Heroin is an extremely addictive drug that is made from the seeds of opium poppies. Yes, those cute red paper flowers handed out by members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in exchange for a small donation are actually related to this illegal drug epidemic. Heroin is usually injected into the body with a needle and syringe, although some people smoke or snort it as well. Either way, the drug causes feelings of euphoria and an overall lack of feeling. Users are left feeling as though nothing matters, but in a good way, not a depressing way. This is part of why the drug is so addictive. They begin to physically crave those feelings as well, especially if they keep using it over time. Eventually, the drug will take control. This is known as addiction.
Sometimes It Starts Out With Opioids
Many heroin addictions start out with a simple prescription to opioid painkillers. These medications used to be given out willy-nilly by well-meaning doctors who didn’t realize just how addictive those drugs could be. Opioids, in the form of Vicodin, Percocet, Oxycontin, and more, are used to treat physical pain.
When someone underwent surgery, had a tooth pulled, or even broke a leg, they were handed a prescription. And then, once the pain stuck around, these same people received refills. In short, users became addicted to the painkillers and needed more and more of them in higher dosages to keep the pain at bay. This doesn’t even take into account the feelings of numbness and the mental high that went with them. Eventually, a simple painkiller addiction led to heroin addiction, since heroin is related to opioids, but is even stronger. (Not to mention illegal.) Although doctors now know better, there are still thousands of heroin addicts out there.
How to Tell If Someone Is a Heroin Addict
Heroin addicts are actually nothing like the 1990s high fashion “heroin chic” that is often depicted in Hollywood movies and magazines from the time period. Instead, addicts pick at their faces, they end up with pitted scars and track marks on their bodies from injecting the drug, and they end up extremely malnourished since the drugs saps them of an appetite.
Other signs that someone might be addicted to heroin include a lack of energy (side effects include lethargy and drowsiness), criminal behavior – since they need to get money to buy more of the drug – and even paranoid behavior.
Heroin Overdoses Are Extremely Common
Since an addict will need even more and more heroin to get the effect that they desire, the odds of overdosing on the drug go up exponentially the longer that they use. On top of this, drug dealers often add other drugs and substances to the heroin that they sell, making it so that users don’t know what they’re injecting into their bodies. This fact ups the danger, especially with strong drugs like fentanyl out there on the illegal drug market.
Mixing these two will definitely cause an overdose. What’s even scarier is the fact that when someone overdoses on very strong heroin, a fellow addict will want some of what that person had, because they want that feeling for themselves. This leads the addicts down a very unpleasant rabbit hole.
How a Heroin Addiction Will Wreck Your Life
Many people have had their lives destroyed by an addiction to heroin. They lose their jobs, they wreck their finances, and they end up with few friends and family members on their side. It may sound like a sad song or one of those anti-drug commercials, but it’s all true.
Since heroin makes a person lack interest in the world around them, while at the same time, it takes away their ability to get up and go (so to speak) addicts lose their jobs. They end up getting fired for missing work and not calling, or showing up and not doing what they were supposed to. In turn, this leads to the addict messing up their finances, because they slowly end up spending all of their money on drugs.
They might steal things or borrow money from friends and family to pay for their heroin. When that money isn’t paid back and becomes clear that the addict has a major problem, they may find those friends and family angry at them. Everyone pulls away. Thankfully, the addict can get them back.
Getting Off Heroin Requires Professional Help
Since heroin causes a number of major withdrawal symptoms that can actually be deadly, it’s important to go through an inpatient detox program to get off of the drug. Heroin and other opioids can alter the chemicals of the brain, so sometimes another drug, like suboxone, is used in order to help the addict stay clean and be weaned off of heroin.
All of this is best done in a clinical setting, which is why going to a professional rehab is important.
Author Bio: This guest post is written by Mark Falcon promoting Lanna Rehab, a prominent center for heroin rehab in Thailand.