Heroin is a highly addictive, illegal substance that is derived from morphine, which comes from the seeds of some varieties of poppy plants. It is not only the most abused drug of all the opiates, but also the most rapidly acting. This drug can be found as a white or brownish powder or as a sticky black substance, which is referred to on the streets as “black tar”. Although pure heroin does exist, it is commonly cut with other substances such as sugar or starch, or it can be cut with strychnine or other poisons. Since heroin users do not know the exact potency of the heroin they buy off the streets or the poisons it can be mixed with, heroin use has a high risk of overdose or death.
While most often injected straight into the veins or muscles, heroin can also be snorted, smoked, taken orally, or used as a suppository. Although all methods produce some sort of high, smoking and sniffing do not produce a high nearly as quickly or as intense effects as directly injecting the drug into your bloodstream. The surge of euphoria can be felt minutes after injecting heroin, lasting for only a few hours before disappearing. The positive feelings from the high are then quickly replaced by an alternating wakeful and drowsy state where mental functioning becomes cloudy.
Heroin addiction is a chronic and relapsing disease that is accompanied by compulsive drug seeking behavior and use. After an extended period of use, heroin causes neurochemical and molecular changes in the brain, as well as tolerance and physical dependence. As addiction begins to take over the individual, they gradually spend more and more time obtaining and using heroin. An addict’s sole purpose in life becomes seeking out and using this drug. Heroin literally changes their brain and behavior.
East Tennessee Addiction Specialist has had many years of experience helping men and women who are struggling with addiction problems. While right now you may feel as though you’ve hit rock bottom, we want you to know that you can get your addiction under control and back to living the life you want to live.