Heroin: An Overview

Heroin is considered an opioid drug that is derived from morphine.  Morphine is a natural substance that is taken from the seed of an opium poppy plant.  Heroin usually comes in a white or brown powder, or as a black and sticky substance also referred to as “tar heroin.”  This particular substance is considered as one of the top most highly addictive drugs known to man.  Additionally, if one were to overdose on heroin, he or she may be in a very risky situation.  Heroin is typically abused by either injecting it into the body by a needle, snorting it up the nose or smoking it.  All three of these methods cause the same form of addiction, along with the associated health issues. Nicknames for Heroin  The following is a list of nicknames that the drug heroin is referred to as:

  • Smack
  • Brown Sugar
  • Dope
  • H
  • Junk
  • Skunk
  • White Horse
  • China White
  • Mexican Black Tar

Risks Associated with Heroin Use The reason why heroin is so addictive is because it enters the brain almost as soon as it is used.  According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), nearly one-fourth of all individuals who try heroin become addicted instantly.  Over time with continuous use, people who abuse heroin end up developing a tolerance to the effects, meaning that they require more of the drug to experience the same high and feelings. The withdrawals associated with heroin use occur when the individual becomes dependent upon it.  Withdrawal symptoms can include muscle and joint pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and more.  Withdrawal symptoms can occur within hours of quitting the use, making it very difficult to quit cold turkey. Additionally, heroin affects breathing patterns, which is why many users are at risk for overdose and death.  Other issues and risks that are associated with heroin use are that of blood clots which can form in the lungs, liver, heart, brain and other bodily organs, simply because heroin dissolves and enters into the bloodstream. Long-Term Effects of Heroin Use It is very well known that heroin destroys the body, not over an extended period of time, but in a short period of time.  Heart infections along the lining of the heart are common among heroin users, as well as the heart’s valves.  Other long-term effects include diseases of the liver, lungs, hepatitis and HIV/Aids from used needles. Treating a Heroin Addiction  There are several treatment options that are available to those who have a chronic dependence on heroin.  Options include behavioral therapies and medications, which are highly effective of treating and helping the patient’s addiction.  The main goal is to provide a healthier, happier, sober life again to the individual. Methadone and buprenorphine are two highly effective medications that may be administered to addicted users of heroin.  Both of these medications work by binding to the same cell receptors as that of heroin.  However, this binding is much weaker than that of heroine and helps the individuals to wean themselves free from the drug.  Another effective drug includes that of naltrexone.  Naltrexone blocks heroin receptors and prevents it from further damaging the individual. However, if you or a loved one is experiencing an addiction to heroin, then this is considered a very serious issue.  At A1 Behavioral Health Center, we are here to provide exceptional treatment to those with drug and substance addictions.  Our staff is very happy to walk down this path with you and provide the utmost care during treatment.  If you would like, please give our office a call.  We would love to tailor a treatment program to your heroin addiction needs.   Drug Rehab Heroin Miami

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