fbpx

Heroin

Despite rates of heroin use being lower than other drugs like alcohol, the long term effects of heroin use are devastating. Users of heroin almost always face both physical and social side-effects. These side-effects also have consequences that affect society as a whole. Understanding heroin is not easy, but this article will explain the different types of heroin, and what it actually is.

For the past 14 years, the number of people who use heroin has risen. This has also caused an increase in the number of overdose deaths according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.  The National Institutes of Health continue to release concerning data on heroin use every year.

Understanding Heroin

Heroin is one of the most addictive opiates. It is made from extractions of opium poppy plants and their seed pods. Heroin is most commonly found as white or brown powder. However, it can also be found in the less potent form of black tar heroin.

 Heroin addiction is finally receiving the attention it deserves due to the increase in heroin overdoses across the nation. 

Types of Heroin

Heroin is usually found to be a mixture of the drug itself and filler ingredients or cut. The differences in its appearance are usually related to how it is processed, and what is it cut with. Recently, fentanyl and prescription opioids have been used as fillers which make heroin even more dangerous. This new strategy of dealers to cut their drugs with fentanyl also correlates to a higher rate of opioid overdose.

Heroin Identification 

In its white powder form, heroin can look similar to cocaine or amphetamines. The powder form of heroin is more likely to be cut with fillers or other drugs. Brown powder or black tar heroin is said to not be as potent as white powder heroin.

Heroin is usually administered by injection, smoking, or snorting. The drug can also be identified by the paraphernalia associated with its use. The needles used to inject the drug or the pipes used for smoking are clear signs of heroin use. 

Understanding Heroin: The Effects

The effects of heroin are usually associated with euphoria, a fast rush, and sedation. Because heroin is a strong opiate, it also alleviates muscle and bone pain. This is due to the effect opiates have on the brain and the chemical interaction that occurs.

Since this interaction occurs in the reward center of the brain, dopamine is released when the opioid receptors are stimulated. This causes the euphoric feeling associated with its use. 

Short-Term Heroin Use

Heroin use generates an intense rush or quick feeling of delight. Several hours of drowsiness usually follows, combined with slowed cognitive function, pulse and respiration. However, even short-term use can cause health complications. 

Long-Term Heroin Use

Heroin use generates an intense rush or quick feeling of delight. Several hours of drowsiness usually follows, combined with slowed cognitive function, pulse and respiration. However, even short-term use can cause health complications. 

Start your admission

Let’s get your admission going with one of our confidential representatives.

Health Concerns of Heroin Use and Complications

Regardless of how heroin is administered, it is an extremely dangerous drug. It can cause a plethora of side effects to the user. Aside from withdrawal symptoms,  heart and lung complications are the most common serious side-effects. However, there are also mental health concerns associated with  chronic heroin use.

 IV users of heroin also face a laundry list of potential complications. Many of these relate to sharing needles.

Health Concerns of Heroin Use and Complications:

  • Collapsed veins
  • Bacterial infections of the blood
  • Abscesses
  • Hepatitis
  • HIV/AIDS

People who suffer from pre-existing conditions, like asthma or compromised immune systems, face a greater risk of severe health complications.

understanding Heroin Vs. Other Drugs of Abuse

Most heroin users have experimented with other drugs. Their knowledge of the euphoria other drugs provide can often be the cause of their urge to try heroin. Others use heroin as a mental escape from their physical and mental ailments. The combination of reasons people use heroin causes it to be even more addictive.

Heroin Combined with Other Substances

Most heroin users have experimented with other drugs. Their knowledge of the euphoria other drugs provide can often be the cause of their urge to try heroin. Others use heroin as a mental escape from their physical and mental ailments. The combination of reasons people use heroin causes it to be even more addictive.

How Heroin Is Addictive

Dependence on heroin occurs after continued use of the drug. One of the most common drug facts is that heroin is extremely addictive. Even using heroin once can cause a mental and physical dependence to the drug. This increases the likelihood of addiction.

 Once addiction has taken hold of the user, it becomes nearly impossible to stop on their own. Substance use treatment is recommended as the next step of action for those struggling with heroin addiction. 

Treatment Options

There are a number of options available to those who need treatment. The Recovery Team is a premier provider of substance abuse and mental health services.

If you or a loved one is looking for treatment for heroin addiction or any type of substance use disorder, The Recovery Team is always available to help. Call us 24/7 at (800) 817-1247.