Thursday, July 18, 2024

How Many People Are Addicted To Heroin

Effects Of Using Heroin

What Heroin Addiction Is Really Like, As Told By A Former User

Heroin will provide a rush in a short amount of time. The rush will be experienced as an extremely pleasurable feeling. Immediately following the rush, the user may experience:

  • Feelings of calm.
  • Coma.
  • Death.

Its imperative to act immediately in an overdose situation. Naloxone, known by the brand names Narcan and Evzio, can aid in reducing and reversing symptoms of overdose and can save a life when given early. Some communities hit hard by heroin use dispense naloxone kits in the hopes of preventing overdose deaths.

Statistics On Addiction In America

Whether its a problem with alcohol, Opioids, Cocaine, or any other substance, addiction kills thousands of Americans every year and impacts millions of lives. Addiction, or substance use disorder , is a chronic mental health condition.

Because it affects the brains normal functions, an SUD compels someone to repeatedly use substances or engage in behaviors even though they have harmful consequences. Addictions can destroy marriages, friendships, and careers and threaten a persons basic health and safety.

  • Almost 21 million Americans have at least 1 addiction, yet only 10% of them receive treatment.
  • Drug overdose deaths have more than tripled since 1990.
  • Alcohol and drug addiction cost the US economy over $600 billion every year.
  • About 20% of Americans who have depression or an anxiety disorder also have a substance use disorder.
  • More than 90% of people who have an addiction started to drink alcohol or use drugs before they were 18 years old.
  • Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 are most likely to use addictive drugs.
Scroll to Find Your Insurance

Addiction Center is not affiliated with any insurance.

What Happens The First Time You Use Heroin

Its important to understand that even first-time heroin users can overdose. Heroin varies in potency and even ingredients you cant be sure what your heroin is cut with when you buy it on the street. This was illustrated in a recent outbreak of overdoses linked to heroin cut with fentanyl, an extremely potent opioid painkiller.

So if youre wondering whether its safe to try heroin just once, the answer is no: every use puts you at risk.

Heroin is an illegal substance that is derived from morphine, which is the active opiate alkaloid compound found in the opium poppy plant. Heroin users may abuse the substance through:

  • Smoking.
  • Injecting it into a vein or muscle, or just below the skin.
  • Snorting the powder or a liquid mixture.

Misconceptions exist regarding the risks associated with the various methods of administration. Some opt to smoke or snort the substance due to a belief that this markedly reduces the addictive quality, but this is not the case.

Whether smoked, snorted, or injected, heroin acts quickly in the body with each methods effects influenced by how soon it can reach the brain. Consider the speeds of the following routes according to the Center for Substance Abuse Research:

At first use of heroin, the user will experience a high, sometimes called a rush, dictated by various factors including:

  • The amount used.
  • The purity of substance.
  • The presence of other substances in the body.

Don’t Miss: How Long Does It Take To Break Alcohol Addiction

Escaping The Depths Of Heroin Addiction

Despite the difficulties that follow getting clean, heroin addiction doesnt have to be the end of the road. If youre stuck deep within the cycle of addiction, there is a way out. Reach out to a qualified addiction treatment program, somewhere like Peace Valley Recovery, where you can find the help and support you need.

Follow the lead of those who overcame their heroin addiction and ask for help today! Call us to speak with one of our certified and knowledgeable admissions counselors who can connect you with the right rehab program for you.

What Happens To Your Brain When You Use Heroin

Opioid Crisis: What People Don

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.

Also Check: Why Do People Become Addicted

How Many People Are Addicted To Drugs In The Us

Drug addiction is at an all-time high in the United States. Study after study shows us that drug use is on the rise. From the opioid crisis reaching every corner of the nation to illegal drugs still finding their ways into childrenâs hands, drug addiction affects one in every ten Americans.

What do the statistics tell us about Americaâs substance abuse crisis? More importantly: what can we do about prevention, treatment, and more?

The Closing the Addiction Treatment Gap 2010 initiative reviewed the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. This report is released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration .

This report review helps legislators, healthcare professionals, and others lobby for change in Washington and throughout the country to help those who canât afford treatment get the help they need for illicit drug use and alcohol abuse.

According to Dr. Kima Joy Taylor, CATG Director, âOur society and our health care system have been slow to recognize and respond to addiction as a chronic, but treatable, condition. While change doesnât happen overnight, if health care reform is implemented properly, millions of Americans will finally have insurance coverage for addiction treatment. This is a historic step toward a comprehensive, integrated approach to health care that includes treatment of addiction.â

Whos At Risk For A Heroin Addiction

Addiction can happen to anyone, and anyone who takes opioids can be at risk for developing an opioid use disorder.

