Every person experiences drugs and their addictions differently, but many drugs have attributes with similar symptoms and effects. Heroin can be particularly addictive, with over half a million people having been reported using it in 2017. In that same year, over 15,000 people died from a heroin overdose.
How do so many people become addicted to this drug, and how easily can it happen? The answer may frighten you—some can become addicted as quickly as the first use of it. Even if a person tries out of sheer curiosity, one injection, snort, or smoke can change their life forever.
The Effects of Heroin
Heroin is highly addictive. Though how easily addicted an individual is to a substance varies from person to person and the purity of the drug. Heroin can easily become addictive with a single shot, snort or smoke. Once heroin enters the body, it travels to the brain and quickly begins to alter the nervous system.
Inside the brain, heroin changes into morphine and hinders your perception of both pain and pleasure. By dulling your senses, it can offer a sense of relief but also present new dangers. Parts of your brain that control blood flow, heart rate, memory, motor skills, emotions and reaction time become incapacitated. This does not just make the body difficult to function, but even puts yourself and others in danger.
Consequences of a Heroin Addiction
Heroin can be used for many recreational and medical purposes, such as a rush of euphoria and relief from anxiety. These highs are part of what keep people coming back for more.
Heroin, however, has many drawbacks, symptoms, and long-term effects that can be detrimental to your health. Abuse of heroin can create health problems such as liver and kidney disease, seizures, and infections, including HIV and Hepatitis.
Even if just used once or in the short term, heroin can backfire and cause additional problems. These include but are not limited to:
- Shortness of breath
- Mood swings
- Weight loss
- Skin damage
- Avoiding friends and family
Stopping a Heroin Addiction
Talking about ending an addiction is easy, but taking action is what makes recovery challenging. There are several steps to addiction rehabilitation: detoxification, inpatient and/or outpatient therapy, and post-recovery.
Detoxification alone may take about a week, but the process itself is grueling. Symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, headaches, and even seizures can make recovery feel simply impossible. Moreover, the tragedy of it all is just a single dose of heroin that can jumpstart these problems. But this does not mean recovery is completely hopeless.
In the worst circumstances, health insurance or even your employer can provide assistance for recovery. Reaching out to family and friends can build a support system needed to power through recovery and build your morale.
If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin addiction, contact a local Treatment & Rehab alternative in Tennessee. You might be interested in Discovery Place’s own treatment center alternatives, such as our 30 Day Residential Addiction Alternative Recovery Program or our Long Term Alternative Recovery Program in Burns, Tennessee. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-725-0922.