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What is Heroin Addiction
 
Heroin addiction is without a doubt, the absolute worst drug addiction in the world which eventually becomes a chaotic lifestyle for most.

Heroin addiction is both physical and psychological slavery in the worst form possible. Once the user becomes addicted to heroin, they become a slave to the drug by default.

They have to have it or else they'll get sick – very, very sick. And if that heroin doesn't make it to those receptors in the brain soon then the user will begin to go into severe and painful withdrawal. For an addict, heroin is the only cure.
  And he or she can not function properly without heroin in their system unless the addict is on a mission to get their fix. Then that's when many addicts turn into desperate James Bonds and begin to plan and execute reckless missions in order to get high and get cured. Heroin is essentially a faster acting form of morphine which relieves painful heroin withdrawals symptoms completely, and within seconds as well.

No one decides they're going to become a heroin addict. That was not part of the plan. They may have started off by experimenting with a friend by snorting or smoking the drug, but then eventually, they got hooked, addicted. Or, they may have started off using pain pills such as Percocet's, Vicodins or Oxycontin which is synthetic heroin, and eventually could no longer afford to buy the pills and then turned to real heroin instead, which is a much better and much cheaper high.
   
After their first introduction of the drug into their system, they may become nauseous and vomit the first, second and even third time simply because their body couldn’t handle it. You would think that this alone would be enough to deter them, but that was not the case.

They may continue using heroin as an occasional past time and soon progress to weekend use. By this time, they learn not to eat before getting high in order to enjoy their high and avoid nausea and vomiting, (until they’re able to handle it).

Then he or she may enjoy the high and will start using heroin every 2 to 3 days, and then every other day, until one day, they wake up and start feeling sick without it.

The 'soon to be addict' wakes up one morning with cold chills running through his body and cant understand what's going on until he smokes, snorts, or shoots a new dope bag into his system.

And then all of a sudden, just like magic, the chills and pains are gone within seconds. He feels normal once again and he’s healed!
From there it begins; 1 bag per day. The once occasional weekend user is now beginning to become a heroin addict. Then he or she starts using every day, not just to get high, but because they have to in order to feel normal and to keep from getting sick.

If they don't use, then they'll go into severe withdrawals and become very ill, (which is also known as getting “dope sick”). If the user has been snorting or smoking only 1 to 2 $20 heroin bags per day for just a few months then they still have a good chance to quit heroin cold turkey with the help of family, friends and counseling. They’ll still go through painful withdrawals but only for a short time, meaning 7-10 days, and then followed by mild flu symptoms for several days.

Yet once you past this stage, then you truly become a heroin addict. The user must have it or else. Their first thoughts on the morning agenda are how to get that first bag, “the cure”, in order to feel normal. The 'rush' is a bonus. Their main concern is the cure in order to avoid getting sick.

Soon after that, snorting and smoking heroin just doesn't satisfy any longer. It helps them to feel normal and may give them a good high but that in itself is just not enough. Their body needs more. Their mind desires the true heroin high - the rush. And although the user has repeatedly told themselves that they would never shoot up, somehow, the opportunity to inject heroin presents itself. And if it hasn't yet, then most likely, it will happen soon.

I know because I've been there myself. 20 years ago, I used to tell myself the same thing, that I would never shoot up and stick a needle in my arm, no matter what. That’s for junkies, and that’s just not who I was... at least not yet. Then one day, after having gone a few weeks clean, cold turkey, I returned to the dope city from which I fled and found myself with 2 of my closest dope-friends. They pulled out the dope-bags and I was waiting to sniff mine until they said, “we don't sniff any more - we shoot it now”. I said “oh my God, no way, that's crazy! No way man, not me!” Needless to say, I tried it and got hooked all over again worst than ever before, and as a result, I myself became worst than ever before.

Shooting up was a totally different high from snorting. And I continued to shoot up every single day for a very long time. It was like slavery to live in such a manner day in and day out where the only thing on my mind was to get high by any means necessary.

Snorting heroin was no longer sufficient for me and could not match the high and rush one gets from injecting. It was a dirty and dangerous lifestyle to say the least. It was a horrible nightmare that I thought would never end - but eventually, it did. And I'm very thankful that those days are long gone! I am no longer a slave to heroin. I haven't touched the stuff in over 20 years and I will never touch that, or any other drug ever again!

Many addicts continue to suffer the same horrific nightmare each and every day for many, many years. Again, it's not because they want to, it's because they have to, or else they’ll get sick and feel as if they were going to die, and some may come close to doing so. They become a slave to heroin, programmed to seek and use heroin no matter what they have to do or who they have hurt in the process.