While its impossible to say whos at risk for an opioid use disorder, there are factors that can raise the risk of developing a drug addiction.

According to the Mayo Clinic, some of these risk factors can include:

  • family or personal history of addiction to other substances
  • heavy tobacco use
  • history of severe depression or anxiety
  • unemployment
  • exposure to high-risk individuals or environments
  • history of risk-taking behavior

Its important to remember, though, that even if you or someone you care about has one or even many of these risk factors, that doesnt mean theyll develop a substance use disorder. Addiction is multifaceted. It can include genetic, psychological, and environmental factors.

You May Like: Can You Get Addicted To Lorazepam

Drug Addiction Statistics In The Uk

In 2018, 4,359 people died from drug poisoning in the UK.¹ Of these deaths, 2,917 were from drug misuse, which was an increase of 17% from the previous year.

Using the latest public surveys conducted by the NHS, Public Health England and the UK Government, Manor Clinic has compiled the key statistics on drug use and misuse in the UK.

The Path To Heroin Addiction

Afghanistan struggles to treat drug addicts

Its compelling for some to try heroin just one time to see what its like. But in many cases, use doesnt stop after the first hit. The high is so intensely pleasurable to many that the desire to get those feelings back is exceedingly difficult to combat.

As tolerance develops with repeated use and ever-increasing amounts of heroin are required to get the same sensations, the user is at risk of eventually become heroin-dependent. Dependence is characterized by the adaptation of the body to the presence of the drug so that it feels like it needs the drug to function as normal. Dependent individuals will begin to crave heroin intensely and experience withdrawal symptoms when unable to use. Eventually what began as a pattern of seeking a high turns to a pattern of withdrawal avoidance, a key indicator of addiction.

When youve become addicted, you continue to take the drug even when known adverse consequences result from use.

Recommended Reading: How To Quit Gaming Addiction

Live Out Your Best Future

Take the first step toward addiction treatment by contacting us today.

Heroin and opioid addiction isnt just in the streets either, and users range from the wealthy elite right down to high school students. The demographic for opioid use is growing, but wealth, status, and mental stability do not keep a person safe from addiction, overdose, or death

Not every person who becomes addicted to heroin started by using an opioid pain medication first, or uses heroin by injecting it into their veins. A lot of people start using the drug based on the fact that it gets them high. However, a large percentage of people who get hooked on heroin, got there by previously using another drug.

In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 9 out of 10 people who use heroin used at least one other drug And 45% of people addicted to heroin are also addicted to prescription opioid painkillers.

Heroin is a form of morphine, and comes from the Asian opium plant its highly addictive, and often leads to overdose and death. Heroin can be smoked, snorted, or injected, but it can also be used as a suppository or a patch.

How To Tell If Your Loved One Is Addicted To Heroin

How do you know the difference between whether a loved one is just moody or is struggling with addiction? If you already suspect a loved one abuses heroin, when do you step in?

These are big asks for someone who is not well familiar with the symptoms and behaviors associated with heroin addiction, Aeden Smith-Ahearn, a recovering heroin addict and clinic director for the Experience Ibogaine Treatment Center in Mexico, tells WebMD Connect to Care.

âIt often comes down to chance or luck. There are a lot of variables in play. Some people will spot the problem, others will be oblivious to it,â he says.

Don’t Miss: Can You Get Addicted To Excedrin

How Long Does It Take To Get Addicted To Heroin

Most people dont become addicted to heroin after one use. But using the drug once may lead to repeated use that escalates to addiction. Depending on how often you use heroin, how you use the drug and the purity of the drug, you can get addicted to heroin in less than a week.

Those who use heroin usually do not experience physical or psychological cravings after their first use. But the drugs desirable effects often motivate people to try it again. This can start a dangerous cycle of compulsive use.

As heroin use escalates, the brain begins to build a tolerance to the drug, requiring higher doses to feel the same effects. Over time, people become physically dependent on the drug and need it to function normally. Many individuals dont realize they have a problem until theyve developed a full-blown heroin addiction. The longer they wait to enter heroin treatment, the more addicted they become.

Medical Disclaimer: aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

Heroin Changes Brain Chemistry

The Heroin Epidemic in Kentucky

When a person uses heroin, the drug enters the blood stream and goes straight to the brain. Heroin affects the parts of the brain in charge of pleasure, depression, anxiety and sedation. Thats why people who use heroin feel happy and relaxed. They also stop feeling depressed or anxious.

