Last updated: 11/13/2018
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 3 minutes
The powerful opiate, heroin, is one of the top drugs that people seek out help for due to the intensity of the withdrawals and the overwhelming compulsion to continue to use the drug. Unfortunately, recognizing the need for treatment for heroin addiction can be difficult in some cases due to an underlying desire to refrain from asking for help or because the effects of the heroin cloud the judgment to a point in which clear thinking is no longer possible.
About Heroin Addiction
Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs and it is also one of the most dangerous illicit drugs to use, due to the easiness factor in people overdosing on the drug. Heroin is an opiate that is made from the opium that comes from the poppy plant. Heroin is manmade by people who illegally distribute the drug, and is typically used by people who inject the drug in their blood with a needle.
Heroin affects the pleasure system in a person’s brain while depressing a user’s respiratory system and their nervous system, therefore putting the user in a sedated state. Since heroin is manmade there is no proper dosage of the drug for a person to take, which makes taking too much of the drug an easy mistake to make. If a person takes too much heroin their respiratory system can shut down and they can experience respiratory failure, cardiac arrest or slip into a coma. A heroin overdose can be fatal if medical help is not received.
A person addicted to heroin will build a dependency to the drug as well as a tolerance to the drug, meaning that they will need the drug in their body to feel normal, and they will continually need to take more of the drug to receive the effects they desire. This cycle can lead to a person overdosing on the drug. Heroin addiction is a continuing illness that will cause a person to repeatedly seek out heroin and use the drug no matter what problems their drug usage is causing in their life.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug addiction is disease that has continually increased throughout the years. Drug addiction is a brain illness that will affect the circuits in a person’s brain. By impairing the the brain circuits, drug addiction will also impact a person’s memory and reward system, as well as their behavior and their ability to learn.
Recognizing the Need for Treatment
If a person is continuing to use heroin even though they have experienced negative consequences from their drug use, they have an addiction to the drug and should get help. If an individual continually thinks about using heroin and spends the majority of their time seeking out and using the drug then they should get help. Furthermore, if a person has lost important people or factors in their life due to their drug use, such as their house or job, and they are still continuing to use heroin they should get help. Heroin addiction treatment programs are available to help people overcome their addictions and start living their life again without the influence of the powerful narcotic.