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As we all know, heroin is addictive. Addiction ruins people’s lives. It can overwhelm you with its physical and psychological effects. It affects your career, your relationships, and even your financial situation. Not to mention all the withdrawal symptoms that occur whenever you try to quit it. It’s so much easier to just keep taking the drug and give in every time you feel the cravings.
But what exactly makes heroin so addictive? Why do people keep abusing it? In 2015, deaths from opioids soared past 33,000 people for the first time in US history. That same year, heroin deaths topped gun homicides. The problem is so serious that it is widely considered to be an epidemic. Let’s take a closer look.
Why is Heroin so Addictive?
Heroin as a substance is naturally addictive. The reason for this is that it affects the brain in a way that makes it harder to resist. In simple terms, we can say that heroin alters the way the human brain perceives pleasure. When you take heroin, you experience a euphoric sensation that makes you feel good.
Heroin gets you high. It makes the body feel relaxed. Heroin is addictive because it affects the reward center of the brain—the part that is associated with pleasure.
Other things can make your brain feel good. Eating chocolate, for example, gives you a dopamine rush. It gives you a euphoric experience. But heroin floods your brain with dopamine. This gives a faster and longer-lasting surge of dopamine in your brain’s reward center.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that gives you feelings of pleasure. And because heroin floods the brain with dopamine, the body soon associates drug use with feelings of pleasure and happiness. It’s hard to resist a drug if you genuinely enjoy taking it.
And this is what causes people to get addicted. As soon as the dopamine rush subsides, changes start taking place. Taking large doses of heroin repeatedly will cause the body to build up a tolerance. This means that the user will have to take more heroin to get the same euphoric effects.
More heroin means more trouble for your body. Because unfortunately, euphoria isn’t the only thing it causes. It creates various adverse health effects, some of which affect your behavior and your physical condition.
Take enough heroin and your body will soon become unable to feel any euphoria from other sources. You will have to rely on the drug to achieve any feeling of joy. You won’t get the same pleasure you once did from other enjoyable things.
Heroin is a highly addictive drug that has no medical use whatsoever. Unlike other opioids that can be prescribed for pain relief, heroin is not meant to be used in that way.
If you know someone who has become dependent on heroin, you will have to look for an addiction treatment facility near you. A combination of medical detox and behavioral therapy may help them get over their addiction.
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Medical detox is the best way to manage the person’s dependence. It will involve gradually lowering the patient’s heroin intake in order to wean them off the drug slowly. This should be done with medical supervision as a part of a comprehensive drug treatment program. This ensures the safety of the patient while they go through withdrawal.
Visit an addiction treatment facility near you today and find out how they can help your loved one with a heroin addiction.