How You Could Become Addicted To Heroin
Many first time users of heroin think that if they try it once or twice, they can always stop. They usually find out too late that the heroin route is one that is hard to turn back from. Statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse in the US approximates that 1 out of 4 or 23% of first time users of heroin will become addicted.
Even a single dose can start you off on a long, tortuous road of addiction. The surest way to never have to worry about getting addicted is never to try it in the first place! You may not develop full-blown addiction the first time you use it, but that first sniff or injection into your blood stream can be the start of a compulsive cycle that spirals down to the abyss of addiction.
What Are The Chemical Contents Of Heroin And What Makes It So Addictive?
Heroin is a powerful opiate that can induce dependence and addiction in its users. The drug could stimulate frequent use, and the more often you ingest it, the quicker your brain and nervous system adjust to the chemical alterations it causes in your body system.
Why Heroin Is Addictive
Heroin is an opioid which reproduces the effects of opium or a false sense of pleasure or euphoria that makes the victim want to seek it again. There are specialized opioid receptors in the brain and nervous system and when you inject, snort or smoke heroin, these receptors stimulate a powerful release of a neurotransmitter called dopamine which produces the feeling of pleasure or euphoria. The addictive behaviour is set in motion when the brain gets used to this euphoric sensation associated with heroin intake.
This artificial feeling of extreme happiness and wellbeing is followed by dry mouth, flushed skin, a heavy feeling in the extremities, blurred thinking and then drowsiness. To maintain this sense of heightened pleasure, the user would take another dose, and then another and another still until full blown addiction is triggered.
With repeated usage, the person’s body system develops a tolerance to the drug and, in order to sustain the initial intensity of the feeling of euphoria, the patient increases the dosage over and over again. After some time, the brain then gets used to presence of the drug and the patient experiences painful withdrawal symptoms when the dose is not up to the regular quantity or stops entirely.
People who use heroin regularly will also experience painful withdrawal symptoms if they try to stop abruptly or cut back. Although the symptoms are not life-threatening, the pains can become so intense that the patient would do anything to avoid them. These symptoms, which can set off in 24 hours, include overpowering cravings, vomiting and nausea, diarrhoea, chills, goose bumps, tremors, muscle and bone spasms, body tremors and anxiety.
Why Heroin Can Be Dangerous
Heroin is a central nervous system depressant which means it is a sedative drug. This is what causes induce drowsiness in its users. When overdosed, heroin can dull the normal functioning of the heart and respiratory system to a dangerous level, which could cause unconsciousness and even death. In addition to the dangers of taking it in high doses, heroin use can lead to other potentially dangerous situations like constipation, severe heart and lung problems, permanent chemical imbalances in the brain, deterioration in cognitive skills, such as decision-making and memory, and frequent illness and infection.