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How Do People Get Addicted To Heroin

Treatment For Black Tar Heroin Addiction

Why Do People Get Addicted to Drugs and Alcohol?

If you or someone you love suffer from addiction to Black Tar or any kind of Heroin, do not be afraid to seek help. Many cases of addiction start innocently, with someone just trying to manage physical pain. The worst thing you can do is close yourself off. It will just allow your addiction to grow while you push away those closest to you. Contact a treatment provider today.

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Cooper Smith earned his Bachelors in Writing for Entertainment from Full Sail University. While he was initially interested in a career in television, he saw an issue in his community and felt compelled to do something more. Now, he uses his knowledge to reach out to people who may need help and make the public aware of issues we are facing as a society. When he isnt behind a computer, Cooper travels somewhere new.

  • Frontline. . Heroin in the Brain. Retrieved on August 16th, 2018 from
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse. . Heroin. Retrieved on August 16th, 2018 from
  • T., Buddy. . The Various Types of Heroin. Retrieved on August 16th, 2018 from

Clinically Reviewed:

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All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Heroin Withdrawal Signs And Symptoms

Those who are addicted to heroin not only become physically dependent on the substance, but are also afraid to stop using for fear of the symptoms they may experience when they stop using. Withdrawal symptoms from heroin can develop as soon as a few hours after sustained use. Someone who is withdrawing from longtime heroin abuse and dependence is at risk of serious medical complications and should seek professional medical personnel for help. Some effects of withdrawal include:

  • Intense craving for heroin
  • Severe muscle aches and pains
  • Cramping in the limbs
  • Feelings of heaviness of the body
  • Extreme pain in muscles and bones
  • Crying jags
  • Death can occur when other medical conditions are present

Co-Occurring Disorders

How Do People Become Addicted To Heroin

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Heroin is one of the most addictive substances known to man, and unfortunately its use is widespread across the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse , âIn 2011, 4.2 million Americans aged 12 or older had used heroin at least once in their lives. It is estimated that about 23 percent of individuals who use heroin become dependent on it.â

Heroin is within the opioid class of drugs, as a synthetic that is derived from morphine. Heroin comes in several forms, namely powder , or in a sticky form, called âblack tar heroin.â All hold great potential for addiction. In order to better comprehend the repercussions of addiction, we need to understand the means by which a person got there.

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Effects Of Heroin Addiction

The effects of heroin abuse will differ from person to person, depending upon the length of abuse, amount of heroin used, the presence of other substances, and individual makeup. Severity of symptoms tend to get worse the longer the drug is abused. The most common effects of heroin addiction may include:

  • Liver disease
  • Skin disease and abscesses around injection sites
  • Infections of the valves and lining of the heart
  • HIV or Hepatitis B and C
  • Chronic pneumonia
  • Blood clots, leading to stroke, pulmonary embolism, and heart attack
  • Kidney disease
  • Risks of contracting chronic illnesses
  • Risks for blood-borne pathogens

Withdrawal Symptoms

Medications Used To Treat Heroin Addiction

Opioid Crisis: What People Don

According to a research report from December of 2021 published by the NIDA, methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are all effective medications for heroin addiction treatment.4 Although not all treatment programs utilize these medications, they may be helpful for certain individuals.

  • Methadone is a synthetic opioid agonist that eliminates withdrawal symptoms and alleviates cravings by acting on opioid receptors in the brain.
  • Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, which means it binds to opioid receptors in the body but does so less strongly than full opioid agonists. It reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms without producing euphoric side effects.
  • Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist, which means it blocks the activation of opioid receptors in the body. It keeps opioid drugs from producing rewarding effects like euphoria, thereby decreasing a persons motivation to use opioids.

Since each of these medications work differently, its best to work with a treatment provider to determine the optimal approach considering the persons unique history and circumstances.

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Key Benefits Of Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment offers a couple key dynamics that outpatient treatment does not. Inpatient opioid rehab care imbues participants with feelings of security and safety, as 24-hour supervision prevents the possibility of relapse.

The sense of protection of inpatient therapy comes from giving clients a place that is free of the stresses and temptations of the outside world. Here, they have distance from the problems that may have lured them to heroin in the first place, and they can focus all their time and energy on healing and restoring themselves. The freedoms offered by outpatient therapy are very attractive, but they are not for everyone and generally, they are not for those suffering from this serious addiction.

A network of relationships and support can be created in inpatient treatment. Psych Central refers to this as a therapeutic community, whereby the participants in an inpatient program form a bond of encouragement and understanding that lasts far beyond the last day of formal treatment. Some of the friendships made in these programs can help those struggling to stay on the wagon when their sobriety is threatened.

