Author: Gary Jackson

Heroin Addiction & Facts How & Why Heroin Is Abused

Some people contract infectious diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis, from sharing needles. To stay off heroin, you must be vigilant in maintaining your physical and mental health after leaving a treatment program. Heroin is an illegal drug that people use for its euphoric effects. However, it can lead to addiction and cause severe side effects and withdrawal symptoms. Treatment for heroin addiction involves medication and behavioral therapy.

Some people may have to remain on medications indefinitely; for others, a doctor may taper them off. But doctors don’t know when the brain has reset itself and is no longer at high risk for substance use. You’re now addicted to opioids and you no longer take the drug to get high, but to escape feeling low. The brain has adopted a new form of compulsion that can reassert itself even after years of sobriety. The brain’s response to these chemical changes make life difficult without the drug.

What to do if Someone You Love is Misusing Heroin?

Rehab that includes residential care, opioid medications, counseling and a variety of support systems is usually necessary for recovery from heroin addiction. If someone is addicted to heroin, (especially if they are a long-term user), you should try to get them into a treatment facility as soon as possible. Most people with a heroin addiction will require a combination of medical care, counseling, behavioral therapy, and social support to achieve lasting recovery from their addiction. A quality addiction treatment facility will have the tools and expertise to avoid or address these symptoms through medical detox. Recovery from heroin addiction should be comprehensive, including an inpatient and/or outpatient treatment program following detox. Detox alone is not a treatment for addiction, but simply the first step in an ongoing recovery journey.

  • Here’s a basic rundown of what to know about using heroin, including how long it stays in your system, side effects, and signs of an overdose.
  • A person should speak with a healthcare professional if they are thinking of stopping using heroin.
  • Bayer actually marketed heroin as medication to treat cough in the early 1900s.
  • People who misuse opioids such as heroin may have an opioid use disorder (OUD).

Then, for several hours, you feel as if the world has slowed down. Snorting heroin delivers a large portion of the drug to the brain. It also gets the drug to the brain more quickly than if heroin was swallowed. Smoking heroin is one of the fastest ways to get the drug to the brain, according to the Genetic Science Learning Center. Scoring the next fix feels like a race against the clock of withdrawal. It makes no sense, but this compulsion takes over all logic, judgment and self-interest.

Treatment for Heroin Addiction

In some cases, people who are addicted to heroin use rubber tubing or elastic bands as tourniquets to make their veins larger. This helps them inject heroin into veins that have been damaged by regular heroin use. Here’s a basic rundown of what to know about using heroin, including how long it stays in your system, side effects, and signs of an overdose. One example is Narcotics Anonymous, which runs a 12-step group program to aid recovery from addiction to substances such as heroin. Support groups and services are widely available in the U.S. People with addiction and their family members may find support groups to help them cope with stress and issues that may occur due to heroin use.