How Easy Is It to get Addicted to Heroin?
Heroin is a powerful opioid that is considered a ‘street drug.’
The National Institute on Drug Abuse says of opioids, “They reduce the intensity of pain signals reaching the brain and affect those brain areas controlling emotion, which diminishes the effects of a painful stimulus.”
Often times, when people think of heroin addiction, they picture low-bottom users who live on the street or people in dark alleyways huddled in the corner with syringes.
The truth is that anyone can become addicted to heroin.
People who thought they would never touch the drug find themselves seeking it out, often as a cheaper and more easily obtained substitute for prescription painkillers. A pain pill dependency can swiftly turn into a full-blown heroin addiction when the user makes the switch to the street drug.
Heroin can be smoked, snorted as a powdered mixture often called Cheese or Chiva, or injected.
What might start out as an experimental experience can quickly become a debilitating habit. A person’s body becomes used to having the drug and has an extremely distressing reaction when that chemical is taken away. This is called withdrawal. The physical symptoms can include overall restlessness, aches and pains in the bones, flu-like symptoms, diarrhea, vomiting, and uncompromising discomfort.
From a loved one’s perspective, this is horrendous to witness.
When the physical dependency is combined with the mentally and emotionally addictive properties of the drug, one can readily see how easy it is to get addicted to heroin.
If you are the parent, child, sibling, friend, or significant other of someone who is using heroin, you can offer them help providing them treatment options. Whether a person has been using heroin for a very short time or a very long time, hope and help are available.
Getting your loved one to agree to treatment is a first step.
Many places offer alcohol and drug detox before residential treatment, and this is the best bet for someone addicted to heroin. Detoxification takes place in a medically supervised setting where the person can be monitored and kept comfortable.
What are opioids? (n.d.). Retrieved December 1, 2015.
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