Drug Abuse / Road to Recovery / Scottsdale Recovery Center

Heroin (Opiate) Addiction – What You Need to Know

Heroin
When it comes to the world of addiction there are numerous substances that can take a person’s life and turn their world upside down. Heroin is one of those substances. According to statistics :

• More than 13.5 million people across the world use opiates.
• There are more than 9.2 million heroin users.
• Opiates, especially heroin use, have been attributed to more than 18% of those admitted for drug treatment in the U.S.

Heroin is not a one-time drug. Meaning that this is a highly addictive substance and when the body comes down from the effects of this drug, the user will begin to go through withdrawal and the body will crave more. The only way to satisfy this craving is to feed it more heroin. This vicious cycle is the world of drug addiction.

Heroin is made from the resin of poppy plants. The pod of the poppy flower has a milky substance that is almost sap like. It is removed from the pod and refined then used to form morphine as well as various forms of heroin.

While many people think that heroin is a fairly new drug that has only been around since the 1970’s, the truth is, it’s been around for quite some time. It was actually first manufactured by the Bayer Pharmaceutical Company in 1898. It was marketed and used as a way to treat tuberculosis.

Heroin use can have multiple effects. Some of the short term effects include:

• Clouded Mental State
• Slower Breathing
• Nausea and/or Vomiting
• Drowsiness/Dizziness
• Lower Body Temperatures

Long term or lasting effects include:

• Bad Oral Health including Rotting Teeth and Gun Inflammation
• Cold Sweats
• Weakening of the Immune System
• Respiratory Trouble
• Muscle Weakness and/or Paralysis
• Memory Loss
• Depression
• Suicidal Thoughts
• Death

Common street names for heroin include brown sugar, black tar, red rock, dirt, smack and more. For addicts, it may seem as if heroin use is no big deal. They often love that rush or state of euphoria. Common signs of heroin use include:

• Runny nose or constant sniffing
• Slurred speech
• Needle marks in the arms or even between the toes
• Loss of motivation
• Slow deterioration of appearance

Heroin addiction is strong and those who use it continue to do so in order to not have to go through withdrawal. Life without heroin seems unbearable. However there is life after heroin. As with any drug, becoming clean is a process that takes time. It’s a mental and physical rejuvenation of the mind, body and soul.

Getting past heroin addiction is not something that someone can do on their own. The body when going through withdrawal can go through many stages. Admission to a rehabilitation center is highly advised. When it comes to the staff at a rehab center they are highly skilled individuals that will help the addict through the withdrawal phase as well as mentally prepare them for the road ahead after addiction. Every day is a struggle but with the right help there is life after addiction.

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