Why is Heroin Addictive?
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Why is Heroin Addictive?
Heroin is an illegal drug that can be ingested in a few different ways.
It can be injected, sniffed, snorted, or smoked.
Heroin is highly addictive. Why is heroin addictive?
Heroin is derived from opioids, and it binds to the opioid receptors in the brain.
This leads to feelings of pleasure and false happiness from use.
It also slows breathing and can result in heavy feelings of arms and legs.
Users can go unconscious briefly after using it.
Heroin floods the brain with the feel-good chemical of dopamine and immediately changes how the brain processes what is happening.
This feeling of artificial pleasure and happiness is imprinted on the brain.
Our bodies are designed to recreate things that feel good.
This intensity of euphoria can lead many individuals to want more with a single-use forever.
This immediate effect on the brain makes heroin an extremely dangerous drug and puts users at a high risk of addiction after even one use.
For more information on heroin, click here.
Understanding Heroin Addiction
Dependence on heroin can build quickly. But why is heroin addictive?
After the first use, the brain almost immediately wants more. The second and third uses may not feel the same level of happiness as you did with the very first try. As a result, you may have tried to use more heroin. This further increased tolerance and desire to use more and more in order to reach that highest point. The hard truth is that the desired highest point will never successfully be reached. This cycle of searching for more and more can easily lead to a fatal overdose.
Heroin addiction can have a variety of symptoms.
Some are included below:
- Erratic behavior
- Mood swings
- Getting drugs becomes a high priority
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Weight loss
- Aggressive behavior
Heroin use can make your pupils very small, almost pinpoint. If heroin is injected, someone may have track marks on their arms or feet. Heroin can be very difficult to stop using once you become addicted. Withdrawal can happen as quickly as a few hours after the last use. Withdrawal can be very unpleasant, and many users report using again just to hold off withdrawal symptoms. This starts a cycle of using, chasing a high, going into withdrawal, using again, etc. It can be an endless circle of trying to regain control of your life.
If you are addicted to heroin, professional help is suggested. We can assist with easing the withdrawal symptoms and put you on the path towards recovery.
Effects and Abuse of Heroin
What can we do to help someone who is hooked on heroin? Someone who is living with drug addiction, and those around them can have hope that recovery is possible. More information can be obtained here.
Continued drug abuse can alter the chemical pathways in the brain and can lead to distorted thinking. Continued heroin use will affect almost every part of the body. Without treatment, the effects of drug abuse can be permanent.
Drug abuse can alter behaviors. It can sometimes be difficult to “find” the person that existed before heroin use started. Some examples of behaviors of drug abuse are:
- Itchy, nervous, pacing behavior
- Inability to make decisions
- Loss of self-control
- Secretive or unexplained activity
- Sleepiness or very slow movements immediately after using
Behaviors can be the biggest indicator of whether or not addiction is present. If drug abuse is causing issues in a loved one’s life, heroin addiction may be present. Heroin generally causes issues in the user’s life.
Many find that they live to get a supply of heroin once they become addicted. This cycle of addiction can be exhausting to maintain. We can help you lift this burden of addiction and move towards a clean and sober life.
Mental Illness and Heroin Addiction
Are mental illness and heroin use related? In over half of the people struggling with a heroin addiction, the answer is yes. Having a mental illness such as depression or anxiety can make a loved one more vulnerable to the effects of heroin use. At times heroin use can be used to self-medicate an existing mental health issue.
An undiagnosed mental condition can lead to attempts to feel better by using other external illegal substances. When the underlying condition is treated, this can help relieve the desire to search for relief.
Heroin use can seem like an option to cope with difficult emotions; however, this introduces other more dangerous effects. Treating both mental health and addiction is important for long term recovery.
As tolerance develops and addiction grows, the effects of heroin on the brain can lead to new mental health issues that become intertwined with the addiction. It is important to screen for these in all cases of heroin addiction. Half of the time, a mental health issue will be discovered, and treatment can be initiated.
Treatment of Heroin Addiction
Have you ever thought to yourself, “I need heroin?” If you answered yes, you are most likely physically dependent on heroin and may have an addiction.
There is evidence that drug abuse can be contagious within families. Behaviors of drug abuse in a household with heroin abuse can be dangerous not only for the user but also for young family members.
From 2014-2017 the United States experienced a decrease in life expectancy partially due to drug abuse. The increase in mortality was seen in young and middle-aged adults, with illicit drug abuse being the suspected cause. Heroin use is dangerous, unpredictable, and can easily result in an unexpected death.
The effects of heroin use can be seen in every area of a loved one’s life. Treatment is essential to stop the damaging impacts of addiction and to move towards health and stability. If you have a desire to have a life without heroin, you have made the first step towards a healthier life.
Treatment of heroin addiction can involve inpatient treatment at a rehab center, medical detox, counseling, transition to a sober house, and continuing outpatient treatment. A 12-Step group such as narcotics anonymous may also be a helpful recovery tool.
To prepare yourself for a new life without heroin, you may need to make significant changes in your life. We can assist you in beginning this process and learning new coping strategies. Quitting using is not recovery.
Healing and committing to a new sober life to gain control of your life and long-term success.
It can be very difficult to determine when abuse moves to addiction. With heroin, use frequently leads to both a mental and physical addiction. Professional help is available for you to learn about your addiction and learn how to break free of a life controlled by heroin.
The best investment you can make is in yourself. If you want help but are not sure you can pay for it, let us do the legwork for you. We provide free insurance verification for treatment.
If you have limited funds and need additional advice on the best option for you, let us help. We have trained financial counselors who can assist you in understanding the financial options for treatment.
How to Get Help
The first step is to ask for help.
At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we provide a thorough assessment of any addictions and determine an individualized plan for you.
Recovery is possible.
If you have tried everything and are tired of juggling bad news, give us a call.
We can provide you with the professional help you deserve.