Simply put, heroin addiction takes control over life. There’s no such thing as a recreational heroin user — at least not for long. Undoubtedly, those who start using heroin recreationally soon find the drug becomes more important than work, family and everything in between. If you or your loved one is ready to put an end to heroin addiction, call American Addiction Centers today at
What is Heroin?
Heroin is a highly addictive drug that, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, is the most widely abused and rapidly-acting of the opiate class of drugs. The name “opiate” is derived from the ingredients found in the opium poppy plant. Other opiates include morphine and the prescription drugs oxycodone and hydrocodone.
Street names for heroin include: Smack, Big H, Hell Dust, and Nose Drops (liquefied heroin). Heroin mixed with cocaine is sometimes referred to as Dragon Rock, while heroin mixed with Marijuana is sometimes called A-Bomb.
How is heroin consumed?
Heroin, which usually appears as a white or brown powder, can be injected, smoked or sniffed/snorted. Injecting the drug is the most effective way to get high from low-purity heroin, but injecting heroin also carries serious health risks. The sharing of needles has lead to the spread of both HIV/AIDS and hepatitis in heroin users.
The scare of diseases spread through needles has led some heroin users to snort a higher-purity form, but snorting the drug doesn’t avoid the possibility of a fatal overdose. The National Institute on Drug Abuse researchers have confirmed that all forms of heroin are addictive.
How widespread is heroin use?
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 3.8 million Americans aged 12 or older reported trying heroin at least once in their lifetimes. In 2007, there were 106,000 new, first-time heroin users, representing 1.5% of the U.S. population aged 12 or older.
What are heroin’s short-term effects?
Heroin users will feel the euphoria associated with the drug (also known as the “rush”) soon after a single dose, with the feeling disappearing a few hours later. During that high, the feelings experienced by users including:
- A warm flushing of the skin
- Dry mouth
- Heavy arms and legs
According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, the euphoria phase is followed by the user going “on the nod” — an alternately wakeful and drowsy state. Basic mental functions become difficult during this stage, with the user exhibiting signs including:
- Slowed and slurred speech
- Slowed gait
- Droopy eyelids
- Impaired night vision
What are heroin’s long-term effects?
Long-term, continued heroin addiction has serious health consequences. According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, these include:
- Infection of the heart lining and valves
- Pulmonary complications, including various types of pneumonia
- Clogging of the blood vessels that lead to the lungs, liver, kidneys or brain, causing infection or death
- Physical dependence and addiction, including severe withdrawal symptoms when the user attempts to quit
- Liver disease
- Higher tolerance to the drug. This forces the user to ingest higher amounts of heroin to achieve the same high – increasing the risk of a fatal overdose
The Drug Abuse Warning Network estimates that in 2006, heroin was involved in 189,780 U.S. emergency room visits. Call American Addiction Centers today at 877-640-1943 for more information on heroin addiction treatment.
What are the risks of heroin addiction during pregnancy?
According to the Western Journal of Medicine, heroin addiction during pregnancy is associated with several significant medical complications including malnutrition, third-trimester bleeding, hepatitis, mental retardation and behavioral abnormalities. If you or someone you know is pregnant, the time to stop using heroin is now.
Why is heroin addiction so hard to overcome?
A key reason many heroin addicts fail in their attempts to quit is that the drug carries serious withdrawal symptoms so unpleasant that many users return to heroin just to make the feelings of sickness go away. Withdrawal symptoms include:
- Muscle and bone pain
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Cold flashes with goose bumps
- Severe craving for the drug
These withdrawal symptoms can begin as early as a few hours after the last dose of heroin, and symptoms usually peak between 48 and 72 hours after the last dose. Symptoms often completely subside after about one week.
Heroin addiction treatment is the answer.
Heroin addiction treatment has a proven track record of helping users overcome their addiction and return to happy, healthy lives. Treatment is so important because during the heroin detox period, users will receive medications that make withdrawal symptoms much easier to manage.
Heroin addiction treatment does more than simply rid the body of this vicious drug. After detox, our comprehensive drug rehab services help clients get to the root causes of their addiction — the emotional and psychological issues that led them to substance abuse. This prevents a former heroin addict from turning to alcoholism or some other form of drug abuse.
At American Addiction Centers, our Treatment Consultants will work with you to place you or your loved one in a high-quality heroin addiction treatment facility that rises above industry standards. Call ustoday at 877-640-1943.
No matter your insurance, be it Cigna, Aetna, Humana, Blue Cross / Blue Shield (BCBS), Assurant, Unicare, United Health Care, Anthem, Carefirst, Asuris Northwest Health, Golden Rule, Celtic Insurance, Fortis, Health Net, Kaiser, Vista, Shelter, Wellpoint, Tri Care, Accordia or even Medicare, and state insurance — we can help you find heroin addiction treatment. We also offer many affordable self pay options as well as luxury heroin rehab.