Heroin Addiction

Image of Heroin


  • Heroin Information & Statistics
  • Signs & Symptoms of Heroin Addiction
  • Effects of Heroin Abuse
  • Long-Term Effects of Heroin Abuse
  • Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
  • Heroin Addiction Treatment
  • More Research and Information on Drugs of Abuse

  • Heroin Information & Statistics

    What is heroin?

    Heroin is an illegal drug that is highly addictive. The substance is made from morphine which is a natural product of the opium poppy plant. The morphine is then further chemically modified to become heroin. Despite its deserved negative reputation for its high risks, heroin continues to be a commonly abused drug in the US.

    The National Institue on Drug Abuse reports these U.S. based statistics from 2015:

    • More than 30,000 people died from overdosing on opioid drugs.
    • Nearly 14,000 people died from heroin overdose.
    • The total number of deaths from drug overdoses has more than doubled since 2002.

    Cocaine and Dollar Bill Slang terms for heroin include:

    • Black
    • Dope
    • Dragon
    • Horse
    • Junk
    • Mud
    • Smack
    • Tar

    More Info on Heroin

    Heroin is a depressant that is commonly abused for its sedative effects. It comes in the form of white or brown powder or as a tar-like substance. The drug is usually sniffed, injected or smoked.

    Many abusers will turn to intravenous injection because it is the fastest means to the high. When introduced to the brain, heroin converts to morphine and interacts with the opioid receptors in the brain. This is also coupled with an influx of pleasurable feelings, often referred to as a "rush". As a depressant, when the rush is over, the drug will make the individual very drowsy for hours. It also slows down body functions, such as heart rate and breathing.

    Overdosing can lead to respiratory failure where breathing is slowed to the point of death.

    Heroin is highly addictive. Its influence can be felt fastest of all opiates, which is why it is preferred among addicts. Extended drug abuse can lead to a dependent state or addiction. In this dire situation a heroin addiction sufferer will continue to use the drug not to get high, rather they take it to keep from getting sick from withdrawal.

    Some addicts choose to combine other opiates such as prescription drugs containing oxycodone or hydrocodone to continually have the opioid influence in the body at all times.

    Signs & Symptoms of Heroin Abuse

    Symptoms that someone is using heroin may include:

    • Sudden changes in behavior or actions
    • Constricted (small) pupils
    • Slowed heart rate
    • Shortness of breath
    • Feeling drowsy
    • Uncontrolled muscle tics
    • Noticeable personality changes from anziety and paranoia to irritability

    Effects of Heroin Abuse

    What are some of the effects of using heroin?

    • Increased tolerance resulting in the need for more heroin to feel the same results
    • Becoming physically dependent so that your body needs herioin just to feel normal
    • Decreased need for sleep
    • Decreased appetite

    High levels of the drug can increase risks of erratic behavior and psychosis, like anxiety or paranoia. Even the first-time use can lead to overdose, cardiac arrest or stroke. This can happen initially with first use, or even for a period afterwards

    The most dangerous effect of cocaine use is when it is combined with alcohol. This combined usage results in the body manufacturing cocaethylene, which intensifies the euphoric effect of cocaine, and significantly increases the risk of death.

    Short-term effects can lead to long-term problems, which can be very troublesome.

    Long-Term Effects of Heroin Abuse

    The long-term effects of heroin include:

    • Collapsed veins
    • Circulatory Problems
    • Bacterial Infection
    • Track marks
    • Abscesses
    • Infectious Disease

    Long-term use and abuse of heroin can lead to addiction and dependency to the drug. This can severely change the life and behavior of the individual to one who is constantly seeking and using the drug. This dependence can develop rather quickly with growing amounts of the drug used to get high. Higher dosages can also lead to lethal levels of the drug and overdosing.

    Intravenous users also have many risks that associate with the drug addiction that can affect them physically. Chronic abuse with needles can scar up the individual and collapse their veins. The use of non-sterile needles or misuse can lead to infections, and much worse, infectious diseases like hepatitis B or C, or HIV (AIDS). Chronic use can also complicate lung health. Respiration is greatly depressed under the influence of heroin which over time can lead to greater respiratory problems.

    Addicted individuals can also experience withdrawal when heroin or other opiates are not in the system. These symptoms can peak the first 1-2 days after use and can last many more days in those who have long-term struggles with dependence. Common side effects can occur in withdrawal such as, restlessness, insomnia, vomiting, aches/pains, and having goose bumps. This withdrawal is rarely fatal, but can be very difficult to deal on one's own. Addicts will continue to use opiate drugs even when they wish to stop to avoid experiencing these withdrawal symptoms.

    Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

    When Heroin abuse is stopped, an addicted individual can experience withdrawal over a period of time.

    Withdrawal symptoms include:

    • Intense heroin cravings
    • Profuse sweating (not explained by environment or physical activity)
    • Severe muscle and bone aches
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Feeling of heaviness
    • Intense cramping in limbs, resulting in “kicking”
    • Crying
    • Insomnia
    • Cold sweats
    • Chills
    • Runny nose
    • Diarrhea
    • Fever

    Heroin Addiction Treatment

    To ensure that successful recovery is obtained our program covers all facets of addiction treatment. Effective drug treatment and rehabilitation is coupled with a fully involved relapse prevention plan upon graduation from the facility. We are devoted to providing the necessary measures of care to our residents struggling with heroin addiction. Through this, they can have the many tools and experiences necessary to fully recover from heroin addiction.

    There is healing and recovery for those who suffer from heroin addiction. The mountains of this area have provided healing for centuries for those who came to them. We invite you to do the same, call our drug rehab center and get your life back again. The healing of the mountains is available for those in need of a heroin addiction program.

    The focus of treatment is on the individual, with therapy and programs that address their personal struggles with addiction. This is coupled with a long-term plan of action to continue care when treatment is completed. We encourage you to call today for an assessment at 1-800-582-0709.

    More Research and Information on Drugs of Abuse:
    Crack Addiction
    Heroin Addiction
    Marijuana Addiction
    Meth Addiction