Heroin addiction has become the most common opiate addiction on the planet. There are many reasons why individuals become addicted to heroin. At earlier ages the drug may be used so they are able to fit into what they believe to be the “cool crowd”. As adults addiction may begin because they are trying to mask their depression and not have to deal with pains that ill them. No matter the reason it must be known that heroin is one of the strongest drugs in the world and one can become addicted on their first us.
Heroin will leave a person feeling helpless and alone in a very short period of time. The drug will turn a normal person no matter age, color or background into a criminal a lire and one, that will do just about anything just so they can get more heroin.
What is Heroin
Heroin is a synthesized form of morphine, it is a natural substance extracted from the pod of the opium poppy plant. After processing heroin is a powder or a gummy substance, known as “black tar”. Heroin is considered the “miracle drug” killing any and all pain, and bringing relief to anyone in sorrow. Heroin is illegal in the United States even for medical use, in other countries heroin is used for severe trauma and end stage cancer patients.
How is Heroin Administered
Heroin is most commonly used intravenously but can also be snorted and smoked. The heroin being pushed on the streets today is so pure it can be snorted, which is attracting more young users. According to the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the number of current (past-month) heroin users aged 12 or older in the United States increased from 153,000 in 2007 to 213,000 in 2008. There were 114,000 first-time users of heroin aged 12 or older in 2008. Snorting heroin takes 5-8 minutes for the full effects to be felt. Smoking or using heroin intravenously the full effects can be felt within seconds.
Short Term Effects of Heroin
Soon after the use of heroin it enters the brain and is converted into morphine it then binds to the opioid receptors. The rush is a warm flushing of the skin and a feeling of euphoria followed by a feeling of nausea that could cause vomiting. Heroin also causes:
• Dry mouth
• Itching of the skin
• Cardiac functions to slow
• Slowness of breath
• Constricted pupils
• Reduced pain
• Nodding out (falling in and out of sleep)
A person who is addicted to heroin will not stop using the drug. Most people after addicted to heroin do not find the drug to be pleasurable anymore but need to keep using to prevent withdrawal. Users will become so preoccupied trying to find more heroin or how they’re going to get their next dose that it takes over their life, heroin becomes more important than their career and even their family.
Withdrawal from heroin can happen from being on a binge or if your addicted to heroin. Withdrawal symptoms could begin 6-12 hours after last use peaking 2-3 days later and becoming less intense for up to 7 days after last use. However some users have had withdrawal symptoms for a month and longer this is known as post acute withdrawal syndrome. For some the cravings for heroin are so severe they do not stop leading to death.
Being depressed, irritable and not wanting to be touched is a normal part of withdrawal. The euphoria during the high changes your brains natural chemicals and once the high is gone so are these chemicals and it usually takes up to 7 days for a user to feel normal again.
Help is Available
Science has taught us that both behavioral and cognitive therapy used together is the most effective approach. Cognitive-behavioral therapies are designed to change the persons expectations related to drug use and to increase a person’s skills; this therapy helps a person to successfully communicate with others and their surroundings. The therapy also teaches one to confront situations, deal with them and make correct decisions that will be fulfilling and rewarding for them.
The earlier addiction is treated, the better. Don’t wait for your loved one to hit bottom! Be prepared for excuses and denial with specific examples of behavior that has you worried. You can support a person with a substance abuse problem and encourage treatment, but you can’t force an addict to change. You can’t control your loved one’s decisions. Let the person accept responsibility for his or her actions, an essential step along the way to recovery for drug addiction.
Narconon Arrowhead can help. Narconon specializes in helping addicts become productive members of society again, using cognitive-behavioral therapies that are designed to individual needs.
Call today at 800-468-6933 for more information.