users find themselves regularly returning to the cravings for heroin long after they have completed their main withdrawal symptoms. Entering into regular programs or regular counseling throughout the course of recovery and even years after can be one of the only ways to prevent relapse from this highly addictive substance.


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