Heroin Addiction

Heroin is a highly addictive drug and is the most widely abused and most rapidly acting of the opiates. Heroin is processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of certain varieties of poppy plants .Heroin addiction does not discriminate based on age, gender or socio-economic status. In fact, if you were to look at the demographic breakdown concerning heroin addiction in the United States, you would be amazed to find such a comprehensive cross-section of Americans who are dependent on this highly addictive, often deadly drug. One of the reasons heroin is so addictive is because it produces a rather dramatic "rush" or "high." A single dose can be enough to produce a rush, and the after-effects can persist hours later. Of all the substance abuse problems in the world, heroin addiction remains the one with the most serious ramifications. In addition to the health problems caused by the drug itself, there are a number of other risks associated with heroin addiction that are not as much of an issue with other drugs.

Recent statistics on heroin addiction show that users of heroin will often spend up to $200.00 a day in order to get the amount of the drug that they need to carry their addiction. The amount of money that is spent due to heroin addiction is the main reason why a lot of people who are addicted to heroin will become homeless. The addiction to heroin came become so bad that they will steal from their jobs, family, an, friends. Statistics also show that most people with an addiction to heroin, literally have to hit rock bottom before they will get help for their addiction. Rock bottom often means losing any social life they may have had and losing just about all of their material belongings.

There are many signs that someone may be involved in heroin addiction, including the following:

  • Runny nose or constant sniffing.
  • Needle marks on arms - and even on legs.
  • Speech is sometimes slurred.
  • Individuals that have a heroin addiction may show very little motivation, and no desire to form future plans.
  • Displays of hostility toward others.
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia.
  • Personal care. This is a sign common to many substance abuse problems. When a person has a heroin addiction, he or she may not take good care of him or herself. You may notice that personal hygiene, such as regular showers and changing one's clothing regularly, is no longer important. Someone who is involved in heroin substance abuse may no longer care about fixing his or her hair, or performing other grooming tasks.
  • Tendency toward recklessness. Someone involved in heroin addiction often does not care about the natural consequences of his or her actions. He or she may do reckless things, such as steal to get money for more drugs - or even engage in other dangerous behaviors. Natural consequences of their choices are no longer important to heroin users.
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and activities. Another sign of an individual being addicted to Heroin is withdrawal from normal activities. New, more questionable friends can indicate a heroin addiction. Additionally, someone involved in heroin addiction may also become more secretive, desiring to be left alone by family members. Heroin addicts also may begin withdrawing from enjoyed activities, such as going out with friends or participating in clubs and organizations.

When someone uses a drug like heroin a lot, the body builds up a tolerance. This means that the body becomes used to the effects that the drug has on it. As the body becomes used to the drug, it takes higher and higher doses of heroin to get the same effects as before. In some cases, despite the terrible price exacted by the heroin addiction in the long run, the presence of the drug becomes necessary for the body to function. After a tolerance to heroin develops through repeated substance abuse, it is more difficult to break the cycle of addiction. This is because withdrawal symptoms manifest when the drug is no longer used. Withdrawal symptoms are signs of the body's reaction to the fact that the drug is gone. It is the body's way of letting the user know that it wants the drug. In such cases, the body has been programmed to become dependent on the heroin. In such cases, the withdrawal symptoms from heroin addiction make it especially difficult to quit using without the professional help of a long term residential drug treatment program.

Withdrawal symptoms from heroin addiction can start as early as just a few hours after the last dose. First, the body experience intense cravings for the drug. These cravings are one of the reasons that it is so difficult for heroin addicts to stop without help from a drug rehab center.

Other symptoms of heroin addiction withdrawal can include:

  • Pain in the bones and in the muscles.
  • Restlessness and anxiety.
  • Cold flashes.
  • Muscle spasms (especially kicking motions).
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.

For most heroin users, the withdrawal symptoms reach their worst between two and three days after finishing the last dose. However, withdrawal symptoms can last a little more than a week. It is important to note that on a certain level, craving for the heroin never goes completely away. A craving can be triggered months after someone feels they have control of the heroin substance abuse problem. While heroin withdrawal is seldom fatal, it can cause death if heavy users who are in poor health suddenly stop taking the drug. It is worth noting that alcohol withdrawal is often considered more dangerous.

Overcoming heroin addiction on your own is almost impossible. The most effective course of action is through a drug treatment program. Because of the high incidence of overdoses involved specifically in the case of heroin addictions, help should be obtained as soon as possible to avoid such a devastating incident concerning your loved one. If you or an individual that you care about is affected by a heroin addiction, help them obtain drug treatment before it is too late.



  • A state of relaxation may occur when using heroin.

  • When a person is coming of heroin they may have one of the most common withdrawal symptoms which is depression.

  • There are many severe long term effects from heroin addiction.

  • Heroin has claimed many lives around the world.

  • The most popular version of taking heroin is injection.

  • More than 3 million Americans aged 12 and older have used heroin at least once in their lifetime.

  • 14% of all ER visits are due to heroin use.

  • Heroin derives from poppy plants, a highly addictive plant.

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