Heroin is one of the most destructive drugs available on the street. It is a narcotic and highly addictive. Many people think they will just try it, not knowing the risk is simply too great. In just a few uses, heroin can cause even the most casual user to develop a tolerance to the drug. The high is too strong to ignore, and it leaves them craving more of the drug. In many cases, this develops into full-blown heroin addiction.1
So how does this happen? When a narcotic drug like heroin is introduced into the body, the drug usurps this natural chemical process in our brains, replacing our neurotransmitters, which send extremely high levels of pleasure to the brain. When the brain feels this, it responds by wanting more. The more it wants, the more it needs, the more it cannot function without it.
Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Addiction
Individuals using heroin develop physical symptoms from abusing the drug rather quickly. They crave more and more of it and become consumed with feeding their craving. As the body becomes more tolerant to the drug’s effects, the potential for overdose is very serious.
Heroin addiction symptoms range from a noticeable decrease in personal hygiene, mental sluggishness, and changes in routine behaviors and relationships to the neglect of financial responsibilities,manipulating or lying to cover their whereabouts.
Family members of those who use heroin are also in danger because of the volatile nature of the addiction. Many people addicted to heroin aren’t able to sustain legitimate work. They borrow, then steal money and valuables from family and friends and often turn to crime, drug dealing or even prostitution to support their habit. Their behavior becomes more unpredictable, even erratic, which can be unsafe within a family environment. Children are in particular danger because of their vulnerability to early exposure and their lack of ability to care for themselves.
When a person uses more and more heroin, the natural neurotransmitter process eventually shuts down within the body. If the person goes too long without heroin, the body goes through excruciating pain and discomfort through withdrawal. That is why it is important to seek help for heroin withdrawal.
Because of the nature of heroin, it can be very dangerous to detox on your own. Medically supervised detox at a rehab center gives those struggling with heroin addiction medicines to aid in the withdrawal process. This is the safest and most comfortable chance at long-term recovery.
Hope Beyond Heroin
If you or a loved one is suffering from heroin addiction, we want to help. Michael’s House is a residential heroin addiction treatment center. Our respected treatment professionals understand the special needs of those who are suffering from a heroin addiction and can walk with you through the entire rehab journey—from detox to aftercare. Call us at Michael’s House on our 24-hour, toll-free helpline today for more information.
1 “What is heroin?” National Institute on Drug Abuse. July 2017. Accessed 25 October 2017.