Heroin Addiction: Effects and Reasons for Abuse

Heroin addiction is a tragic thing that affects the lives of so many users and their loved ones. Recovering from addiction is a trying challenge and can take anywhere from months to years. However, those determined to get their life back on track and where they want it to be will have a difficult road ahead, but find success if they go about recovery the right way.

The first step towards overcoming a heroin addiction is to understand everything that you need to about it. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about heroin addiction – from symptoms, to affects, reasons for abusing the substance, recovering from addiction to heroin, the drug facts, and more – to help you or a loved one through this difficult stage of their life.

The Dangers of Heroin and What it is

Heroin is a dangerous and even deadly substance that continues to become more and more commonly used across the nation, devastating the lives of so many that it touches. Heroin is derived from a flower found in Asia, Mexico, and South America known as the opium poppy.

The drug it creates is extremely addictive, and its use has been illegal in the U.S. ever since 1924. It can resemble a brown or white powder, or black tar. It is also referred to as smack, junk, or brown sugar.

Regardless of how one uses heroin, it makes its way to the user’s brain with extreme speed. It’s all too easy to become addicted after using it just one or two times. It can be snorted or smoked, but heroin is most commonly injected into the veins to get the most fast-acting high. This is also the most dangerous way to consume the substance. It makes it much easier to overdose, and users can become infected by dirty needles.

What Makes It So Addictive?

The effects of heroin are part of what make it so addictive. So, what are the effects of heroin? Here’s what you need to know:

People become addicted to heroin quite quickly, for the rush of happiness and good feelings they experience on it. For several hours after taking the drug, the user will feel as if the world has slowed down. You might think more slowly and walk slowly, too.  Users often describe the sensation as feeling like they are in a dream, or covered in a warm blanket, free of worries.

There are adverse reactions, too, though. The drug can result in nausea and vomiting in users, and some even feel extremely itchy. It also has extreme effects on the brain. How does heroin affect the brain? It blocks the user from receiving pain messages, also slowing down breathing and heart rate.

You might be wondering, how long is heroin in your system? This depends on how often the drug is taken and in what quantities. It can be detected up to seven days after use in the urine, up to two days in blood and saliva, and up to three months in the hair follicles.

Many people turn to heroin as a way to cope with mental health issues they suffer from. These include ADHD, anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. If users don’t have access to heroin treatment that they need to cope with these issues and other stressors in their life, they may feel inclined to turn to more dangerous “solutions.” Heroin is one such substance that people will turn to for help – and the result can be a deadly and unrelenting addiction to an unforgiving drug.

How Long Does It Take to Get Addicted to Heroin?

This is one of the biggest factors that makes heroin such a deadly drug: it takes just one or two times to become hooked. High rates of use, however, are contributed to by the fact that your body builds a tolerance to the drug as you use it.

Far from meaning it won’t harm you, this means that you will need to take more of the drug to achieve the same effect. Meanwhile, your body develops a dependence to the substance – only making it more and more dangerous.

With such a high rate of addiction after such little time, it’s no wonder that the U.S. finds itself in an opioid crisis today. In fact, between 2007 and 2012, heroin use almost doubled. Drug experts link this growth to the growing abuse of prescription painkillers including Vicodin and OxyContin, which are also derived from the same poppy plant.

Those who misuse these drugs may turn to heroin when in search of a cheaper, stronger high. Heroin offers both of those things to users, paired with heightened danger – it’s impossible to know how strong the heroin is that you get your hands on, or what it has been mixed with.

This is why, in addition to heroin use skyrocketing, subsequent deaths have as well. Between 2010 and 2012, heroin overdose deaths doubled.

Learn more about the heroin withdrawal here.

Are You Addicted to Heroin?

If you are addicted to heroin, you have likely found that your body has developed the aforementioned dependence on the substance. That dependence can lead to devastating withdrawals because heroin effects on the body are not kind.

What does heroin do to your body? If you are addicted to the substance and go too long without it, you’ll feel those trademark withdrawal symptoms. These might include jitters, vomiting, chills, muscle and bone pain, and more. For anyone who is trying to stop using heroin, the drug withdrawal symptoms will be their first hurdle to overcome.

Continued use of the drug, however, poses significant dangers as well. Things like collapsed veins, infection of the heart valves and lining, risk of HIV/AIDS, lung diseases, miscarriage, and so much more.

Overcoming an addiction to heroin is a long and difficult road, but one that is well worth it in the end. But where do you begin?

Read more about the Symptoms of Heroin here.

Seeking Help for Heroin Addiction?

To overcome an addiction to heroin, it’s important to make sure that you have the resources and support you need to close this difficult chapter in your life. If you or someone you know is struggling with an opioid addiction, it’s essential to reach out to our trusted and reputable rehab center for Heroin as soon as possible.

This will ensure the best results during rehabilitation and recovery and help the person to get their life back on track as effectively and smoothly as possible.

Here at SOBA College Recovery, we make sure to put all our efforts and resources into giving patients the care they need to rid themselves of substance addiction, freeing them to pursue the life of their dreams!