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Tag Archive: drug addiction

How Addicting is Heroin?

When people talk about commonly abused drugs, heroin always comes up. However, not many people are aware of the dangers associated with this drug. It might sound like exaggeration, but heroin is so powerful and addictive that just about everyone who tries it develops dependence.

What is heroin?

Heroin, also called diamorphine, is an opiate that produces major euphoric effects. It is not Heroin Drug Rehabused medically for pain relief, and is considered a schedule I controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Heroin has rapid onset of action, and effects last 1-3 hours.

Why is heroin so addictive?

Because there is not much research involving heroin, it is hard for experts to explain just how addicting the drug can be. Heroin targets the pleasure centers of the brain, which increase the release of dopamine (a feel-good brain chemical). This makes the user crave the drug in the future. Many people who take heroin recreationally find that they quickly transform to full drug use, which is compulsive and impossible to control.

How does heroin affect the brain?

An addiction is a psychological and physical need for a drug, which surpasses the user’s ability to control. The brain changes start in the tiny neurons and brain cells. Research shows that heroin impacts main portions of the brain that lead to follow-up use. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, brain receptors for heroin are located in the areas of the brain responsible for perception of pain and reward. This means that when a person uses heroin, he feels no pain and only euphoria.

Why do users require more heroin over time?

After using heroin for weeks or months, it taxes and stresses the brain cells. If the drug is presented in the body over and over, the brain cells become burned out and fatigued. The user requires more heroin to combat the burn out, which over time, means the user uses large doses.

How bad is heroin addiction in the U.S.?

According to statistics, 17 million people used heroin and other opiates in 2015 alone. These drugs accounted for the deaths of 122,000 Americans. The number of heroin users has significantly increased from 1998 to 2015, with 2% of Americans reporting using heroin at some point in time. In 2013, the rate of overdose deaths related to heroin had quadrupled from 1998 statistics.

Which modes of heroin use are more addictive?

Heroin impacts the brain, which affects addictiveness level. The method of use may contribute to addictiveness also. Heroin users who become addicted use the drug by:

  • Smoking
  • Snorting
  • Injecting

These methods allow the heroin to hit the body in increased amounts, so the user is overpowered with a euphoric feeling. Rather than feeling slightly euphoric, the users are vaulted into a realm of numbness and high that tends to make the heroin more addictive than opiates taken oral route. Research shows that addiction rates among heroin abusers tends to vary depending on the mode of use. Those who inject the drug have higher rates of addiction and overdose deaths than those who smoke or snort the drug.

How does heroin use cause a person problems?

Heroin is an illegal drug and overdose is common. People who use heroin along with alcohol have an increased chance for death due to overdose. IV drug use is associated with long-term viral infections, such as hepatitis B or C, or HIV. In addition, using heroin causes unemployment, car accidents, legal problems, and social/personal conflicts.

Who is most at risk for heroin addiction?

Everyone who tries heroin has the risk for becoming addicted. Heroin addiction is higher among:

  • Non-Hispanic whites
  • Males
  • Those addicted to opioid prescription drugs
  • People addicted to cocaine
  • Individuals between ages of 18 and 25 years
  • People using alcohol and/or marijuana
  • Those living in a large metropolitan area

Pacific Bay Recovery is the top prescription and illicit drug rehab center in San Diego and all of Southern California. The long term success rates are extremely high and most insurance is accepted. Call us today!

Resources

National Institute on Drug Abuse (2016). What is heroin? https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/heroin

The Physiology of Opiate Drug Addiction

Opiate drug addiction has gone up by 183 percent in the last seven years compared to about 130 percent rise in over all prescription drug abuse. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services acknowledges opiate abuse as the seconnarcotics-300x220d most prevalent form of prescription drug addiction in the United States. At least 10 percent of Americans face the increased risk of prescription drug dependency.

What is an opiate?           

An opiate is a narcotic pain killer drug made from an opium derivative. The most popular opioids prescribed to control or manage pain include morphine, oxycodone, fentanyl, vicodin and hydrocodone. These are available in various forms – pills, tablets and liquids. Opiates alleviate pain by inhibiting pain transmission by the central nervous system.

How do opiates work?

It is important to know how an opiate medicine works. An opiate stimulates opioid receptors in the body. Located in the brain, spinal cord, and gastrointestinal tract, these receptors alter the way pain is experienced. It blocks the pain signal transmission and brings in a rewarding system where these opiates incentivize the brain where neurotransmitters become active in response to receptors and override pain perception.

What is opiate drug addiction?

Opiate drug addiction occurs when there is a constant and strong craving for opiates allowing these drugs to become psychologically or physically habit-forming. The patient with opiate drug addiction develops a high-level of tolerance for these medications and requires increased intake to feel the same effect. Such chronic exposure leads to greater physical dependence underlined by a compulsion to take the drug.

How does opiate drug addiction occur?

Opiates lead to euphoric-like effects in users. Neurotransmitters activated by the receptors cause the brain to avoid pain sensation perception and instead, experience a rewarding feel. However, the effect lasts only for a short term and patients resort to continued opiate use to experience pain relief. This gradually turns into a habit and dependency develops. With dependency becoming more pronounced, patients suffer from withdrawal syndrome whenever they suddenly stop or reduce the intake of these drugs.

What are common causes of opiate drug addiction?

  • Prolonged use of opiate drugsDrug Addiction Treatment San Diego
  • Self-medication over a long time
  • Biological vulnerability
  • Genetic factor
  • Gender and ethnicity also play a role in habit forming and drug addiction.
  • Mental and medical disorders also influence dependency on opiates.
  • Environment, peer group, friend circle, family, education, stressful ambience and socioeconomic are counted among the factors that can enhance the risk and course of opiate drug addiction.
  • Sexual and physical abuses force patients to take recourse to drug abuse and develop addiction.
  • Lack of guidance for adolescent patients

What are signs and symptoms of opiate drug addiction?

  • Psychological symptoms:

Mood change, euphoria for the opiate drug, increased anxiety, depression, onset of mental disorder, increased irritability, lack of concentration and motivation, craving for opioids, confusion

  • Behavioral symptoms:

Self-medication, use of opiate drugs at the slightest pretext, doctor shopping, social withdrawal, increased drug use, more time devoted to obtaining, using opiates, less attention to study, daily work or family matters, abandonment of important activities

  • Physical symptoms

Mentally depressive, increasingly insensitive, high blood pressure, physical agitation, sleeping problem, increased fatigue, depressed respiration, withdrawal effects, cold sweat, muscle and bone pain, altered temperature perception, restlessness

What are consequences of opiate drug addiction?

Opiate drug addiction leads to psychological and health problems that become acute in due course and may result in death. Psychological changes gradually turns into mental illness and affect the lifestyle and relations. Physical changes in opiate drug addicts lead to deterioration in health and fitness. An addiction to opiates has the potential to cause job loss, divorce, sexual abuse and financial ruin. Mental disturbance and lack of alertness may result in accidents, incarceration, homelessness and domestic violence. Addicts are at the increased risk of developing bleeding ulcers, damage to liver, kidney and brain that lead to coma and death.

Pacific Bay Recovery is a top drug addiction treatment center in Southern California, offering effective prescription drug rehab with Board Certified providers. Call the top San Diego drug rehab center available at (619) 432-7784.