Heroin addiction and use has been increasing throughout the United States, and has been reported to be at epidemic proportions in some states. For available treatment facilities options that can help with a heroin addiction in your life, or that of a loved one, contact Boise Drug Treatment Centers at (208) 272-9857.
Heroin is an opioid narcotic drug that is produced from a morphine alkaloid contained in opium. It is twice as strong as morphine, so because of this, heroin addiction is quite common. It is classified as a schedule I controlled substance. First used as a pain reliever and then as a cure for alcoholism, heroin addiction began to spread soon after.
The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that "heroin has now replaced prescription opiates which are becoming increasingly difficult to come by." Other explanations for are due to it being easy to get, and that it is cheap. It is now known as a "party drug," and is readily available on campuses nationwide as well as easily found on the street. Use has also increased due to the fact that current versions have a higher level of purity which allows users to get the same results from smoking and snorting as they would by injecting.
In order for users to continue to experience the euphoric rush, use has to increase. Tolerance develops quickly and creates dependence. Heroin reverts to morphine once it goes to the brain. It then binds to opioid receptor molecules and blocks the perception of pain, increasing the effects in the reward center in the brain. Cravings are very intense as it has been said that cravings will continue for years after use has suspended.
Normally sold in powder form, the pure form is cut with other substances such as powdered milk, sugar, starch, and deadly substances such quinine and even the poison strychnine. It is most often cut with other drugs such as fentanyl. These potentially lethal drugs in combination with heroin are responsible for overdose and rising deaths all across the country.
In addition to the euphoric surge, users experience a warm flushing, dry mouth, and the sensation of their limbs being very heavy. The drug strongly impacts the central nervous system and depresses mental functions and causes confused thinking. Periods of wakefulness and drowsiness are also common effects.
Extended use damages organs and systems throughout the body. Some effects will subside after withdrawal and detoxification, but others may be permanent. Diseases such as liver disease and kidney disease are seen in addition to other effects. Memory loss is common. Infections and abscesses, diseased gums, a weakened immune system, and respiratory illness plague addicts.
Treatment for heroin addiction includes a wide range of therapies including behavioral, pharmacological, psychological, group sessions, individual counseling, family counseling and more. Drug treatment is available on an inpatient and outpatient basis. Addictions may be best treated by a mixture of inpatient, residential, and outpatient methods.
The process of medical detoxification and withdrawal can potentially be life-threatening and is best achieved as an inpatient under supervised medical care. Residential programs that allow the patient to live in a supervised living situation with other recovering addicts may be the next step considered, followed by a medically supervised outpatient program. Withdrawal is a long-term process. Symptoms can take several months to subside.