Herion addiction is serious and can lead to many detrimental health effects and even death. The drug not only affects the individual struggling with addiction, but can damage friendships, family relationships, jobs and overall quality of life and health.
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found in 2012 that 669,000 Americans said they had used the drug in the last year, with 156,000 of those being first-time users. The survey also found the largest group of users to be between the ages of 18 and 25. However, addiction can affect individuals of any age and walk of life.
In addition to the danger of an overdose, prolonged heroin use can lead to other types of damage to the body, from gastrointestinal issues to abscesses, heart infection, collapsed veins, kidney or liver disease and breathing issues. The additives and contaminants that are often found in the drug can pose many health risks resulting from clogged blood vessels.
How long does it take to get addicted to heroin?
A person who decides to try heroin can become addicted to it quickly. For some people, it may only take one try to get hooked, whether it is being injected, smoked or snorted. Although the methods for getting high on heroin vary, injecting it is especially dangerous due to possible complications from using a dirty needle, such as HIV or Hepatitis, and the speed with which the drug affects the user, sometimes resulting in an overdose.
However, the drug may not hold the same effect or create the same "high" as it did for the person experiencing it for the first time. For repeat or frequent users, it can take more of the substance to recreate that feeling because the body becomes dependent on the drug and will develop a tolerance to it.
Heroin's lasting physical and psychological effects
Even after the "high" wears off, heroin can continue to impact the person using it. The addiction takes a toll on the addict's personal life, causing jobs and relationships to suffer. As a result, some may fall on hard financial times and begin participating in illegal activities in an effort to obtain more heroin or fund their drug habit.
A person who is using and becoming addicted to heroin may begin to become increasingly isolated, stop caring for their personal appearance and hygiene and exhibit mood swings. If the individual seems incoherent at times, has shown signs of manipulative behavior or has been stealing money, it could be that they are already addicted. Those addicted to the drug may go to great lengths to get their next "fix."
Proper treatment can help
For those who have become dependent on heroin, getting off of it can be very difficult. People who are trying to stop their heroin use can benefit from the resources and support from a drug addiction treatment facility. It's worth noting, however, that not all treatment facilities are the same or will take the most effective approach to recovery.
Founded in 1989 by Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef, the Fairwinds Treatment Center uses the dual diagnosis method to treat those battling heroin addiction. Using the dual diagnosis method, which helps uncover and resolve addiction's psychological triggers through a combination of clinical treatment and therapeutic counseling, those battling addiction can experience a full recovery. Contact us today to learn more about how our Clearwater, FL treatment center can help you or your loved one to live a healthier, happier life without drugs.