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The Hazards of Heroin Addiction – How it begins and how to get out of it
Drug use continues to be an issue in the United Kingdom, with heroin being one of the main problems. The Lancet, Britain’s Medical Journal, describes this drug as the most addictive and dangerous on the country’s streets today. In 2008, a study found that approximately 1.2 million drug users resided in the country, and The Royal Society of Arts states roughly 35,000 individuals are dependent on heroin and have an opiate addiction. Due to the prevalence of this problem, every citizen needs to be aware of the signs of heroin addiction and seek help and heroin addiction treatment immediately for themselves or a loved one if one is suspected of being dependent on this drug.
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Heroine – The Drug Facts
Derived from the opium poppy, a flower found in South America, Asia and Mexico, heroin is a highly addictive drug that is both deadly and dangerous. It looks like black tar or may come in the form of a brown or white powder. This drug has far reaching effects and can lead to disruption of a person’s entire life. Sadly, it is estimated that a heroin addict will commit multiple crimes each year, often more than one a day, simply to support their habit and ensure they have the drugs they crave.
Ways to Intake Heroine
The majority of heroine users inject into a vein in order to get a high, as this produces the desired euphoric feeling in the shortest period of time. The user may not take care to ensure the needle they are using is clean, thus they could contract a disease through a dirty needle. In addition, this method often leads to overdose. Other methods of taking in heroin include snorting or smoking it. This drug often leads to addiction or changes in the brain that leads users to seek the drug regardless of any consequences they face as a result of their drug use.
How Heroin Works In The Body
Heroin is a derivative of morphine. As it makes its way to the brain of the user, heroin is then converted to morphine, a substance known to bind to opioid receptors in the brain and body. Some of these receptors reside in the brain stem, an area that is responsible for controlling automatic processes necessary for human life, including respiration and blood pressure.
When a person overdoses on the drug, their breathing is often suppressed. As a result, the amount of oxygen reaching the brain is reduced, and this lack of oxygen can have negative short and long term effects. The user may suffer permanent brain damage or go into a coma.
Physical Signs of Heroine Use and Signs of Opiate Use
Below is a list of heroin addiction signs:
- Small, constricted pupils
- Avoidance of family and friends
- A new set of friends and acquaintances
- Injection wounds, needle marks or track marks
- Period of fatigue followed by periods of alertness
- Breathing that is laboured or shallow
- Skin infections or boils
- Vomiting and/or nausea
- Heavy, droopy limbs
- Problems with communicating
- A lack of interest
- An unkempt appearance
The Effects Of Heroin
So why is heroin addictive? Once heroin enters the bloodstream, the user becomes extremely happy. He or she feels good in every way. For several hours after the heroin has entered the body, the entire world feels as if it has slowed, and users often slow the way they walk and how they think. Users describe the experience as being in a dream state.
Some users find they become nauseous and vomit. Others state the drug makes them itch. It also prevents pain messages from reaching the brain and slows the breathing and heart rate of the user. Individuals who overdose are at risk of not breathing, ultimately leading to their death, as described above.
Additional Health Hazards Of Heroin Use
Spontaneous abortions have been reported with use of heroin, and frequent users may find their veins collapse as a result of the drug use. Constipation and cramping have been reported, along with pulmonary complications and abscesses. Kidney and liver disease have been linked to use of this drug, and the same is true of infections in the lining of the heart and its valves. Babies who are born to a heroin user may suffer from low birth weight or neonatal abstinence syndrome, a condition that requires hospitalization, as the child is suffering from withdrawal of the drug.
Why Do Users Choose Heroin?
People on heroin state they do so to handle the stresses in their life. It removes their worries and reduces their anxiety. Many individuals who turn to heroin have mental health issues, and they may be using the drug to self-medicate.
Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
On top of the difficulty of dealing with the heroin addiction symptoms, any time a person stops using heroin, especially those who have become dependent on the drug, they could also experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can begin within hours of the drug leaving the system. Symptoms include insomnia, restlessness, pain in the bones and muscles and severe cravings.
Furthermore, the user may have cold flashes complete with goose bumps, which is where the term cold turkey comes from, or may find they are kicking involuntarily, the explanation behind the term kicking the habit. A runny nose, sweating, teary eyes and dilated pupils have been seen with some users during withdrawal, and some experience yawning and/or diarrhoea. No one can predict what a user will go through when they discontinue use of heroin, which is why it’s near impossible to overcome it without going into a heroin addiction recovery program.
Don’t leave an opiate addiction untreated
Heroin destroys lives in a short period of time, thus anyone who has become dependent on this drug needs help immediately. If an opiate addiction is left untreated, a person’s home life may be decimated, their career destroyed and more. Thankfully, help is available.
Enrolling in a heroin addiction recovery program to get heroin addiction treatment
This help comes in the form of a heroin addiction treatment program experienced with dealing with heroin addicts. Support groups may be a part of this treatment, along with medical care and therapy, and the majority of addicts need all three to achieve heroin addiction recovery. The goal is to provide the addict with the tools and skills needed to remain sober and say no to drugs of any type. When this is accomplished, he or she takes control of their life once again.
“I so want help to release him from this horrid, horrid existence he lives…”
With the RIGHT HELP you or your loved one CAN move on to create a normal, happy life with REAL OPTIONS.
Timing matters. It’s important to get help
while a person is open to change
Timing matters. It’s important to get help while a person is open to change.
So ask any questions or reserve a place at ARC now. TODAY!
So ask any questions or reserve
a place at ARC now. TODAY!
ARC clients make it!
“If I didn’t come here and do this treatment, I don’t think I’d be on this earth now.” - Johnathon
With the RIGHT HELP you or your loved one CAN move on to create a full, normal life. A life with meaning, purpose, hope & happiness as real options.
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ARC clients make it!
“If I didn’t come here & do this treatment, I don’t think I’d be on this earth now.”
– John, free from alcohol & drugs for 3 years at time of review
Addiction Recovery Centre – ARC – Drug & Alcohol Rehab Center in Portsmouth
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