Heroin is considered an illicit drug that falls into the class of opioids along with prescription pain relievers oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and more. In 2015, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), 591,000 people had a substance use disorder involving heroin. In 2016, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that about 948,000 Americans reported using heroin in the past year – as you can see, heroin use is certainly still a major concern within the United States; the Rolling Stone states that drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under 55.
Heroin comes in three different forms – white powder, brown powder, and off-white powder. Heroin can be snorted, smoked or injected. When taken, users may experience euphoria, drowsiness, itchiness, irrationality, social withdrawal, and more. As heroin is highly addictive, individuals can easily become hooked, leading to dependency and eventually, addiction. Short-term damages of heroin involve insomnia, constipation, lung complications and more, along with mental illnesses such as depression and antisocial personality disorder. Long-term use of heroin may create long-term imbalances in neuronal and hormonal systems, which may be difficult to reverse even with treatment. Furthermore, a person’s decision-making abilities, ability to regulate behavior, impaired ability to respond to stressful situations.
A 2016 study conducted by researchers from Western Oregon University sought to explore risk factors for heroin addiction by interviewing 5 participants in heroin addiction recovery. Results from the study found that participants’ childhood experiences, particularly with parental abuse and social rejection, combined with substance use as a coping mechanism both contributed heavily to the development of their heroin addiction over time. Social support and self-awareness contributed to these individuals’ recovery, providing evidence that both building a positive support network and having the tools and resources to successfully navigate life’s challenges are crucial to success in addiction recovery.
If you haven’t already, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center today to learn more about treatment programs and what might be the best fit for you. It’s never too late to seek the help you need.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.