Are There Treatments For Heroin Addiction

Yes, even though it may be a tough road, compassionate and expert care exists to treat a person who is suffering from heroin addiction. With any substance abuse or addiction, the best rehabilitation programs offer comprehensive protocols that integrate a variety of treatments and therapies. These not only help you to gain sobriety, but maintain it in the time after you leave rehabilitation.

Effective rehabilitation should address any co-occurring disorders that may aggravate or precipitate substance abuse, and utilize medication-assisted treatment. Methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are medications that may be used to treat heroin addiction.

These therapies may include cognitive behavioral therapyâan intensive method that assists a person in breaking harmful cycles revolving around negative thoughts and behaviorsâor contingency-management and motivational incentives, which are incentive-based methods that help to support positive achievements and abstinence.

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Stages Of Heroin Addiction

What people think about addiction, they usually think about alcohol, drugs, and gambling. One of the most common drugs to which people may get addicted is heroin. Heroin is a powerful opioid that many people get addicted to after they suffer from chronic pain. The reality is that chronic pain is one of the most pressing issues facing the modern healthcare system. Unfortunately, many people end up getting addicted to prescription opioids. Then, when those no longer work, they reach for something stronger, such as heroin. Everyone needs to understand the stages of heroin addiction so that they can seek appropriate treatment. The experts at Georgia Addiction Treatment Center can help individuals educate themselves and find the support necessary.

How Is Heroin Addiction Diagnosed

What it’s like to be addicted to heroin

Diagnosing any kind of substance use disorder, including opioid use disorder, is done by a thorough examination and assessment by a psychiatrist or psychologist. In some states, a licensed drug and alcohol counselor may make the diagnosis.

Typically, a variety of tests are used. These include lab tests like blood or urine tests and a clinical interview.

If you suspect that you or someone you care about has a heroin addiction, talk with a professional. This can include a mental health professional like a licensed drug or alcohol counselor or a social worker, physician, or psychiatrist.

Theres no one cure-all for any drug addiction, including heroin. Rather, there are effective treatments available to help the person into and through recovery. The specific kinds of treatment used usually depend on:

  • the individual

is often more effective than just using one.

The two main forms of opioid use disorder treatment are pharmacological and behavioral.

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Diagnosing Opioid Use Disorder

The following symptoms indicate that a person has gone beyond heroin use to heroin addiction.

  • Frequent, often daily, use of heroin. Someone who has an addiction may even use heroin several times a day.
  • Tolerance to the effects of heroin. Increasing doses of heroin are needed to feel its effects. One of the dangers of tolerance to heroin is that when a person decreases their heroin use , and then returns to their previous dose, there is a much greater risk of overdose.
  • Continued use despite negative effects on personal life. Heroin use can cause problems at work or in relationships because of missed obligations, Someone who has a drug use disorder will keep using anyway.
  • Withdrawal symptoms. These occur when a person stops or decreases using heroin. Heroin users often refer to this as “getting sick,” and most accept the unpleasant heroin withdrawal symptoms, such as body aches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, as part of heroin addiction.

Recognizing the problem is the first step in getting well. Change can take time, and you are encouraged to connect with your doctor or addiction clinic for support.

Living With Heroin Addiction

Research shows that as heroin users identify more with the role of the heroin addictmarked by social marginalization, personal networks of heroin users, and the heroin-using lifestylethey shift to higher risk-taking, injecting rather than sniffing the drug. Heroin addiction can become central to their lives, and it typically has a negative impact on other areas of life, such as family, school, and work.

Many heroin addicts are not able to function in the usual sense. They spend their lives focused on obtaining money to buy heroin and taking heroin in a place of secrecy, where they can recover from the effects, which can include vomiting and dozing off or “nodding out.”

A study comparing users of different drugs shows the life patterns of people who take heroin to be much more difficult than those of other drug users. They often spend time in and out of jail and experience multiple failed attempts to quit using.

However, some people who are addicted to heroin live a double life, in which they are able to hold down a job, have a family, and so on. This is typically very stressful and requires an enormous amount of energy and organization, as well as a constant source of money.

Heroin addicts often describe a “love-hate” relationship with the drug. Typically, it is perceived as the only really effective way of coping with the stress of life and the burden of a history of trauma and emotional and physical pain.

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How Addiction Leads To A Cycle Of Substance Abuse

Habitual heroin use can result in a cycle of addiction. People with drug addiction often fall into patterns of repetitive emotions, thoughts, and behaviors associated with addiction.

A person may feel stuck between drug use and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that develop when stopping use.

A cycle of drug abuse can be characterized by the individuals patterns of:

  • environmental, emotional, and social triggers or pain that leads to drug use
  • obsessing over drug usage to alleviate discomfort
  • drug use and participating in other illegal activities
  • guilt, fear, shame, and remorse over drug use
  • withdrawal symptoms
  • unsuccessful attempts at sobriety

The cycle of abuse will continue until a person receives treatment, detoxes from heroin, and is finally able to live drug-free outside repetitive patterns that drive substance abuse.

