As heroin use continues to rise in the United States, many people are left wondering why heroin is so addictive. If you have a loved one who abuses heroin, you are probably familiar with the toll this drug can have on a person. From negative physical consequences to overdose and even death, it’s no secret that heroin is dangerous. So, why is heroin so addictive and what can you do to overcome a heroin addiction? Continue reading to learn more about heroin’s addictive properties and how heroin rehab in San Juan Capistrano can help.
What is Heroin?
Heroin is a member of the opioid drug family. It is derived from morphine, which is an extremely potent pain killer. Heroin, however, has been more heavily processed so that it is more potent and takes effect more quickly than other opioids.
Heroin is also more affordable and easier to obtain than prescription opioids. It is this potency and ease of access that makes heroin both very addictive, and very dangerous. In fact, many people only use heroin one or two times before they become dependent on it, and are unable to quit using it.
Why is Heroin So Addictive?
There are several factors that cause heroin to be highly addictive. Heroin has lasting effects on your brain, making it easy to become addicted, and difficult to quit using. Additionally, discontinuing heroin use causes unpleasant withdrawal symptoms which can be dangerous.
Heroin’s Effect on the Brain
Heroin is a type of semi-synthetic opioid. When you ingest any type of opioid, it attaches to naturally occurring opioid receptors in the brain. These receptors affect areas of the brain that deal with pain, pleasure, and breathing.. Once ingested, heroin causes you to feel a euphoric feeling, very relaxed, and drowsy. For many users, the high from heroin provides a temporary reprieve from feelings of intense stress, anxiety, and emotional and physical pain. Once the effects of heroin wear off, the original feelings come back with more intensity, causing you to feel even worse than before. This is the first step that leads to addiction.
After continued use, heroin changes your brain chemistry. Regular heroin use causes your brain to produce less dopamine, serotonin, and other chemicals you need to feel happy and relaxed. So, when you have been using heroin, you will no longer experience the same pleasure or happiness you used to feel from things you love. You will also require more and more heroin to achieve the same feelings of euphoria. This further leads to addiction. You will seek what your brain needs to feel pleasure, and continue to increase the amount necessary.
The symptoms caused by heroin withdrawal can start as soon as a few hours after using heroin, even for the first time. Common withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Bone and muscle pain
- Gastrointestinal upset.
The symptoms of withdrawal are persistent and strong, making it extremely difficult to stop using heroin.
The intense high, the negative impact on brain chemistry, and the difficult withdrawal symptoms caused by heroin create a perfect storm of addiction. It is these three factors that make heroin so highly addictive, and difficult to overcome. Thankfully, there is hope. Ocean Hills Recovery can help.
Heroin Rehab in San Juan Capistrano Can Help
It is vital to seek help to overcome heroin addiction. Ocean Hills Recovery is here for you. Medical detox can help you safely and comfortably rid your body of heroin. Once it is out of your system, dealing with the underlying issues that lead to addiction is the next step. Our heroin rehab in San Juan Capistrano offers different treatment plans to best fit your needs.
If you are ready to break the cycle of addiction and get your life back, contact Ocean Hills Recovery today.
Sources: https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/heroin  https://www.verywellmind.com/what-heroin-effects-feel-like-22047  https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/heroin  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2851054/
About the author:
Nicole earned her doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy at California School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral thesis was a grounded theory study exploring the role of alienation and connectedness in the life course of addiction. She specializes in treating addiction and trauma. She is certified in DBT and EMDR, two of the most highly regarded evidence-based methods in psychotherapy. Dr. Doss is a strong LGBT advocate and provides open and affirming support to her LGBT clients.
Dr. Doss’s earlier education included graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in June of 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she received honors recognition by Psi Chi and Golden Key honor societies.
Nicole has been working with alcoholics and addicts in our California drug and alcohol rehab center as an advisor and counselor for many years. She is passionate about providing quality counseling and care to her clients. Her main focus is on integrating the 12 Step and disease models of addiction with experiential therapeutic theory. She is married to Greg; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.