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One of the most common questions about heroin is: “how long does it take to become addicted to it?”
Whether you have a loved one who is abusing the drug, or you’re curious and you want to try the substance yourself (which you should not), it’s important to know the answer to this question. Heroin addiction can happen quickly and without warning.
The situation is actually more complex than it seems. There are those who could use heroin one or two times without getting addicted. That’s possible—but it’s also rare. What’s more likely to happen is that you will use heroin a few times and get hooked right away. The substance is very addictive after all.
How Addictive is Heroin?
Many people who take heroin fall into a downward spiral that leads to an overwhelming situation that’s hard to get out of. We’re emphasizing the word “hard” because it’s not impossible to recover from heroin addiction; it’s just difficult. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work. And of course, you will need to focus your energy and resources into a proper addiction treatment program.
But why is it so hard to get rid of heroin? How addictive is it exactly?
The truth is, it’s different for everyone. People often ask what the safe amount of heroin is. But in reality, there is no safe amount of heroin.
Some people abuse drugs because it makes them feel good. And that’s the exact same reason why heroin is addictive. It gives you feelings of joy and euphoria. It makes you feel relaxed. People abuse this drug because of the pleasure it gives them.
Sadly, this pleasure is quickly replaced with various health problems. Adverse effects caused by heroin abuse will damage a person’s body and mind. Physical and mental effects can worsen over time. And because the drug is addictive, the person will keep taking it even as they are experiencing the consequences.
It is also possible to develop a physical dependence on heroin after a while. This means that the person’s body has adapted to the presence of heroin. It will start creating negative effects called withdrawal symptoms whenever the addicted person stops taking heroin.
After a few hours or days without taking heroin, the person will go into withdrawal and suffer from symptoms that may range from unpleasant to life-threatening. As this happens, the person also experiences intense cravings. All these will inevitably lead to relapse.
It’s no surprise that people lose everything in the process of dealing with addiction. This condition affects more than a person’s mind and body. It affects them financially, socially, and spiritually. It can lead to them losing their job, or ruining their relationships, or even getting into legal troubles.
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These problems can easily overwhelm a person. And of course, it can all happen very quickly. So the general advice is to avoid taking heroin in the first place. Unlike other opioids (which are addictive in their own right), heroin has no medical use whatsoever.
There is no clear research-backed answer to the question “how long does it take to get addicted to heroin”. It varies from person to person. It can take days or weeks.
You’ll know that someone is addicted if they can’t limit or control their use of a certain substance. Look for an addiction treatment center near you today if you know someone who is addicted to heroin. They will have to go through medical detox and behavioral therapy to get over the effects of heroin abuse.