What is heroin addiction?
Heroin is an opiate drug that can be injected, smoked, or snorted. It’s made from morphine, which is extracted from the seedpod of the Asian poppy plant or other types of poppies. Heroin abuse is a serious problem, and it’s important to get help now. The experienced clinicians at rehabilitation centres are ready to help you on your journey toward a life in recovery.
What is heroin addiction?
Heroin is a highly addictive drug derived from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of the Asian poppy plant. Heroin abuse is a growing problem in the United States and South Africa. In 2014, nearly half a million Americans abused or became dependent on heroin. This is an increase from 2013 when 467,000 people were abusing or dependent on the drug.
Heroin acts as a depressant in your brain and spinal cord—putting you into what’s called “an opiate high.” When you use heroin, it binds to proteins called opioid receptors on nerve cells in your brain and spinal cord that are involved with controlling pain and emotions; this triggers effects such as euphoria and slowed breathing rate (sedation). These effects can last 3-5 hours before wearing off—and during this time, you’ll feel extremely drowsy (or even pass out) if you don’t get more of the drug or another source of fuel to keep your body going (e.g., food or sleep).
How does heroin affect the body?
Heroin is a powerful drug derived from the poppy plant. It’s an opiate, which means it binds to receptors in your brain and causes morphine-like effects. When you take heroin, it floods your system with dopamine—a chemical produced by the brain that makes you feel good and gives you a sense of pleasure or reward. The initial rush can make you feel euphoric and relaxed, but this feeling doesn’t last long.
Heroin abuse quickly develops into addiction when people develop a tolerance for the drug, leading them to use more of it each time they try to get high. This can have serious physical repercussions on your body: Your heart rate increases and breathing becomes shallow; nausea may occur as well as vomiting and diarrhea; constipation is common too because heroin suppresses bowel movements (the opposite effect of many legal painkillers).
As with any habit-forming substance, there’s always going to be withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit using heroin after prolonged use—and these symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable for some people who have been addicted for years!
Long-term effects of heroin use
Heroin use can lead to chronic diseases, such as pneumonia and hepatitis. It can also damage your liver or kidneys, leading to liver disease and kidney failure.
Heroin use can cause you to develop an infection that may be life-threatening if left untreated.
Long-term heroin use also leads to tolerance and dependence, both of which make quitting heroin more difficult than it would be otherwise. As your body becomes accustomed to the drug’s effects—and begins to depend on them—the body needs the drug in order for it function properly. When you stop using heroin after becoming addicted, you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms like nausea or vomiting, muscle cramps and flu-like symptoms that make quitting much more difficult than if you had never used drugs at all.
Treatment for heroin addiction
There are many options to treat heroin addiction, but it’s important to know that successful treatment takes time and commitment. In most cases, it takes at least six months of treatment before someone can begin to see the benefits of their recovery.
One method of treating heroin addiction is medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which uses methadone or buprenorphine to reduce cravings and symptoms of withdrawal during detox. These medications are used as part of a comprehensive plan that includes cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and group support meetings. The goal is for patients to learn how to live without using heroin by gaining control over their use instead of letting the drug control them.
Another approach is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This type of counselling helps people understand how their thoughts affect feelings and behaviours—and teaches them healthier ways for coping with stressors in life without resorting back to drug use. It may also include family therapy if family members have been affected by a loved one’s substance abuse issues
The experienced clinicians at rehabilitation centres are ready to help you on your journey toward a life in recovery.
If you are ready to make a change in your life, it’s important that you have the right support network. Your treatment team and family members who are supporting you through treatment will help create a structured plan for recovery. This could include:
- Individual therapy sessions with a therapist
- Group counseling sessions with other patients and therapists
- Medical assessments by doctors or nurses
After the initial detoxification period, patients may be eligible for one of the many types of treatment programs at rehab centres. These include inpatient care and outpatient care, as well as intensive outpatient services. In addition to these options, there are also various post-rehab programs available to help you stay sober after leaving rehab centre care.