Heroin: The Most Addictive Drug?
Heroin is known as the most addictive drug ever, and with very good reason. Those who suffer from heroin addiction spend an average of $200 per day to maintain their habit. Although heroin comes from the natural-occurring morphine extracted from certain poppy plants, the effects are anything but natural. Sold as a white or brown powder or as a black sticky substance known as “black tar heroin,” the drug is highly addictive and often leads to cravings and intense withdrawal symptoms.
Effects of Heroin Addiction
Short-term effects of heroin use include rapid euphoria, clouded mental functioning, depressed respiration, suppression of pain, nausea and vomiting. Long-term users face the risk of abscesses, bacterial infections, collapsed veins, and an increased risk of infectious diseases. Heart infections in the lining and valves come with the territory, as do arthritis and other rheumatological problems.
Injecting heroin into the veins provides the most intense and quickest high, and addicted users may do so four or five times per day. Because needle use comes with an increased risk of disease and overdose, snorting or smoking the drug has increased 28 percent since 1999.
Once the initial effects of the drug kick in, users typically end up feeling drowsy for several hours. Their mental functioning remains clouded due to heroin’s effect on the central nervous system and their cardiac function slows down. Breathing becomes severely slow and depressed, sometimes to the point of death.
Users of Heroin
A total of 3.8 million people say they’ve tried heroin at least once, with men abusing heroin at a much higher rate than women. Eighty percent of the users are younger than 26, and one in three high school seniors say heroin is easy to obtain.
Rather than being one of the final stops on the road of addiction, heroin has now become one of the first drugs younger people try.
Preventing youth drug abuse is critical for keeping children and teens from trying an extremely dangerous drug like heroin. Heroin is the drug of choice for 14 percent of those entering rehabilitation centers and 600,000 Americans are in need of heroin addiction treatment.
Dangers Beyond Addiction
Intravenous drug users make up 80 percent of the new hepatitis infections that crop up every year in the U.S. Those who shoot heroin and other drugs face a high risk of contracting HIV, hepatitis B and C, and other diseases. This risk not only comes from sharing or reusing dirty syringes and needles, but also from risky sexual behaviors while they’re high or trying to score drugs.
Getting Help for Heroin Addiction
Many users are scared to enter a heroin addiction treatment program. They are worried about the pains of withdrawal, the judgment, and other aspects of treatment. We know this and want to assure users that there is hope, and treatment can work. Contact us today to learn about how we can help. Or, read more about common fears of people who need treatment and holistic methods of withdrawal that can ease the pain of this time.