Extracts from the opium poppy have long been used for medicinal purpose. Now the poppy is probably best known as the source of heroin, one of America’s most widely abused illegal drugs. Like other drugs derived from the opium poppy (which gives its name to opioid and opiate drugs), heroin is intensely addictive. Heroin addiction can occur after taking the drug on just one occasion.
People who are experiencing a substance addiction should contact the experts at Drug Rehab Centers Elizabeth by dialing (908) 329-2158.
Like all narcotics, this drug has a numbing sensation on the brain. It also causes euphoria and sends waves of pleasure through the body. It is this intense “high” that makes the drug so addictive. People who experience it once want to do so again and again.
Heroin addiction quickly becomes problematic when the user can’t replicate the feeling of first-time use. The high opioid addicts get is very short-lived, leaving them to take the drug again after a fairly short interval. When the addiction is fully developed, many addicts will inject themselves (shoot up) several times each day. The need to raise finance to buy the drug drives addicts to crime and prostitution.
The health risks associated with heroin use are widely known, yet the drug continues to grow in popularity. Easier access to the drug is a major factor. Heroin availability was once confined to cities, but it is now freely available everywhere. Another reason for its growth in popularity is that the price of a dose is much lower than it once was. Prices have come down as the supply available has risen.
Heroin has the same physical effects on the human body as other opioid drugs. It induces relaxation in muscles, including the heart and the respiratory system. When an overdose is taken, the addict can suffer heart failure, or he or she may stop breathing. The likelihood of overdosing is high because there is no control on the amount of heroin in a given dose.
The primary method of intake is by direct injection into a vein. As tolerance builds, the addict needs to increase the frequency of injections, causing the veins to become swollen and bruised. Additionally, the frequent injections cause infections. Addicts tend to share needles, and the needles are used several times without being sterilized. This leads to the transmission of serious infectious diseases like HIV and Hepatitis B and C.
Addicts have to be clean of all drugs and alcohol at the first stage in treatment. This is usually a disturbing and traumatic event for the addict because heroin produces very severe withdrawal symptoms.
The withdrawal symptoms are so severe that addicts should stay in a residential treatment facility to help them during this phase. With 24/7 supervision available, addicts can be helped physically by medication and treated mentally by qualified addiction therapists during withdrawal.
The medications used to ease the withdrawal may be continued afterwards. Phase 2 of the treatment plan involves helping the addict to remain off the heroin. Apart from ongoing medication, the addict will be given therapy to help him or her find better alternatives to taking heroin.
Therapy usually commences during the withdrawal stage, although sessions will be very limited then. Once the addict is able to think clearly, therapy begins in earnest, and addicts are prepared for living back in the outside world.
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