What is Heroin?

What is Heroin?

What is heroin? It is an extremely addictive drug that comes from morphine. The drug is psychoactive meaning it alters the mind of the user. The drug can be different colors depending on the way it is made and what it is combined with, however, it is generally a brown, black or white powder. Sometimes, it is known as black tar or black tar heroin.

The Opioid Class

There is a class of drugs known as opioids and heroin is in it. Generally, doctors prescribe opioids for chronic pain or for surgery-related pain. Some of those opioids are hydrocodone (norco), oxycodone or codeine. However, heroin is an illegal opioid. It can’t be prescribed, but people still buy it from drug dealers.

Increased Use and Deaths

Unfortunately, the number of people who are using heroin has increased over the last 10 years. With the increase in users, there also seems to be an increase in heroin overdose deaths, too. Part of the problem is that more people are needing or using prescription opioids such as vicodin or oxycontin. When those drugs stop working as well to treat their pain at the dosage they are prescribed, they may buy more of it from drug dealers. Over time, the drug doesn’t work at all to treat their pain, so they turn to heroin or other illegal drugs.

The Use of Heroin

Heroin can be used in different ways. However, the most common way is when people mix it with a substance, such as water and inject it into their veins. With just one injection, someone can overdose and die. If you or someone you know is using any form of heroin and wants to get out of that addictive lifestyle, don’t hesitate to let our team here at Blue Hills Recovery know. We will help you detox and get into a treatment program right away. The sooner you do this, the sooner you can turn your life around.

Short-Term Effects of Using Heroin

When someone uses heroin, they are going to experience some short-term or immediate effects, such as:

  • Clouded thinking
  • Rush of euphoria
  • Drowsiness
  • Slowed breathing and heart rate

These are just a few of the “so-called good feelings” that someone experiences when using this drug. As the drug is wearing off, they may become depressed or have other negative feelings. One reason why people use this drug often is so they don’t have to experience withdrawals.

Stages of Addiction

If someone uses this drug regularly, it is going to start affecting their brain in negative ways. They may become addicted quickly, too. However, learning about the stages of addiction can help some people to get clean and out of the addictive lifestyle before things get worse. The stages of addiction include:

  • Increased tolerance to the drug (needing more of it to get high)
  • Becoming dependent on the drug (needing to keep using the drug so they don’t have symptoms of withdrawal)
  • Addiction (disease where people often need professional treatment to stop using the drug)

No matter what stage of the disease you are in, there are treatment programs to help you get your life back on the right path.

Dealing with the Withdrawal Process

If you or someone you know is using heroin, you are likely going to have some withdrawal symptoms when you quit using the drug. Learning more about the symptoms of withdrawal can help you to know what to expect. Some of the symptoms you might experience include:

  • Chills
  • Cold or hot flashes
  • Bone and/or muscle pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Feeling restless
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Extreme drug cravings

Since many of the withdrawal symptoms can be severe, it can be difficult to overcome the withdrawals on your own. There is even medication-assisted treatment to help people work through the detox process and get into recovery. This may be something you need or want to help you get clean. If so, reach out to our Blue Hills Recovery team to discuss it with our team.

Helping Someone Else Overcome Heroin Addiction

What if you know someone else that needs to overcome a heroin addiction? There are many ways that you can handle this type of situation. The first thing you should do is to get yourself the support you need. The addiction is likely already taking a toll on your health or lifestyle. Once you get the support needed for yourself, you can take the following steps to help someone else get treatment or support:

  • Educate yourself on heroin use and addiction
  • Find a support group and treatment program for this person in case they are willing to accept help
  • Plan a professional intervention so people can talk to the addict and let them know what they are feeling and how damaging the addiction is to everyone involved
  • Be ready to take the person to treatment if they admit to the addiction and want to get help

Hopefully, by doing these things, the person who is using heroin will accept the help and start overcoming their addiction.

Get Into a Heroin Addiction Treatment Program Today

If you or someone you know is addicted to heroin, there are treatment programs available to help you get clean and into recovery.

Contact us today, here at Blue Hills Recovery Center, to get into a heroin addiction treatment program right away.

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