Heroin addiction is among the leading causes of death in the United States as addiction often leads to overdose. The potency and addictive nature of this drug has been a driving force behind the current opioid epidemic in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, heroin use has been steadily rising since 2007, due in part to a shift from misuse of prescription pain relievers to heroin as a readily available, cheaper alternative.
This highly addictive drug is usually used because of the euphoric causing qualities it holds. Heroin is most commonly used by people between the ages of 18 and 44. This somewhat broad range of affected age groups and the addictive nature of the drug makes it very important to have information about the symptoms and signs of heroin addiction.
What is Heroin and How Does Addiction Happen?
Defined as an extremely addictive analgesic drug made from morphine, heroin is often used to produce euphoria. This drug illegal but many people become addicted to it as a result of abusing prescription medications such as Vicodin or OxyContin. Heroin comes in different colors and forms: brown or white powder or a black and sticky substance sometimes called “black tar”.
Heroin is consumed in many different ways. Some people snort or sniff it while others inject it after mixing it with water. Heroin can also be smoked. Sometimes, it is mixed with alcohol or cocaine. The combination of cocaine and heroin is known as “speedballing”.
Usually, an addiction to heroin does not form from the first couple of uses, although it can. But, repetitious usage of the drug leads to the development of tolerance for the drug, which means that a higher dosage will be needed in order to achieve the same results. A using individual’s “normal” state of being will be based on the heroin in their system — he or she may sense the need to have more of the drug in their system in order to feel normal. Constant use of heroin will lead to addiction. There are various signs of heroin addiction which should be noted.
Symptoms and Signs of Heroin Addiction
Although people use it for the “happy” feelings it produces, heroin use can result in many undesirable side effects. The signs of heroin addiction vary and include various extreme emotions and side effects including:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Long-lasting drowsiness
- Slowed heart rate
- Depression and mood swings
- Hallucinations and paranoia
- Hostility, irritation, and agitation
- Excessive sleeping
- Slurred speech
- Weight loss
- Dry mouth
- Heart palpitations
- Flushed and warm skin
Of course, not everyone who struggles with heroin abuse will exhibit all of these signs of heroin addiction. However, it is beneficial to know the different symptoms that might accompany addiction in order to get the best assistance for the recovery process.
Heroin Addiction Withdrawal and Recovery
Recovering from heroin addiction is certainly possible but it’s also very hard. Those who are going through withdrawal may encounter insomnia, cold sweats, excessive sweating, fever, diarrhea, muscle pains, and cramping. The process may feel brutal, but the results are better than what can be imagined. Freedom from drug addictions is the ultimate goal, despite the challenges that come along.
Help For Heroin Addiction
Treatment is needed during the process of recovery. Here at Asheville Recovery Center, we specialize in helping people achieve freedom from addiction through therapy and counseling. It is our mission to help during the course of recovery by providing you or your loved one in the best way possible. Call us today or leave your information to have a specialist contact you.