Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

The Descent into Heroin Addiction

The Descent into Heroin Addiction

Heroin may take months to cause addiction

Heroin users do not begin using the drug to develop addictions that lead them to risk their health daily and to hurt their loved ones. No one decides to use heroin expecting to become obsessed with the idea of getting the next hit, or expecting to depend on a substance that can kill them. But heroin is a powerful and dangerous drug. While addiction may not necessarily begin after the first use, experimentation may be the first step down a road of heartache, health problems, guilt, loss and, for recovering addicts, a daily battle against drug cravings.

Experimenting with Heroin

Intravenous heroin use is unpleasant the first time, as it can cause nausea and vomiting, but the user will still experience a pleasing high as drug binds to opiate receptors in the brain. Even so, most people who experiment with heroin do not view an addiction to the drug as possible – it may happen to other people that lack the self-control to say refuse the drug next time, but it will not happen to them (or so they think). It is common for people that experiment with heroin to have used other drugs and to be under the impression that their drug use is under control, which means they have a false sense of confidence about not becoming addicted to this strong substance.

The decision to try heroin can rarely be reduced to mere curiosity about the drug, but heroin use could result from poor coping skills, poor impulse control or other psychological problems that lead to continued substance abuse.

Continued Heroin Use and Dependency

Even though heroin is extremely dangerous and addictive, it is not instantaneously addictive. For some people, it only takes a few hits to become addicted, and for others it takes months of smoking, snorting or injecting the drug to lead to dependency and addiction. However, it only takes one dose to put the body at risk of overdose, respiratory depression and death. Heroin users are constantly in danger.

Heroin Addiction

Addiction is the stage of dependency at which the body and brain both need the drug to function, so the user begins to experience an irresistible compulsion to use the drug. Furthermore, addicts will keep using the drug in blatant disregard to the problematic results: health issues, broken friendships, hurting family members, financial loss and career troubles can all result from an overpowering obsession with heroin.

Heroin Addiction Treatment

Once someone becomes addicted to heroin, only professional addiction treatment can fully address the psychological impact the drug has had. Addiction treatment can reverse the ways this drug changed the brain and body through safe detox, medical treatment, counseling, therapy and education.

Help for Heroin Addiction

If you or a loved one is addicted to heroin, then call our toll-free helpline to speak with an admissions coordinator about professional treatment options. Our staff are available 24 hours a day to connect you with the treatment plan that suits your needs. Do not wait; call today for instant help.

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