Opiate addiction has reached truly epidemic proportions. Across America, people of all ages and from all walks of life are finding themselves addicted to these potent narcotics—and often, it is inadvertent, leading to heroin addiction. Opiates are commonly prescribed as painkillers, used for mitigating discomfort following major surgeries. Even when taken according to a doctor’s directions opiates can become addictive—and when the addict needs a higher, more potent dose, he or she may turn from painkillers to more dangerous, illegal opiates. Heroin is at the top of the list.
The good news is that, no matter how deep or dark heroin addiction may seem, it is never hopeless. Recovery is always possible—but before you can seek addiction recovery, you must first understand what you are up against.
Understanding Heroin Addiction
Heroin does indeed belong to the opiate category. It is a narcotic painkiller, synthesized from morphine. It is also one of the most dangerous and addictive substances in the world—made all the more dangerous due to its relatively inexpensive, easily accessible nature.
Heroin works by impacting the brain’s reward center. The reward system is effectively “rigged” when heroin artificially triggers the release of various feel-good chemicals, such as dopamine.
The problem is, it doesn’t take long before this is effectively the only way for the brain to receive pleasure—and as such, larger and larger doses of heroin are needed for the addict to feel any kind of joy or happiness; anything but deep depression.
How Addictive is Heroin?
Heroin is exceedingly addictive. Even a single dose of heroin can send a person down the road to major addiction; indeed, overuse of prescription painkillers is sometimes all it takes to create physical and psychological dependence.
The reason heroin is so addictive is because of the way it rigs the brain’s reward system. It makes it all but impossible to feel any joy or happiness apart from increasingly large doses of heroin—sending the user into a deeper and deeper hole.
Remember that no matter how deep that hole seems, there is always a way out. The first step is to call New Start Recovery.
9 MILLION PEOPLE
More than 9 million of the world’s 13.5 million opiate users are heroin addicts.
In 2013, more than 8,200 people died from a heroin-related overdose.
In 2014, an estimated 28,000 adolescents had used heroin in the past year, and an estimated 16,000 were current heroin users
Causes of Heroin Addiction
One of the difficult things about diagnosing and treating heroin addiction is uncovering the root of the problem. With drug addiction, there are usually various factors in play, not any one thing to which the addiction can be attributed. These factors can be genetic, social or environmental. Previous struggles with prescription painkiller addiction is perhaps the clearest sign of a potential heroin addiction problem.
Recovery for Heroin Addiction
Heroin addiction is life threatening, yet it is never hopeless. No matter the depth of the addiction, recovery is always possible. The important thing is to seek professional help. Rather than attempting a home detox, seek clinical detox from a facility like New Start Recovery, and then pursue an inpatient heroin addiction treatment program.
Start the process today. Embrace a life of ongoing recovery and long-term sobriety. Get in touch with one of our addiction recovery specialists at New Start Recovery right away.