Heroin is an illegal narcotic drug. Also known as an opiate or opioid, it is derived from morphine which comes from the seedpods of poppy plants. This drug can take various forms. The purest form is a bright white powder. However, it can also be a brown or nearly black powder, or a sticky brown or black tarry residue. These differences stem from impurities left in the drug after processing.
Treatment for drug addiction is widely available to those who are seeking it. For help finding a treatment center, call drug rehab Charleston SC at (877) 804-1531.
Not so many years ago, researchers and analysts noticed a trend in which heroin use and abuse was on the decline and anti-drug warriors thought they had cause to celebrate. However, recently the drug has made a strong resurgence and addiction is being treated more and more in drug treatment centers nationwide. Illegal drug manufacturers got savvy to the fact that heroin was too expensive for most illegal drug users. As such, there was a surge in less expensive forms of the drug on the illicit drug market and a rise in abuse and addiction.
Heroin is addictive because it has such a strong effect upon the nervous system and brain. When this drug enters the bloodstream it immediately activates the reward centers of the brain and causes the release of a flood of dopamine. This chemical is responsible for the euphoria that users feel when taking the drug. The brain and nervous system quickly stop performing this and other actions that are signaled by the drug as they adjust to the presence of opioids in the bloodstream and consider it to be the norm.
This adjustment, which can occur from only one or two uses of opioids, constitutes a chemical dependency, also known as a physical addiction.
While heroin can be consumed in different ways, the most common is through direct intravenous injection. This gets the drug straight into the bloodstream and the effects of the drug (including the potentially dangerous health effects) are nearly immediate. The powder forms of heroin, particularly the pure (bright white) heroin may also be smoked or snorted.
When a person begins abusing opioids, there are noticeable effects on their body and demeanor right away. The drug also can cause some major health effects when used and abused. Even one use or worse yet, an overdose can cause major health problems up to and including death. Some of the effects and health effects of heroin abuse are:
Effects of Opioid Use
Health Effects of Opioid Abuse
Heroin addiction is first treated with medical detox. In medical detox, all drugs and alcohol are gradually removed using medication and monitoring over time. Prescription medications like Suboxone may be administered to ease withdrawals and ensure that the body can adjust to functioning without heroin, rather than being shocked into intense and potentially dangerous withdrawals.
Treatment continues with therapy (individual and group) to help a recovering addict determine why they began abusing drugs and to learn to deal with those issues directly rather than through substance abuse. Therapy also aids a recovering addict to learn how to navigate the real world while avoiding relapse and avoiding substance abuse. Other treatments may include family therapy, art and music therapies, and even restorative yoga.