Some people believe smoking heroin is a safe alternative to injecting it. This is not true. Heroin is harmful and highly addictive regardless of the method of administration.
Injecting and smoking heroin are equally as likely to cause addiction. These two methods allow the drug to reach the brain the fastest. As a potent opioid, heroin can lead to addiction after only one use.
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is a central nervous system depressant. A semi-synthetic opioid, heroin is a chemical manipulation of the powerful prescription drug morphine. People usually inject heroin, but they also smoke or snort it. Heroin is a main driver of the ongoing opioid crisis due to its potency and low price.
Heroin binds to the brain’s opioid receptors releasing a surge of a neurochemical called dopamine. This dopamine boost produces an intense feeling of euphoria. After using heroin only several times, the brain becomes incapable of managing dopamine on its own. The user then depends on continued heroin use to achieve these feelings.
The Heroin High
Heroin can be injected, smoked, or snorted. The high can be felt almost instantly and lasts anywhere from 4-8 hours. While high on heroin the user experiences:
- A sense of euphoria
- Dry mouth
- Numb or tingling sensation
- Warm, flushed skin
- Falling in and out of consciousness
- Muscle weakness
- Shallow breathing
- Low blood pressure
- Decreased heart rate
Dangers of Smoking Heroin
Heroin addiction has become a national issue. Being up to three times more potent than morphine, heroin is a large factor in the current opioid epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that nearly 588,700 people have died in the past two decades from an opioid overdose.
As a central nervous system depressant, heroin suppresses the respiratory system. Being denied adequate oxygen, the body’s vital organs begin to dysfunctional. The heart and lungs become incapable of regulating breathing or heart rate. Most heroin overdoses occur because a person stops breathing.
Many recent overdose fatalities have involved fentanyl. Fentanyl is a fully synthetic opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin. Many people suffering from opioid use disorder have fallen victim to this drug. Unaware of the presence of fentanyl, individuals can easily overdose when smoking heroin that has been cut with fentanyl.
Heroin Addiction Treatment
Because of the many dangers associated with smoking heroin, professional treatment is important in combating this addiction. Heroin impacts every part of your life. Left untreated, heroin addiction could end it.
Detox is a first-step for many people seeking heroin addiction treatment. The detox process eliminates all traces of heroin in your system. Withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable. This is one reason why a clinical detox at a center is recommended. The professionals at these centers are medically trained in assisting people through the detox process.
By completing detox, if required, you will be prepared for continued treatment. Detox lowers the likelihood of relapse and reduces heroin cravings. Once clean, you will be able to focus on treatment and recovery.
Addiction Therapy Treatment
Therapy assists clients in developing new, healthy habits. While receiving treatment within a professional facility, clients are in a safe environment, free from drug accessibility and temptation. You will be among peers while you work together towards recovery.
Addiction therapists are skilled in locating the source of a client’s addiction. Therapies such as individual, group, and cognitive-behavioral therapy work to deconstruct addiction by examining trauma and past events. Clients will develop healthy coping and decision-making skills to remain sober.
Maintaining sobriety is a lifelong effort. Due to the severity of heroin addiction, continued care is oftentimes necessary to remain in recovery. Upon completing an addiction treatment program, participation in therapy and addiction groups is recommended.
These services reinforce sobriety and provide ongoing support. You will be able to move forward confidently, knowing that addiction no longer controls you.
We Are Here For You
You do not need to become another statistic. As heroin overdose death rates continue to climb, now is the time to seek help. Smoking heroin is dangerous and life-threatening when left untreated. We provide the necessary tools for you to take back your life and live heroin-free.
At our accredited addiction treatment center, you are in good hands. We offer various services to treat heroin addiction. Our specialists are trained in relapse prevention and trauma-informed care, ensuring that you receive the thorough treatment you deserve.
We understand that every client has unique needs in terms of treatment. That is why we provide individualized, clinical care to every person who walks through our door. Our addiction experts will work with you to develop an effective treatment plan that doesn’t sacrifice your comfort.
If you or a loved one is smoking heroin, we are here to help. Addiction can be an isolating disease, but you no longer have to suffer alone. Call us today to see how we can help.