The name heroin comes from the German word “Herosich” which means heroic.
“Developed by a chemist in 1874 the drug was said to give users a feeling of heroics. The is the high that addicts continue to chase today.”
Heroin is derived morphine and it effects the potency of morphine and is highly addictive even after only one to two uses. It can produce significant psychological and physical addictions for the human body that alter the internal settings of the blood stream.
Heroin Addiction Overview
Heroin is a fast acting drug and can cross the blood-brain barrier very quickly and enter the brain much faster than morphine. Injection is the most common method of taking heroin.
It is dissolved in water and injected with a needle into the vein or under the muscle. The effect are felt within 7 to 8 seconds. Smoking and snorting heroin is becoming more popular as it less risking the injection but has the same addiction affects as injection.
Heroin addicts will inject or smoke the substance 2-4 times a day. Heroins intense high lasts a only a few minutes and the full effect will wear off in 3-5 hours.
Effects of Heroin
Short term effects include:
- Intense feelings of euphoria (heroic feeling)
- Going into a dreamlike state
- Mental Impairment
Long term effects can include:
- Increase of doses leads to dependency
- Collapsed veins
- Liver disease
- lung diseases
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Heroin Addiction Statistics
There has been an increase in heroin use over the last few years in the United States because of the prescriptions for opioid painkillers. Users become addicted to the pain medication and once their prescription runs out they are forced to look for alternative methods of relief. And heroin is the most accessible option.
- Heroin use has increased 5x over the past decade.
- The demographic with the biggest increase are white males aged 18 to 45.
- The drug is responsible for the spread of diseases like hepatitis C and HIV.
- 50% of drug overdose deaths involve heroin.
Heroin Addiction Symptoms
Once heroin use becomes regular the user is an addict and the drug can start to take serious control over the person’s life. The body becomes fully dependent on the drug and without it the addict will feel sick. As such physical dependence and and the emergence of withdrawal symptoms are early symptoms of heroin addiction. Along with the following:
- Alternating between drowsy or wakeful states
- Reddening of white eyes
- Constricted pupils
- Dry mouth
- Shallow breathing
- Needles marks
- Scaring or bruising of veins
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Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
Heroin is one of the most difficult drugs to give up and it almost always requires professional help at a rehab facility. Mainly because withdrawal can be extremely painful and even life threatening for the addict. It can trigger many unpleasant symptoms that make the addict reluctant to try and overcome the addiction.
Heroin withdrawal has two different treatment options. The first is to substitute heroin with a prescription drug that contains opiates and is not addictive. Overtime the dosage is reduced to smaller and smaller amounts day over day until the point where the medication is no longer needed to be taken.
The second involves the use of clonidine. This medication decreases many of the symptoms of heroin withdrawal so that the addict does not feel extremely sick.
If you are concerned about the side effects of heroin withdrawal and need help, call Addiction Help Today.
The symptoms of heroin withdrawal include:
- Nausea & Vomiting
- Cramps & Sweating
- High blood pressure
- Extreme feelings of unwell
- Muscle pain & Restlessness
- Diarrhea & Insomnia