Heroin has routinely been listed as one of the most addictive drugs in the world. An addiction to heroin is therefore very difficult to break. While it had medical uses in the past, its addictive nature forced it to be replaced by other analgesics that did not have similar levels of addiction. Before looking at why it is so addictive, let us first understand the drug.
Heroin is a highly addictive opioid made from morphine, one of the most potent analgesics still in medicinal use today. It is produced from the poppy plant and often presents as a white powder that can be snorted, smoked, or injected.
The heroin rush is a feeling of high euphoria that users of the drug experience immediately after taking it in one of the ways described above. This euphoria is often accompanied by heightened alertness and wakefulness. Other effects include intense pleasure, slowed breathing and heart rates, and a decreased appetite.
The almost-instantaneous heroin rush is one of the reasons why it is so addictive. The euphoric highs, alertness, and wakefulness can lead some people to use it to numb temporary emotional and physical pain, but what they might not know is that they are doing a lot of damage by doing so.
The real reason heroin is so addictive is due to how it binds to opioid receptors in the brain. These receptors are responsible for feelings of pleasure and pain depending on how they are stimulated. The body stimulates them in case of pain to “numb” it and this is the primary mechanism of action of opioid medications.
However, the continued use of heroin and other opioids leads to a person needing more to achieve the same level of previous effects, whether pain reduction, pleasure, or euphoria. The relatively low cost and easy availability of heroin make it easy for addicts to get their hands on it, which makes it easier for them to keep taking the drug to avoid the pain that comes with withdrawal.
Because of this dependence and increased amount of usage, stopping can cause intense pain that accompanies withdrawal, and this is what causes the continuous addiction cycle. This cycle partially helps explain the high overdose death rate for heroin addiction. Another part of the equation is the adverse immediate effects described above.
Continuous and long-term heroin use can lead to other situations such as vein collapse, infarction of heart muscles, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and other more serious symptoms.
Getting treated for heroin addiction at a rehab center is the best way to beat the addiction. This is because withdrawal makes it almost impossible for one to stop on their own. Treatment starts with minimizing withdrawal symptoms and then changing the user’s mindset for them to believe they can live drug-free.
The community available to them also makes it easier to remain accountable and therefore increases the chances of success.
Heroin is one of the most addictive opioids in the world, and its addiction is devastating to addicts and those around them. Its addiction is also highly fatal due to the mix of complications it causes, which means treatment is highly recommended for addicts.