Why is Heroin Addictive? Heroin Withdrawal, Heroin Overdose & Heroin Addiction Treatment Options
What is Heroin?
Heroin can be a white or brown powder, or a black sticky substance is known as black tar heroin. This opioid drug is highly addictive because the excessive use of heroin often develops a tolerance. In other words, users will need higher and/or more frequent doses of the drug to get the desired effects. Given that, a substance use disorder (SUD) may develop when you are suffering from Heroin addiction. 
It is when continued use of the drug causes issues, such as health problems and failure to meet responsibilities at work, school, or home. In this case, there is a range of treatments that are effective in helping people stop heroin use. However, heroin addiction treatment plans should be individualized to meet the needs of the patient.
Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine, a natural substance taken from the seed pod of the various opium poppy plants grown in Southeast and Southwest Asia, Mexico, and Colombia.
How Do People Use Heroin?
Users may inject, sniff, snort, or smoke heroin, for instance. Some people mix heroin with crack cocaine, a practice called speedballing. And then, they typically report feeling a surge of pleasurable sensation—a “rush.”
What are the Effects of Heroin?
Nausea, vomiting, and severe itching may also occur due to Heroin addiction. After the initial effects, users usually will be drowsy for several hours. And the mental function is clouded. heart function slows, and breathing is also severely slowed, sometimes enough to be life-threatening. Slowed breathing can also lead to coma and permanent brain damage. 
The short-term effects of Heroin addiction are:
- Dry mouth
- Warm flushing of the skin
- Heavy feeling in the arms and legs
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe itching
- Clouded mental functioning
- Going “on the nod,” a back-and-forth state of being conscious and semiconscious
The long-term effects of Heroin addiction are:
- Collapsed veins for people who inject the drug
- Damaged tissue inside the nose for people who sniff or snort it
- Infection of the heart lining and valves
- Abscesses (swollen tissue filled with pus)
- Constipation and stomach cramping
- Liver and kidney disease
- Lung complications, including pneumonia
- Mental disorders such as depression and antisocial personality disorder
- Sexual dysfunction for men
- Irregular menstrual cycles for women
- People who inject drugs such as heroin are at high risk of contracting the HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) virus
Why is Heroin Addictive?
Regular use of heroin can lead to tolerance. This means users need more and more drugs to have the same effect. At higher doses over time, the body becomes dependent on heroin. If dependent users stop heroin, they have withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, diarrhea and vomiting, and cold flashes with goosebumps.
Causes and Risk Factors for Heroin Addiction
Heroin is an opioid, and it binds to receptors in the brain to release the chemical dopamine. But, this release is only temporary which leaves some people wanting more of the “good” feeling.
Data from 2011 also showed that an estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids—a broad group of pain-relieving drugs—switch to heroin and about 80 percent of people who used heroin first misused prescription opioids.  Moreover, these prescription opioid pain medicines may include OxyContin® and Vicodin®.
The misuse of prescription opioids sometimes begins with legal drugs like painkillers that are prescribed after a surgery or some other injury. If you become addicted to these prescribed medications and cannot obtain them anymore, you may pursue illegal drugs like heroin to achieve the same pleasurable feeling. Therefore, anyone who takes opioids can be at risk for developing an opioid use disorder or an addiction to heroin.
In addition, addiction is multifaceted and can happen to anyone. It can include genetic, psychological, and environmental factors. Other risk factors are:
- Drug availability
- Drug trafficking patterns
- Association with drug-abusing peers
- Beliefs that drug abuse can be tolerated
Signs of Heroin Addiction
The physical symptoms of heroin use occur rapidly. After injecting it, someone will experience drug-induced euphoria quickly, often within seconds. Other means of using heroin don’t produce a reaction as quickly, but users show signs of being high when the drug reaches their brain. 
Physical symptoms of heroin addiction include:
- dry mouth
- flushed skin
- constricted pupils
- falling asleep suddenly
- slow breathing
- loss of self-control
Other symptoms of heroin addiction include:
- feelings of heaviness
- confused thinking or disorientation
- difficulty making decisions
- memory loss
People who use heroin regularly often need laxatives or stool softeners because the drug can cause constipation.
