The problem with Heron and Opiates like it is that it is very easy to get hooked and users are reluctant to be honest with themselves and others with regards to their habit. This means that it is up to loved ones, friends and family to detect the signs of heroin use. For the user, the signs of addiction come in the form of withdrawal symptoms when they body once again begins to crave the substance. This fact challenges the recovery process as it is often late stage.
When injecting heroin, the drug provides a surge of euphoria that is immediate and fast-acting. In this state of euphoria the mouth will get dry, the pupils constrict and the skin will get flush. Respiration slows down and the user will begin to enter in and out of consciousness. Clear thinking becomes challenged, loss of memory or train of thought are also diminished. Decision-making skills are impaired and the ability for self-control is also affected
The immune system is begins to be compromised exposing the user to illness and frequent colds. The user might also exhibit signs of vomiting, nausea and uncontrollable itching, skin and other infections. Heroin can also cause constipation leading the user to seek laxatives for relief.
Detoxing From Heroin
The time and intensity involved with the detox process from heroin depends on how long someone has been using, how much has been ingested and in what ways it has been ingested. All of these factors affect how the brain and the body have become dependent upon the drug.
The detox period can last only a week, but depending upon how severe the chemical addiction may be, an extended period of time may be required. A medically supervised program with therapy, counseling and if necessary, medication, is key to ensuring a smooth transition off the the drug and reducing the risk of complications.
How to Spot Heroin Addiction
Users will also try to hide any evidence of their habit like covering their arms to hide skin abrasions and needle marks and making heroin paraphernalia hard to find like: small glass pipes, small plastic baggies, spoons that appear to be burnt, used syringes, powder residue that appears to be white or tan in color, residue that would appear to be dark or sticky or rubber tubing.
Risks of Heroin Addiction
Heroin addiction eventually devolves. The user’s euphoric rushes from earlier usage begin to disappear. At this point, the motivation to continue using is driven only by the need to stop extreme withdrawal symptoms of sickness, agitation, muscle aches and anxiety. This is when the addiction is no longer fun or exciting, and the nightmare begins and intensifies every time the last dose of heroin has worn off.
Heroin often contains harmful and toxic chemicals that will cause permanent damage to blood vessels, brain, lungs, kidney and the liver. It also takes away the user’s health, strength and cognitive ability to function. Relationships with family, friends and lovers begin to breakdown, financial disarray, and all other aspects of life. The pursuit of the next dose of heroin becomes more important than basic needs like food, hygiene and health. Unfortunately the user will be oblivious to the situation and unaware of the damage they are doing to themselves and the people who love them.
Low energy, tendency to doze off
Breathing that is slow
Eyelids hang low and appear tired
Pupils appear small
Skin looks flushed
Runny nose and cold symptoms
Tendency to itch and scratch
Nausea and vomiting
Loss of appetite
Neglecting hygiene and grooming
Common Health Risks
Heart damage and infection to lining and valves
Kidney disease and possible failure
Infections due to needle sharing (HIV, Hepatitis)
Skin infections and abscesses
Complications to the lung
Risk of Heroin Overdose
Overdoses are common with heroin. Toxic reactions to the drug can lead to death. During an overdose episode the breathing will slow down significantly or even cease, cutting off the flow of oxygen to the brain. This condition is called Hypoxia. Hypoxia results in short and long term effects, damaging the nervous system and can induce the user overdosing into a coma, leaving them with permanent brain damage, if they survive.
Heroin and Opiate Addiction is a life threatening situation that can lead to an irreversible health crisis and may even be fatal. Immediate professional help is the only way to avoid harm to yourself or a loved one.
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