Do you need help finding the right drug or alcohol rehab facility?
Fill out the form below or call (877) 591-1498 to get the help you need.
Email address:
Contact me by:Phone     Email
Seeking Help For:
General Situation:
Your privacy is important to us.
We do not give or sell your information to anyone.

Some Key Information About Heroin Addiction

Heroin, known to be one of world's most notorious narcotics, is a very physically addictive drug processed from morphine which is synthesized from seedpod of the poppy plant. The physical appearance of heroin is as a white or brown powder or as a black tarry substance. Heroin is snorted, smoked or injected. The factors that determine addiction are how regularly it is used and the amount of drug that is used. Curiosity about the drug can lead a person into using it occasionally at first and eventually into addiction.

Heroin is sold in the market in the pure form and sometimes sold mixed with other substances such as starch, sugar, powdered milk, or even dangerous poisons such as strychnine. Heroin is known by other street names such as smack, horse, brown sugar, junk, etc.

Addiction is defined as follows by the medical fraternity: a chronic brain disease that is relapsing in nature and which could lead to a number of serious medical consequences over time.

Physical Effects of Using Heroin

As heroin acts rapidly, the person has a rush of euphoria soon after heroin is used (in 7 to 8 seconds when injected). This is followed by a warm feeling and the skin appears flushed. The extremities feel heavy and the mouth becomes dry after ingestion of heroin. The next phase of experience involves the user alternating between drowsy and wakeful states. There is depression of the nervous system and thinking becomes cloudy. There is slowing down of speech and very often it can become slurred. Heroin depresses breathing and overdoses can be fatal in some cases.

The heroin user's walk slows down, pupils are constricted and night vision is impaired. Constipation and vomiting are other common symptoms experienced by heroin users. Heroin users who inject the drug are at risk of contracting infectious diseases such as hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, etc.

Heroin abuse by pregnant women can lead to low birthweight children.

Tolerance to Heroin

The use of heroin causes the body to quickly develop tolerance to the drug. Over time, it is observed that larger doses than before are required to produce the same effect in the body. Addicts who do not use the drug regularly experience withdrawal symptoms that manifests primarily as cravings for the drug. Some other symptoms that accompany withdrawal are muscle and body aches, insomnia, vomiting, diarrhea, cold flashes, goose bumps, and chills.

Withdrawal symptoms show up after a few hours after the last dose and the worst symptoms are experienced about 2 to 3 days after the last dose was taken. These withdrawal symptoms are known to last for as long as seven days. Heavy users are cautioned from withdrawing suddenly as it can be fatal.

Theories exist about heroin addicts who take drug in the same location and developing a certain tolerance that make them ingest nearly the same quantities, whereas if they were to take the drug in a new and unusual location, they tend to overdose.

Long-term Effects of Heroin

Many adverse health effects result from the use of heroin. They include collapsed veins, development of pneumonia, infections of heart valves and lining, etc.

In addition to the bad effects caused by the drug itself, the heroin from the market may have additives that may eventually clog blood vessels that lead to major organs in the body and cause damage.

Heroin Addiction Treatment

The range of treatment options is very broad for heroin addiction and includes medication, behavioral therapies and other holistic approaches. Many a time, different treatment methods are combined according to the requirements of the affected individual to achieve the desired results.

  • Addiction Recovery