Tips For Finding The Best Drug Addiction Treatment For You

Are Inhalants Addictive? Can You Get Addicted to Inhalants?

Remember that no treatment works for everyone. Everyones needs are different. Whether you have a problem with illegal or prescription drugs, addiction treatment should be customized to your unique situation. Its important that you find a program that feels right.

Treatment should address more than just your drug abuse. Addiction affects your whole life, including your relationships, career, health, and psychological well-being. Treatment success depends on developing a new way of living and addressing the reasons why you turned to drugs in the first place. For example, your drug dependency may have developed from a desire to manage pain or to cope with stress, in which case youll need to find a healthier way to relieve pain or to handle stressful situations.

Commitment and follow-through are key. Drug addiction treatment is not a quick and easy process. In general, the longer and more intense the drug use, the longer and more intense the treatment youll need. And in all cases, long-term follow-up care is crucial to recovery.

There are many places to turn for help. Not everybody requires medically supervised detox or an extended stint in rehab. The care you need depends on a variety of factors, including your age, drug-use history, medical or psychiatric conditions. In addition to doctors and psychologists, many clergy members, social workers, and counselors offer addiction treatment services.

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Heroin As A Wonder Drug

Although diacetylmorphine was not prescribed as a medicine much before 1900 its preparation had already been reported in 1874 by C. R. Wright at St. Mary’s Hospital in London. The main purpose of his work was to determine the constitution of some natural and purified alkaloids. By boiling anhydrous morphine alkaloid for several hours with acetic anhydride he was able to isolate acetylated morphine derivatives. The general conception of the morphine molecule in those days was that it was represented by the double empirical formula which gave rise to the rather confusing nomenclature in his article. The extreme acetylated derivative which he obtained, he called ” Tetra acetyl morphine.” This compound corresponds to diacetylmorphine according to our present nomenclature.

From a medical point of view the interest in this new morphine derivative was not very high for the first twenty years. In 1890, a German scientist, W. Dankwortt, prepared diacetylmorphine by heating anhydrous morphine with excess acetylchloride. The result of his work is important, not from the pharmacological, but from the chemical point of view. Because of the nature of the compounds he was able to isolate, he concluded that the morphine molecule had a simple empirical formula rather than the double one.

The new compound was marketed by Bayer under the name “Heroin.” Later this name became a synonym for the drug.

What Happens To Your Brain When You Use Heroin

When heroin enters the brain, it attaches to molecules on cells known as opioid receptors. These receptors are located in many areas of the brain and body, especially areas involved in the perception of pain and pleasure, as well as a part of the brain that regulates breathing.

Short-term effects of heroin include a rush of good feelings and clouded thinking. These effects can last for a few hours, and during this time people feel drowsy, and their heart rate and breathing slow down. When the drug wears off, people experience a depressed mood and often crave the drug to regain the good feelings.

Regular heroin use changes the functioning of the brain. Using heroin repeatedly can result in:

  • tolerance: more of the drug is needed to achieve the same high
  • dependence: the need to continue use of the drug to avoid withdrawal symptoms
  • addiction: a devastating brain disease where, without proper treatment, people have trouble stopping using drugs even when they really want to and even after it causes terrible consequences to their health and other parts of their lives. Because of changes to how the brain functions after repeated drug use, people that are addicted crave the drug just to feel normal.

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Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service

The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.

The Brain Continues To Develop Into Adulthood And Undergoes Dramatic Changes During Adolescence

Homeless man talks openly about being addicted to heroin. We have an opioid crisis in America.

One of the brain areas still maturing during adolescence is the prefrontal cortexthe part of the brain that allows people to assess situations, make sound decisions, and keep emotions and desires under control. The fact that this critical part of a teens brain is still a work in progress puts them at increased risk for trying drugs or continuing to take them. Introducing drugs during this period of development may cause brain changes that have profound and long-lasting consequences.

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Modes Of Heroin Abuse

While the chemical structure of heroin and its impact on the brain might be partially responsible for its addictiveness level, the ways in which heroin users introduce the drug to the body might also play a role.

Unlike some drugs that are swallowed and which enter the body relatively slowly, heroin users typically employ fast delivery systems, including:

  • Injection


These methods allow all of the power of heroin to hit the body in a gigantic wave that overwhelms and overpowers. Rather than feeling slightly impaired in a slow burn, users are suddenly vaulted into a new realm of experience. This is the sort of transformation the brain tends to remember, and it tends to make heroin much more addictive than other types of substances that enter the body through oral routes.

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