Heroin Addiction and Withdrawal
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is derived from the opium poppy flower, which is often found in Mexico, Asia, and South America. It is very addicting and has been prohibited in the United States of America since 1924. It might take on the appearance of a white or brown powder or a sticky black “tar.” Additionally, it is referred to as horse, smack, crap, and brown sugar.
How Hroin Is Administered?
Numerous individuals smoke or snort heroin. The majority of users inject it directly into their veins. This is the riskiest method of administration, as it is simpler to overdose and you risk contracting a disease via a filthy needle.
Regardless of the route of administration, heroin rapidly enters the brain.
Additionally, it is quite easy to become addicted. Even if you only use it once or twice, it can be difficult to refrain from using it again. You get a rush of positive emotions and happiness immediately after using heroin. Then, for several hours, you have the impression that time has stood still. You may think slowly and walk gently as well. According to some users, you feel as if you’re in a dream.
Heroin prevents your body from receiving pain signals and causes your pulse rate and respiration to slow. If you take an excessive amount, you may cease breathing and die. Many people begin using heroin to cope with anxiety, worry, and other sources of stress.
Why Is Heroin Use Growing in Popularity?
Since 2007, the number of Americans who use heroin has continuously increased.
One factor contributing to the increase is the increasing usage of prescription opioids such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, both of which are derived from the poppy plant and are chemically similar to heroin. Individuals who abuse these medications may want a stronger, more affordable high. Heroin is both of these. However, it is riskier.
There is no way to determine what you are ingesting or its strength.
Between 2010 and 2017, the death rate from heroin overdose in the United States increased approximately 400%. Some of these deaths occur as a result of heroin being laced with other substances, such as the highly addictive opioid fentanyl.
What Are the Effects of Heroin?
Short-term effects of heroin include:
- A dry mouth
- Warm, flushed skin
- Arms and legs that feel heavy
- Upset stomach and vomiting
- A fuzzy brain
- Switching in and out of drowsiness (this is often called being “on the nod”)
Long-term heroin use can lead to:
- Collapsed veins
- Infections of your heart lining and valves
- Skin infections like abscesses and cellulitis
- A higher chance of getting HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C
- Liver and kidney disease
- Mental disorders
- Lung diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis
- Menstrual problems and miscarriage
If you abuse heroin regularly, your body develops a tolerance to it. However, this does not imply it will not harm you. This implies you’ll have to take more and more to have the same effect. Your body becomes reliant on it. When you stop taking it, you may have withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Bone and muscular pain
- Cold flashes
- Uncontrollable leg movements
Treatment for Heroin Addiction
Your medical team can assist you in determining the most effective treatment strategy for you. Medicine and behavioral treatment will likely be used. According to experts, medication-assisted therapy (MAT) is the “gold standard” of care for those struggling with heroin addiction.
Medications can aid in the process of weaning the body off heroin and decreasing cravings. Buprenorphine and methadone function similarly to heroin by attaching to opioid receptors in the brain. These medications are both safer and more effective than heroin. Naltrexone inhibits these receptors, rendering opioids such as heroin ineffective. This detracts from the enjoyment of utilizing them.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches you to pay attention to the thoughts and behaviors associated with drug use. It teaches you how to manage more effectively with stress and other stressors. Another kind of therapy known as contingency management gives rewards such as vouchers or money if you can remain drug-free for a specified period.
What to Do if You Think Someone Is Using Heroin
A heroin user may not appear to be “on drugs.” They may just appear drowsy. Addicts usually always deny their use.
If you suspect a friend or family member is abusing heroin, do not wait for things to improve on their own. Act immediately. The sooner a person receives assistance, the better.
Sustaining recovery is the most significant and gratifying experience of your life, but it is not always easy or pleasant. Mountain Peak Recovery meets people where they are in their recovery to honor their needs. No two people are the same; therefore, our certified doctors give both traditional and alternative treatments. Our facility in Spanish Fork, Utah, will offer you the comfort and tranquility you need to create the tools for your recovery. Of course, if you need support at any time during your recovery, we provide 24/7 admissions so there is never a bad moment to call. You may receive assistance now if you’re struggling to stay sober or get treatment. For additional information, contact (801) 824-8829.