What is Heroin?
Heroin is an illegal and highly addictive drug. It is processed from morphine, which is a natural substance found in poppy seeds. In its purest form, heroin is a white
powder with a bitter taste. However, most street heroin sold is a brown or black color and is “cut” by dealers with other drugs or substances such as sugar, starch,
powdered milk, or quinine.
How is Heroin Taken?
Heroin is injected intravenously, snorted, or smoked. Injecting heroin with a needle causes the fastest action and produces the greatest intensity.
What are Heroin’s Effects?
Heroin causes a “rush” or surge of pleasurable sensation. The intensity of the rush is determined by how much heroin is taken and how rapidly it enters the brain. Other
side effects include: dry mouth, flushed skin, and a heavy feeling in the arms and legs, nausea, vomiting, and/or severe itching.
When the initial effects wear off the user become drowsy, cardiac function slows, and breathing is also slowed, sometimes to the point of death.
Signs of Heroin Addiction
Heroin is very addictive and is known to create both psychological addiction and physical addiction.
Some important warning signs to look for if you suspect someone having a heroin addiction include:
- Falling asleep at abnormal times, sometimes mid-conversation
- Wearing long shirts or pants at inappropriate times to cover up track marks left by injections
- Syringes (used for injection)
- Burnt spoons (used to melt the powder into injection form)
- Razor blades, rolled up dollars, or other tubes (used to snort heroin)
- Baggies with a powder residue
- Unused balloons tied off (used to transport the heroin)
- Tourniquets (used to tie off blood flow to inject heroin)
How is Heroin Addiction Treated?
Few people can stop using heroin without going through a recovery and addiction program. Heroin addiction treatments include heroin detoxification, pharmaceutical
therapy, and behavioral therapies.
What is the Recovery Process?
After a successful detox and treatment, it’s imperative to continue a lifelong heroin recovery process by attending 12-step meetings and aftercare programs.