Heroin is a highly addictive opioid drug. It is made from the seed pods of the opium poppy plants native to Asia, Mexico, and Columbia. Depending on how it is manufactured, it can either be a white or brown powder. It may also be a black, sticky substance referred to as black tar heroin. Users can introduce heroin into the body in different ways. Heroin can be snorted, smoked, inhaled through the nose, or injected. Some people also mix heroin with crack cocaine to create a more potent drug. This practice is known as speedballing.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, just under one million American’s reported using heroin in the last year. Between 2009 and 2019, more than 70,000 American’s lost their lives to drug-involved overdose. Of those, approximately 15,000 can be explicitly attributed to heroin use.
The effects of heroin on the body are often very rapid. Heroin binds to specific opioid receptors on the brain, in the spinal column, and throughout the body. Opioid receptors are responsible for sensing and transmitting feelings of pain and pleasure. They are also involved in controlling breathing, heart rate, and sleeping patterns. When someone struggles with a heroin addiction, it can be difficult and dangerous to stop using without seeking help at a professional addiction treatment center like Relevance Recovery.
What Are the Signs of a Heroin Addiction?
When someone uses heroin, even for the first time, the risk for dependency and addiction is high. It does not take long for someone to develop a tolerance to the drug. Once this occurs, more frequent and higher doses are required to achieve the high they remembered from their first use. As tolerance builds, so does the risk for lasting effects and overdose. If you or a loved one experiences symptoms of heroin addiction, it is essential to seek help to achieve and maintain lasting sobriety.
Depending on the individual, the signs and symptoms of heroin addiction may be difficult to notice, at least early on. When someone starts using heroin, their symptoms may be mild; however, they often progress rapidly. Usually, the physical signs of heroin use are the easiest to notice as a user will quickly feel symptoms. After someone injects heroin, they will feel symptoms of euphoria and happiness, often within a matter of seconds. Other means of using heroin do not produce a reaction as quickly; however, signs and symptoms of “being high” will present once the drug reaches their brain. The most common physical symptoms of heroin use include dry mouth, flushed skin, constricted pupils, itching, vomiting, decreased respiratory rate, and gastric disturbances. Another common symptom that is easily noticed is constricted pupils. People who use heroin regularly need laxatives or stool softeners as ongoing use can cause chronic and severe constipation.
Phsycological and behavioral symptoms, although not as “visible,” also occur with heroin addiction. Some of the most common include new or worsening financial difficulties, drug-seeking behavior, the presence of drug paraphernalia, increased isolation, and new or worsening legal problems.
When To Pursue Outpatient Heroin Treatment Near Me
Chronic heroin addiction can lead to lasting physical and psychological effects. If you, a loved one, or a friend struggle with heroin addiction, seeking help at a professional addiction treatment center like Relevance Recovery is the safest way to begin your journey to sobriety. At Relevance Recovery, we understand addiction is a disease unique to the individual. It is vital to ensure that each treatment program is designed around the needs of the individual, not just their addiction. We offer many paths to recovery, including faith-based recovery, 12-Step Fellowship, SMART Recovery, Refuge Recovery, and more to ensure each of our clients can get well and recover from addiction in the most effective and comfortable way possible.
Contact our Freehold, NJ admissions team today if you would like to learn more about how Relevance Recovery can help you overcome heroin addiction.