Heroin falls into the opiate category of controlled substances although heroin itself is an illegal street drug. An opiate is more widely known as a painkiller. Heroin is an opiate, as it is a derivative of the more well-known medication morphine. Most of the heroin in the world is produced in Afghanistan. Heroin drug abuse is making a rise recently due to the recent painkiller epidemic. Because heroin is cheaper and easier to get in some instances, more people are moving from prescription drug abuse to heroin drug abuse.
How addictive is heroin?
Heroin is highly addictive as are all opiates. The reason for this is because of the way heroin and all opiates attach themselves to the receptors in the brain. An opiod dependent person is defined accurately as someone who can’t stop using opiates. Having a heroin drug abuse problem can be very scary and often when mentioned portrays vividly dark images in our minds which is rightly so.
How is heroin used?
Heroin can be used multiple ways; either through injection, snorting or smoking. The effects can last from 30 minutes up to 8 hours. A tolerance during heroin drug abuse builds rapidly causing the user to have to shoot up, ingest, or inhale more and more to get the same desired effect. As with most substances this is one of the first signs of addiction.
Heroin drug abuse is extremely deadly and intensely euphoric. Some of the effects of heroin drug abuse are:
- a lowering of heart rate
- intense pleasure and euphoria
- having “the nods” or entering a dreamlike state.
When heroin is injected it gives the feeling of a “rush” similar to an orgasm which some users will chase rather than the high off of heroin drug abuse itself which can cause a heroin drug abuser to have a lack in perspective when it comes to the amount needed to use.
What happens when I stop heroin drug abuse?
Once the user decides to stop their heroin drug abuse habit, after using for a certain period of time, they will start to experience what is known as heroin withdrawal symptoms which can be incredibly painful, uncomfortable and frightening. Because of the intensity of the heroin withdrawal symptoms after stopping their use; most heroin addicts will go to great lengths to get high again rather than deal with the withdrawal symptoms. These heroin withdrawal symptoms after an addiction has been formed are usually the main reason someone with an opiate addiction continues to use.
Heroin drug abuse Statistics
- There are over 1.2 million “occasional” heroin drug abusers in the United States and over 200,000 people who could be classified as addicted to the drug.
- During heroin drug abuse, the user ingests between 150mg and 250mg of the drug per day.
- Florida and California by far have the most heroin seizures by law enforcement each year (due to their physical location and prevalence of the drug trade in their states).
- There are believed to be at least 700,000 people in the United States who need heroin addiction treatment for heroin drug abuse but are not receiving it.