What Is Heroin?
Heroin is a highly addictive opioid drug which has been synthesized from morphine, a naturally occurring substance which grows from the poppy plant. The drug comes in the form of a white or brown crystalline powder, and is also sometimes found in the form of “black tar,” a black sticky substance. Heroin is generally administered by injection, snorting, or smoking. All three forms of administration allow the drug to rapidly travel into the brain. The use of heroin can cause host of health issues and imposes a high risk for addiction. Heroin treatment is very similar to morphine addiction treatment.
Many who become addicted to heroin suffer from multiple substance use disorders. Commonly abused drugs used in conjunction with heroin are marijuana, cocaine, and other opiate based substances. Those struggling with multiple cases of substance use disorders may consider enrolling into programs like codeine addiction treatment.
Effects of Heroin
Both the short term and long term effects of heroin use can induce serious harm to your overall well-being. The initial effects of heroin induces a “rush” which is often characterized by a surge of sensation accompanied by a warm feeling on the skin and a dry mouth. In some cases, the initial effects can cause vomiting and severe itching. Upon the initial effects fading, heroin users tend to become drowsy and basic bodily functions including breathing and the heart rate decline. Generally, once the initial effects fade the user’s body craves more, which leads to continued use and continual use of heroin often transitions into a dependence/addiction. Some of the short term effects of heroin use includes:
- Slower breathing
- Altered mental functioning
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Hypothermia (body temperature drops lower than normal)
- Coma or death (usually induced by overdose)
The continual use of heroin can cause very destructive effects on the body, some of the long term effects of heroin use includes:
- Deteriorating teeth
- Inflammation of the gums
- Collapsed veins due to injections
- HIV/AIDS and other infections caused by sharing needles
- Cold Sweats
- Weakened immune system
- Respiratory illnesses
- Muscular weakness
- Reduced sexual performance and functioning of sexual organs
- Loss of memory
- Loss of appetite
- Sleeping difficulties such as insomnia
Heroin is one of the most dangerous drugs to become use due to the fact that it is highly addictive and can cause irreversible damage to one’s help. To avoid the destructive consequences associated with heroin use, avoid experimenting with the drug or if you are already using, seek professional help.
Withdrawal From Heroin
Generally, heroin addicts not only become physically dependent on the drug due to uncontrollable cravings, heroin users also continue using the drug out of fear of experiencing withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms from heroin tend to onset within a few hours of your last use. Some of the symptoms incurred by those withdrawing from heroin includes:
- Intense heroin cravings
- Extreme sweating
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Severe muscle aches and pains
- Extreme body aches and muscle pains
- Cold sweats
- Runny nose
- Death (usually occurs when there are pre-existing medical conditions)
Persons who experience withdrawal from longtime heroin abuse or addiction is at high risk for serious medical issues and should seek professional medical assistance.
Heroin Addiction Treatment Centers
There are a variety of treatment options available for treating heroin abuse and addiction. Treatment options such as behavioral therapies have been found to be very effective in helping patients to stop using heroin and recover their lives from the detriments of addiction. There are also medications which are effective in treating heroin abuse and addiction. Medications such as buprenorphine and methadone, are both effective due to their ability o bind to the same cell receptors as heroin, but with a weaker force; this ultimately helps heroin users wean themselves off of the drug. The Medications for treating heroin addiction and abuse are also effective in significantly reducing cravings. Another drug used in the treatment of heroin abuse and addiction, naltrexone, is effective in blocking opioid receptors and preventing the effects of heroin.In the case of emergency treatment, naloxone, an opioid antagonist, is used to counteract the effects of heroin overdose.
In some cases, where treatment is not properly monitored, some heroin patients become addicted to methadone, and require methadone addiction treatment; because naltrexone is non opiate based, recovery with this maintenance drug may be preferred.
Recognizing Heroin Addiction & the Need for Heroin Addiction Treatment
Being as though many heroin addicts are in denial about their addiction or do their best to conceal it, it can often be difficult to detect a heroin addiction. However, there The most common signs and symptoms associated with heroin addiction includes:
- Mood swings
- Agitation and Irritability
- Track marks where heroin is injected
- Scabs and bruises due to picking at the skin
- Keeping tools hand to administer heroin: burned spoons, needles, glass pipes, and etc.
- Slurred speech
- Spending excessive amounts of time obtaining, using, and recovering from heroin use
- Deteriorating health in relation to drug use
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should highly consider immediate professional help:
- Development of a tolerance for heroin
- Loss of control over heroin use is interfering with relationships
- Experiencing withdrawal if not under the influence of heroine
- Abrupt and unexplained changes In personality and behaviors
There are a multitude of varying signs and symptoms associated with heroin addiction. If you or a loved one are lead to believe you may be faced with a heroin addiction, Harbor Village, an accredited heroin addiction treatment center is here to help!