By |Categories: Health & Wellness|Last Updated: June 6, 2024|

Heroin is a strong opioid that is found in the opium poppy. It has an instant effect on the body, giving the user a strong feeling of euphoria, peace, and contentment. It can overwhelm and seemingly remove any negative feelings such as fear and remorse. The painkilling effects of heroin are three times stronger than morphine. Heroin can be found as a fine white powder or a black sticky substance better known as “black tar heroin”. Heroin can be taken by injecting, snorting, or smoking. 

Heroin AddictionHeroin is a very addictive drug. The medical and social effects it has on someone can be devastating. The National Institute of Drug Abuse that heroin usage leads to the spread of hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, fetal effects, crime, violence, and disruptions in the family, workplace, and educational environments, and costs the United States billions of dollars each year. 

Opioids are extremely dangerous. They cause about 70% of drug-related deaths worldwide, 30% of which are from an overdose. If you know someone who is struggling with heroin addiction, find them help immediately. Preferred Med Supply has drug testing kits that can help you spot heroin usage in friends, family, workers, or anyone else you may suspect is using heroin. If you’re uncertain if someone you know is using heroin, these signs can help you know if someone should get tested or not. 

Where Does Heroin Come From?

Heroin is a synthetic opioid drug that is man-made and not naturally found in nature. Heroin is created from morphine, a natural substance that can be found in the seeds of the opium poppy. Morphine is heated and then mixed with various chemicals and then purified. 

By doing this process, heroin crosses from your blood into your brain much faster than morphine does. Injecting it straight into your veins will result in effects in 10 seconds. Users will feel a rush of euphoria that is much more intense than any other opioid. 

How is Heroin Taken?

There are several different ways in which heroin can be taken. Each method produces a different experience that comes with different risks. 

Intravenous

Intravenous simply means “within a vein”. Intravenous administration of a substance is when you inject it directly into the bloodstream. This is the most common way that heroin is taken and results in the quick and most intense high. This method can result in the spread of HIV or Hepatitis C due to sharing needles. 

Inhalation

Once you inhale heroin, someone will experience effects in about 5 minutes. People will often inhale heroin thinking it isn’t as addictive as other methods. Most users will crave the intense high of other methods after trying inhalation. 

Oral

When heroin is taken orally, it digests in your liver before entering your bloodstream. The liver will turn heroin back into morphine. Taking heroin orally will result in the same high as taking morphine by the same method. 

Intranasal

Intranasal refers to taking a substance through the nose by snorting or sniffing it. The heroin avoids going through the liver and reaches the brain in the same form. 

Rectal

Heroin can be inserted into the rectum which is then absorbed through the surrounding membranes and inserted into your bloodstream. The anus has a lot of veins which makes the process fast-acting. 

What Makes Heroin Addictive?

When someone takes heroin, their brain is flooded with chemicals such as endorphins, dynorphins, and dopamine. The brain naturally releases these chemicals when experiencing pain or after activities such as eating candy or going for a run. 

Once you use heroin, your brain has a higher concentration of these chemicals than normal. This results in intense feelings of euphoria and pleasure that you wouldn’t normally feel. 

Your brain will connect these feelings with the use of heroin, making you want to take the drug again to experience these feelings once more. Trying to overcome this urge can be difficult. 

If you use heroin repeatedly, your body will begin to build a tolerance meaning you have to take more in order to reach the same feeling. Your body will begin to develop a physical dependency on the drug meaning your brain needs the drug to produce the hormones and chemicals that should form naturally. 

Signs of Heroin Addiction

If you suspect that someone you know is using heroin, look out for these common symptoms. 

Behavioral signs:

  • Possessing needles or syringes 
  • Lying about where you’re going
  • Decreased interest in activities
  • Using larger amounts of heroin to reach the desired effect

Physical signs:

  • Small pupils
  • Depressed breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleeping problems
  • Scabs and sores
  • Weight loss
  • Tiredness
  • Heavy arms and legs

Cognitive and Psychological signs:

  • Poor judgment
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Disorientation
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Mood swings
  • Social isolation

The most dangerous effect of heroin usage is an overdose. Overdosing occurs when your body can’t metabolize the amount of heroin that enters your body. 

Opioids depress your nervous system, resulting in a slower heartbeat and breathing. When you take too much, oxygen will no longer reach your brain.

Treatment for Heroin Addiction

The most effective drug rehab program will mix various treatments together to suit an individual’s needs. Many people will turn to detox centers. Most treatment centers will start with detox which helps remove the various toxins from your body. 

Overcoming heroin addiction may be difficult, but it can be done. Users that have overcome heroin addiction have done so with the help of rehab, family therapy, support groups, behavioral therapy, and dual diagnosis. 

The best way to treat heroin addiction is to recognize the signs early. Doing so will prevent the addiction from becoming something even worse. If you know someone that is possible using heroin, visit our shop page today and get an at-home drug testing kit. These kits will give you the answers you need to ensure that someone you love doesn’t go down the wrong path. 

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