Heroin addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease, characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, and by neurochemical and molecular changes in the brain. Their manner of thinking actually changes drastically. In other words, heroin literally changes the person from who they once were into an unpredictable and reckless addict. And many addicts become criminal minded as well and begin to live a life of crime just to support their habit.

Heroin produces profound degrees of tolerance and physical dependence as well, which become powerful motivating factors for compulsive and every day use. If the addict doesn't get their fix in time, then the user will go into severe and painful withdrawals.
     
  Symptoms of heroin withdrawal include:
Ice cold chills within the body
Bone crushing leg pains
Restless leg syndrome
Back pains
Neck pains
Muscle pains
Severe muscle cramps
Painful stomach cramps
Nausea and vomiting
Diarrhea
Shaking and trembling
Anxiety and panic attacks
Insomnia and restlessness
Loss of appetite
Watery eyes
Runny nose
Excessive yawning
Extreme depression
and crying... crying for dope

   Heroin withdrawal symptoms peak between 48 and 72 hours after the last dose of heroin was taken and will decrease after about 7-10 days. However, some addicts in poor health have shown persistent withdrawal symptoms for many months. (NOTE: Heroin withdrawal is not fatal to otherwise healthy adults.)

Most heroin addicts will keep seeking and using the drug even though their lives are in total chaos as the result of their heroin addiction. They cannot choose whether they’re going to use or not. In their minds they have to use and that determination drives them to find ways to obtain the drug.

This need to use in order to get high and to keep from going into withdrawal becomes the driving force in their daily life. And in many cases, the heroin addict will do almost anything to get their fix. Heroin stimulates the Limbic system in the brain which motivates the drive to seek and use heroin for the sake of reward, pleasure and survival as well, and then to go out and do it again, repeatedly.

Furthermore, heroin weakens and even shuts down the frontal lobe, which is the part of the brain that evaluates the consequences of their actions. And this is why many addicts simply don't think about the consequences, jail, hospitals and even death. They don't think about whether or not they're hurting you, the parent or the partner. The only thing they're thinking about is heroin and getting that fix.

The high, the addiction, and the withdrawals are the reasons why most heroin addicts can not stop using just like that. It's not that simple. An addict knows very well that all withdrawal symptoms vanish away within seconds once they get that dope bag into their system. And this is why relapse occurs so often.

Heroin withdrawal is not the equivalent of a horrible flu. A flu is no comparison. No one wants to feel as if they’re going to die. This is the reason why parents and loved ones of heroin addicts need to be patient, understanding, and long suffering towards the addict. It’s not just because of the sickness, their brains have changed also. The addict is not in his or her right mind and will not be so until being off of the drug completely, and for many months as well.

Heroin addiction is why addicts gradually spend more and more time and energy obtaining and using the drug. Once you’re addicted to heroin, your primary purpose in life becomes planning, seeking and using heroin regardless of what you have to do to get it. The heroin literally and chemically alters their brain function and behavior which causes many to do the unthinkable in order to get cured.

The once honest son, daughter or decent adult turns into a dishonest liar and a thief. And an addict will not hesitate to lie, cheat and steal from their own mother as well. Their brains become hardwired to get that fix by all means necessary.

I realize that this may not be the case with every heroin addict and that there is such a thing as a functioning addict, yet eventually, both become dishonest, deceiving all those around them while the typical addict will lie, cheat and steal almost daily in order to support their heroin addiction and to avoid going into withdrawal.

In time, physical dependence develops with higher intake and every day use. And with physical dependence, (physical addiction), the body adapts to the presence of heroin and withdrawal symptoms occur if use is reduced or stopped. Furthermore, in time, intake must be increased.

Withdrawal may occur within a several hours after the last time the drug was taken. But I can assure you, withdrawal will occur. Heroin is an extremely dangerous drug and has been proven to be one of the most addictive, with heroin addicts relapsing more than with any other drug in its’ class.

It is important to spot heroin addiction in its early stages in order to get help to the individual as quickly as possible. And for parents, friends and loved ones of heroin addicts, the following are several common signs of heroin use and addiction to watch for.
   
  Signs of heroin use
Awake one moment and then they're drowsy
They start nodding and sometimes uncontrollably
They can even fall asleep at the dinner table
Disoriented, dazed, displays poor mental function
Closed eyes, dropped head even while sitting
Drowsiness and grogginess
Slurred speech, slow talking and low toned voice
Scratching their head, face and arms
Runny nose and watery eyes when in withdrawal
Constricted, tiny pupils
Nausea and possible vomiting
Unkept appearance and careless hygiene
Signs of infections from the injections
Missing cash and valuable items
Stealing and/or continually borrowing money
Lying and deception all of the time
Possession of unexplained valuable items
Droopy appearance
Their mouths hanging open
  NOTE: Some long term users may not display any nodding or drowsiness and/or may only do so for a very short period of time as long term users have built up a high level of tolerance to the drug.
   