The memory and motivation systems in the brain remember that heroin caused happiness, and they associate heroin with positive experiences. Memories of the positive experiences grow stronger each time a person uses heroin, and the brain becomes increasingly motivated to use the drug.

With prolonged use, heroin starts to disrupt parts of the brain in charge of self-control and judgment. Heroin addiction occurs because the brain is tricked into thinking the drug causes positive experiences. The brain issues cravings for the drug, and the parts of the brain in charge of self-control arent strong enough to overcome the cravings.

Read Also: How To Get An Addict Into Rehab

Disease Burden From Substance Use Disorders

1.5% of global disease burden results from alcohol and illicit drug addiction in some countries its over 5%

Using the measure of deaths fails to capture the full health consequences of substance use disorders. Drugs not only lead to death, but also to diseases and disabilities that impact peoples health.

To quantify full health impacts we can look at disease burden, measured in Disability-Adjusted Life Years DALYs. This metric considers not only death rates, but also years lived with disability or health burden.

In the map we see the share of disease burden attributed to substance use disorders. 1.5% of global disease burden is attributed to alcohol and illicit drug addiction.

In some countries this share is much higher: in the USA it accounts for more than 5% of disease burden.

Find The Help You Or Your Loved One Needs

If you or someone you love struggles with heroin abuse and addiction, The Recovery Village is here to help. Our multidisciplinary team of addiction experts can help you address your addiction and begin the road to a healthier, heroin-free life. Contact us today to learn more about heroin treatment programs that can work well for your needs.

Read Also: How To Get Off Nicotine Addiction

This Article Looks At The Following:

  • Why do some people get addicted, while others seem to have full immunity?
  • Why do some people appear to be more addicted than others?

If you havent already read it, take a peek at our article covering the origins of opioids and narcotic addiction titled, Narcotic Addiction Where it all Started. As it turns out the poppy plant has been a very popular part of both Eastern and Western cultures for thousands of years.

Be it friends or family, we all know people who are addicted to opioids, and many more who arent addicted. According to, an estimated 10,000,000 Americans abuse prescription pain killers, and nearly 800,000 people use heroin. However, those numbers may be low, since tracking the use of illicit is difficult to monitor.

That also means that over 321,000,000 people in the United States are not abusing opioids. Considering those stats, it would seem a very small segment of the population gets addicted, but most people do not. Why is this?

Learn About Heroin And Substance Abuse

Taliban: 9% of Afghanistan’s population are addicted to drugs | World Latest English News | WION

Heroin addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease that is characterized by changes in the brain and uncontrollable drug-seeking behaviors despite the negative consequences. Heroin is a synthesized opioid analgesic that comes from the Asian opium poppy plant. When used, heroin converts to morphine in the body. This substance is used on the streets as a recreational drug, also commonly called black tar, smack, brown, or tar. Upon initial use, people who use this drug feel a rush of pleasure, a sense of wellbeing, and joy. These strong feelings associated with the drug leave a user wanting more, which quickly leads to tolerance and addiction.

Heroin can be abused in a variety of ways it can be injected intravenously, inhaled in powder form, or smoked. Each method of use quickly crosses the blood-brain barrier.

When heroin enters the brain, it is converted back into morphine, binding to opioid receptors that are located throughout the brain and body. Opioid receptors are involved in pain perception and reward, which is why using heroin increases pleasurable feelings and decreases pain.


Also Check: How To Help Someone Addicted To Weed

What Does It Look Like

In its pure form, heroin is a fine, white, bitter-tasting powder that dissolves in water. When it is sold on the street, its colour and consistency vary depending on how it is made and what additives it has been cut with. Street heroin may come in the form of a white powder, a brown and sometimes grainy substance or a dark brown sticky gum. The purity of heroin varies from batch to batch.

Some additives, such as sugar, starch or powdered milk are used to increase the weight for retail sale. Other drugs may be added to increase the effects of the heroin. Fentanyl, a prescription opioid that is 100 times more powerful than morphine, is sometimes used to cut heroin or other street drugs. It may also be made into tablets that look like prescription medication. Many overdoses have occurred because people did not know that what they were taking was contaminated with fentanyl.

If you or someone you know uses opioids, it is a good idea to have a free naloxone kit.Naloxone is a medication that can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and allow time for medical help to arrive.

- Advertisement -spot_img
Popular Articles
Related news