Author: Gary Jackson

Why Do People Use Heroin?

Heroin trafficking was virtually eliminated in the US during World War II because of temporary trade disruptions caused by the war. Japan’s war with China had cut the normal distribution routes for heroin and the war had generally disrupted the movement of opium. Possession of diamorphine for the purpose of trafficking is an indictable offense and subject to imprisonment for life. In the US, the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act was passed in 1914 to control the sale and distribution of diacetylmorphine and other opioids, which allowed the drug to be prescribed and sold for medical purposes. In 1924, the United States Congress banned its sale, importation, or manufacture.

This reduces the high that the person feels compared to the high they felt when first taking the drug—an effect known as tolerance. They might take more of the drug to try and achieve the same high. These brain adaptations often lead to the person becoming less and less able to derive pleasure from other things they once enjoyed, like food, sex, or social activities. Some turn to heroin because prescription painkillers are tough to get. Fentanyl, which is 50 times more potent than heroin, has snaked its way into other drugs like cocaine, Xanax and MDMA, widening the epidemic. Overdoses have passed car crashes and gun violence to become the leading cause of death for Americans under 55.

If taking drugs makes people feel good or better, what’s the problem?

Consequently, a person who never chose to be an addict ends up an addict (Hyman, 2009). Similarly, someone who has a second helping of dessert every night ends up 20 pounds heavier without any intention. Medications can make it easier to wean your body off heroin and reduce cravings. Buprenorphine and methadone work in a similar way to heroin, binding to cells in your brain called opioid receptors.

why do people take heroin

Those who take prescription opioids for conditions such as chronic pain can become physically dependent on the drug, and experience cravings and withdrawal symptoms upon stopping use. When these individuals can no longer refill their opioid prescriptions, they purchase heroin from the street to relieve cravings and withdrawal symptoms. As with other diseases and disorders, the likelihood of developing an addiction differs from person to person, and no single factor determines whether a person will become addicted to drugs. In general, the more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance that taking drugs will lead to drug use and addiction. Protective factors, on the other hand, reduce a person’s risk.

Does it pose a risk of addiction?

It can look like a white or brown powder, or a sticky black “tar.” It’s also called horse, smack, junk, and brown sugar, among other names. Treating heroin addiction must support the person from detox and withdrawal, into the latter stages of recovery in order to maintain sobriety. The cycle of abuse will continue until a person receives treatment, detoxes from heroin, and is finally able to live drug-free outside repetitive patterns that drive substance abuse.

why do people take heroin

Risk and protective factors may be either environmental or biological. Most drugs affect the brain’s “reward circuit,” causing euphoria as well as flooding it with the chemical messenger dopamine. A properly functioning reward system motivates a person to repeat behaviors needed to thrive, such as eating and spending time with loved ones.