Heroin Addiction is a serious medical disease. This drug is widely regarded as one of the most dangerous opiates. Unlike other narcotics in this family, which are sometimes prescribed medically for pain relief, it has almost no medicinal properties.
Addiction to heroin is becoming an increasingly common problem in the United States. While many people are introduced to opiates through prescription drugs like Percocet or Vicodin, once they switch to heroin, its highly addictive properties often make it the last drug they become addicted to.
If you or a loved one has a Heroin Addiction, it’s important to understand the characteristics and effects of the drug so you can begin to break free from the substance. Detoxification, as well as personalized treatment services for Heroin Addiction, are available at 7 Summit Pathways in Tampa.
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is an incredibly powerful opiate. This narcotic is made from morphine, which is naturally derived from the seeds of the opium poppy plant. It has a number of street names, including dope and smack. The Drug Enforcement Administration has classified heroin as a Schedule I drug. However, multiple drug trafficking organizations smuggle several types of heroin into the U.S.
The main ways people use heroin include:
Heroin affects the parts of the brain that control pleasure and relaxation, producing an intoxicating high. These effects, plus the way heroin changes the reward and motivation pathways in the brain, creates a high risk of addiction.
What Causes Heroin Addiction?
Like other opiates, heroin relieves pain. However, that’s not the reason most people use it. Its short-term ability to alleviate stress, anxiety and depression make the drug seem appealing. When someone repeatedly uses heroin, it changes the way the brain operates, causing impaired reasoning, cravings and eventually leading to withdrawal symptoms.
Today, heroin is more widely available than ever before. While some prescription opioids have the same effects, legitimate medications require a doctor’s prescription, making them more difficult to acquire than heroin. Plus, the street cost of other opiates can be three times more expensive. All this has lead to what many are claiming is a heroin epidemic in the United States.
Effects of Heroin Addiction
While many use heroin to enjoy its intense euphoric effects, the drug is notorious for its ability to cause addiction, painful withdrawal symptoms, adverse side effects and even cause death due to overdose.
Injecting heroin into a vein is medically unsafe. Those who illicitly use this drug often reuse needles, which puts them at the risk of developing a blood-borne disease like hepatitis or HIV.
Once the body becomes dependent on heroin, it can’t function properly without it. Those with a Heroin Addiction develop a physical reliance on the drug that can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Profuse sweating
- Crippling depression
- Intense anxiety
Many who struggle with an addiction to heroin also have relational consequences. Friends and family members may feel alienated or hurt, and relationships can shatter, leaving those who use the drug lonely and depressed.
As heroin addiction becomes more extensive, the drug can cause users to overdose. While medical intervention is possible, heroin overdose often leads to an early death.
How 7 Summit Pathways Can Help
Heroin Addiction can be crippling, and you may feel that you are completely helpless to break free. However, you are not alone. 7 Summit Pathways wants to help you discover your personal pathway to Recovery. Using evidence-based medical treatment, our compassionate team will work with you to break the chains of Heroin Addiction.
Here at 7 Summit Pathways, we focus on your individual needs to provide you with personalized, specialized medical care. Our addiction treatment — provided by Board-certified Addiction Medicine Physicians — integrates our therapeutic methodologies with the best prescribed medications, giving you the tools for long-term Recovery and transformation. We are what works.