  More common signs of heroin use and addiction:
Using the same clothes day after day
Not taking showers for a few days straight
Eyes appear lost, droopy, and dazed
Poor and careless self-image
Girls not caring to put make up on when going out
Withdrawal from usual friends, family, activities
Change in friends from good friends to bad ones
Paraphernalia, foil, spoons, syringes, cotton balls
Little or no motivation to do anything
No interest or desires in future plans
Making up detailed stories in order to get money
They have flu like symptoms in the morning
Signs of injection on the arms and legs
Shallow and slow breathing
Snorting hard as if to swallow their own mucus
Ignores consequences of their actions
Hostility towards others and always in denial
Change in performance, academic and work
Broken commitments and promises
Unexplained absences from work  or school
Difficulty in maintaining employment
Running away from home
    
Physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms were once believed to be the main reasons for heroin addiction. Yet this may not be the case entirely, since craving and relapse can occur weeks and even months after withdrawal symptoms are over with. And because of this, counseling, meetings, and/or therapy are strongly recommended. Relocation may also become needful as well, and can be used as a last resort.

Heroin addiction is one of the most destructive drug addictions in the world and has been rapidly increasing in North America, giving rise to alarm amongst authorities and health professionals.

The rising epidemic of heroin addiction shows no mercy to gender, class or race lines, making it harder to contain. The joy during the use of the drug and the painful feelings during withdrawal add to the rate of increased addiction versus successful addiction recovery numbers. And to experts, heroin addiction remains one of the most complex and frustrating drug addictions in the medical field.

But despite the upward battle in prevention and recovery, there are some positive gains in terms of awareness made towards heroin addiction. But needless to say, heroin continues to destroy millions of lives not only by means of addiction, but by overdose and death as well.

Can heroin addiction be conquered?

Yes it can! Although 'few there be' that quit heroin and stay clean for good, an addicts' strong determination and heartfelt desire to quit, along with the tools and resources to do so can eventually bring them to the place of actually breaking free from heroin once and for all.

A variety of effective methods are available for quitting a heroin addiction. And treatment tends to be more effective when heroin addiction is identified early.

Many times, quitting heroin cold turkey becomes the only option for most addicts who are not able to obtain other types of medications such as methadone for example, which eliminates withdrawal symptoms, and has been proven to keep heroin addicts off of heroin.

Other pharmaceutical approaches such as Suboxone, Subutex, Buprenorphine and behavioral therapy are also used for treating heroin addiction. Buprenorphine is a successful addition to the line of medications now available for treating heroin addiction and addiction to other opiate drugs.

Suboxone, (Buprenorphine) is different from methadone in that it offers less risk of addiction, when used as a crutch to come off of the heroin, and can be prescribed in the privacy of a doctor's office. Suboxone is a combination drug product (Buprenorphine/Naloxone) formulated to minimize abuse as well.

The addict can conquer heroin addiction and stay clean for good by implementing and executing any of the following plans accompanied by counseling, a support system and relapse prevention therapy (RPT):
   
Plan A: Quitting Heroin Cold Turkey
Plan B: Quitting Heroin Warm Turkey with lesser evil pharmaceutical drugs
Plan C: Quitting Heroin with Methadone or Suboxone
Plan D: Quitting Heroin in a Detox or Drug Rehabilitation Center
   
  Please explore this website for additional information on how to quit heroin, and stay clean for good.
     
 
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What is Heroin
What is Heroin Addiction
How to Quit Heroin
How to Get Yourself to Quit Heroin
How to Quit Heroin Cold Turkey
How to Survive the First 7 Days
How to Quit Heroin with Meds
Quitting Heroin with Suboxone
How to Quit Heroin with Kratom
How to Quit Heroin in Rehab
Quitting Heroin by Relocating
Quitting Heroin While Pregnant
Quitting Heroin as a Couple
Quitting Heroin While Working
Quitting Heroin for Teens
Quitting Heroin for Women
Quitting Heroin for Men
How to Beat Cravings for Heroin
How to Avoid Relapse on Heroin
If at First You Don't Succeed
How to Stay Clean for Good
How to Change
How to Fix Your Life Pt.1
How to Fix Your Life Pt.2
How to Fix Your Life Pt.3
Helping Your Child Quit Heroin Pt.1
Helping Your Child Quit Heroin Pt.2
How to Know if He’s Still Using
Helping Your Man Quit Heroin Pt.1
Helping Your Man Quit Heroin Pt.2
How to Help Others Quit Heroin
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U.S. Substance Abuse Agencies
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How to Quit Heroin in Rehab
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