The use of heroin is becoming an increasingly serious problem that is affecting many across the United States. The drug possesses highly addicting characteristics that come from injecting, snorting, or smoking the illegal substance. A common misconception associated with heroin is that snorting or smoking the drug holds less of a chance of becoming addicted. Heroin comes from morphine, which is extracted from the seedpod of a poppy plant. The white or brown powder, which has evolved over time, is sometimes referred to by many different street names, such as “junk,” “smack,” or “H.”
Effects of Heroin Abuse
When it comes to heroin abuse, users encounter both short-term and long-term effects associated with the drug. After a single dose, short-term effects appear soon after and fade within a few hours. After repeated use of heroin, long-term effects begin to settle in, where an individual may suffer from collapsed veins, a heart infection, liver disease, and cellulitis. A user may also develop poor health and a weakened immune system, which could lead to a variety of complications. A fatal overdose may occur, as well as contracting an array of diseases, such as HIV/AIDS from infected needles, and hepatitis. Depending on the kind of heroin used, blood vessels may become clogged, infections arise, or pulmonary reactions surface.
Getting Help for Heroin Addiction
Since serious withdrawal symptoms are associated with stopping the use of heroin, many users are reluctant to face these difficulties. A doctor may prescribe a synthetic opiate, such as methadone, to lessen the craving for the drug, as well as help with some of the withdrawal symptoms. A wide range of treatments are used to help individuals overcome their heroin addiction, including other forms of medication and therapy that taps into behavioral responses that explores the personal dependency or longing for the drug.
An array of support systems also adds to the success rate of recovering heroin addicts. The first step towards getting assistance for a heroin addiction is to ask for or accept help. One can turn to a family member, friend, doctor, or priest, who can then lead the way to the multitude of available services, including both inpatient and outpatient treatment options.