Heroin is possibly the most dangerous street drug to exist. Though there are other drugs in the world that pose more of an immediate threat to one’s life upon using, the relevancy and worldwide availability of heroin make it a fatal contender in the black market and world of illicit drug use.
Becoming addicted to heroin happens in a number of ways. With the growing issue of overprescribing heavy narcotic opioid painkillers, heroin becomes a last resort for pill addicts. Made with the same opiate compounds as heroin, opioid painkillers quickly build tolerance in their users, inspiring them on a physical and psychological level to take more. This habit can be costly as the price of prescription heroin, as it is called, is not inexpensive. Desperate and dependent, the pill addict will trickle down the line of prescription drugs until finally resorting to street heroin. Referred to as ‘tar’, street heroin is rarely pure. Prescription pills themselves are made with acetaminophen, a pain-relieving ingredient found in Tylenol. Heroin, however, can be cut with all kind of substances, making the potency and danger of each dose a relative unknown.
Smoking heroin can still create an addiction with less severe side effects than injecting. It can take up to just three episodes of intravenous heroin use to create a full chemical dependency. Once this dependency takes hold, a heroin addict is deep within the grips of a vicious cycle of addiction. Not only are they addicted to heroin and craving more, the addict is experiencing symptoms of withdrawal every time the body begins to lose touch with the substance being present. Simply to avoid being ‘dope sick’ or ‘kicking’ as this process is called, the addict will use again.
How to Quit Heroin
This can make quitting heroin a difficult task to do. Addicted to the drug, the high, and the cycle, a heroin addict can find themselves unwilling to bear the effects of kicking. To quit heroin, first contact family and professional medical staff. Heroin addiction will likely require detox. Detox at home is not recommended as craving will be most intense during this phase and medical oversize may be necessary. Medically assisted heroin detox is available through the use of medications like suboxone or methadone. Both of these medications still contain partial traces of opioids and can be habit forming. Seek professional medical supervision for detox and subsequent treatment. Entering a treatment program can help to understand where this addiction came from and address underlying issues that need to be dealt with. Treatment will offer education on addiction, relapse prevention, and life management. Additionally, treatment will offer family programs where families can get educated and heal.
Quitting heroin is not impossible. We see the impossible occur every day in the lives of our patients at the Center for Life Change. For more information on our addiction treatment programs, call us today. (951) 775-4000