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Addiction is affecting more and more people. This is why we need to talk about the effects of abusing some of the most addictive substances out there. On this article, we will be focusing on heroin, a substance that’s both deadly and dangerous. It also happens to be the drug that is being abused by over 170,000 people in the US.
What does heroin do to you? What are its effects? What happens when you take large doses of it? Here’s what you need to know.
Heroin: What is it?
Also known as horse, smack, junk, and brown sugar, heroin is a highly addictive drug that is processed from morphine. Although it is classified as a narcotic, heroin does not have any medical use. Because of its high risk of abuse, heroin is considered illegal.
Heroin is typically sold as a white or brownish powder that is “cut” with sugars, powdered milk, or starch. Pure heroin is a white powder with a bitter taste. It predominantly originates in South Africa and Southeast Asia. It dominates US markets east of the Mississippi River.
There is also such a thing as “black tar heroin” which is a sticky, tar-like substance. It can also be hard, like coal. The dark color is because of the crude processing methods used.
Recreational users often snort or smoke this drug. Others who want a more intense high inject heroin directly into their bloodstream, putting themselves at risk of blood-borne illnesses. Of course, it doesn’t matter what method of administration you use because heroin will cause health problems all the same.
The reason heroin is abused is that it gives its users a euphoric sensation that gets them high. It makes them feel good. However, this pleasant experience is quickly replaced with deadly consequences.
What Does Heroin Do to You?
Heroin makes your body develop tolerance if you use it often. This means that the longer you abuse the drug, the more you’ll need to take in order to experience the same high. This means you’ll take larger doses until your body starts developing physical dependence. This means you’ll go through withdrawal every time you try to quit heroin.
You will feel jittery and you will get chills. You might start vomiting or experiencing muscle pain.
Heroin abuse can lead to infections of the heart lining and the valves. It can cause skin infections like abscesses and cellulitis. It can lead to lung diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis. Pregnant women who are taking heroin can have a miscarriage.
Heroin makes you addicted. This means that even as you go through all these physical and emotional effects, you will still crave for it. You will want to keep taking the drug because your body tells you to, and it hurts whenever you stop doing so.
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To free yourself from the adverse effects of heroin abuse, you will have to go through addiction treatment. You need behavioral therapy and medical detox to flush the substance out of your system for good. It’s a long and difficult process that will have you struggling against withdrawal symptoms. But it is also the safest way to go through withdrawal.
Medical professionals will be with you 24/7 to keep track of your progress, to make sure you don’t encounter any life-threatening symptoms. Counselors will offer advice on how to stay sober and channel your energy into productive activities.
If you or a loved one is going through heroin addiction, look for an addiction treatment facility near you. A comprehensive treatment program can turn your life around and help you conquer the effects of addiction.