Heroin Addiction Withdrawal
The National Institute on Drug Abuse also explained that those who are addicted to heroin and stop using the drug abruptly may have severe heroin withdrawal.
How Long Does Heroin Withdrawal Last?
Heroin is a short-acting opioid, meaning that it takes effect rapidly but also leaves the bloodstream quickly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that heroin withdrawal symptoms start within 6-12 hours of the last dose, peak in 2-3 days, and last 5-10 days in total. 
Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
Heroin Addiction treatment produces symptoms—which can begin as early as a few hours after the drug was last taken— Heroin Withdrawal include:
- Severe muscle and bone pain
- Sleep problems
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Cold flashes with goosebumps (“cold turkey”)
- Uncontrollable leg movements (“kicking the habit”)
- Severe heroin cravings
Heroin overdoses have been rising sharply in the United States over the last several years. In 2015, over 13,000 people died of heroin overdoses in the United States. Heroin is sold illegally, so there is no control over the quality or strength of the drug. Also, it is sometimes mixed with other poisonous substances.
Most people who overdose are already addicted, but some people overdose the very first time they try it. Many people who use heroin also abuse prescription pain medicines and other drugs. They may also abuse alcohol. These combinations of substances can be very dangerous. Heroin use in the United States has been growing since 2007.
There has also been a change in the demographics of heroin use. It is now believed that addiction to prescription opioid painkillers is the gateway to heroin use for many people. This is because the street price of heroin is often cheaper than that of prescription opioids. 
Heroin Overdose Symptoms
A heroin overdose occurs when a person uses enough of the drug to produce a life-threatening reaction or death. Heroin overdoses have increased in recent years.
When people overdose on heroin, their breathing often slows or stops. This can decrease the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain, a condition called hypoxia. Hypoxia can have short- and long-term mental effects and effects on the nervous system, including coma and permanent brain damage.
Heroin Addiction Treatment
If you are addicted to drugs such as heroin, your very first step in recovery should be to medical detox in a safe and medically supervised setting. That is why We Level Up is here for you. We Level Up TX detox center medically assist clients to clear their systems of addictive substances, such as heroin.
For anyone who suffers from addiction, we know that just the thought of having to stop using can cause severe mental distress. Given that, the medical detox center will help you manage the medical detox process. A comprehensive team prescribing medications can alleviate your withdrawal pains while monitoring your health 24 hours. Assuring both your safety and comfort.
At We Level Up TX, our thorough approach to rehabilitation supports several levels of care to ensure the best possible outcome for every patient who enters our doors. From an intensive and more supportive atmosphere for those in the early days of recovery to a comfortable residential-style living dynamic upon completion of detox, we are here to help guide you down the safe and results-based path to your sobriety.
Once detox is complete, a new doorway in treatment opens up, which is referred to as a residential level of care. Here, our residential care program slowly and effectively introduces the individual into an atmosphere of therapeutic growth, marked by Master’s level therapists, clinicians, group counselors, psychiatrists, and a community of like-minded individuals with the same aim: to attain sobriety and live a great life.
Some of the many modalities applied and practiced within our residential treatment facility are:
- Alumni Support
- Holistic Therapy
Moreover, here at We Level Up TX addiction Treatment the needs of each patient are specific and personalized, as we aim to provide comprehensive support for mental health, addiction, and dual diagnosis treatment.
Patients in our residential therapy programs will live comfortably within the facility during this crucial and fragile time. Indeed, this supportive environment is designed to give clients 24-hour care for sobriety, removing temptations for relapse and applying an air of recovery into every component of the treatment timeline, including heroin addiction treatment. At We Level Up TX, we find that when patients are living in a supportive community, especially during their early recovery process, they are able to truly focus on what matters most: their recovery.
Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.
 Heroin Withdrawal, Symptoms, Detox, and Treatment – https://americanaddictioncenters.org/withdrawal-timelines-treatments/heroin