Heroin Addiction

Heroin, sometimes called Smack, Scat, Chiva, Hache  or Big H, is made from a naturally occurring chemical, morphine, found in poppy plants. The plant is processed and the result is a white powder, which is rarely sold at the street level. The drug purchased on the street is usually off white to dark brown, due to impurities that occur during the manufacturing process. Heroin can be abused several ways: injecting, snorting or smoking the drug. The most effective method of administering the drug is injection, as it is introduced directly into the blood stream.

Heroin binds itself to the opioid receptors in the brain and produces a high level of euphoria in the user. The effects are similar to that of the prescription drug, morphine. Users also often report a wash of warmth over their skin, heaviness of the arms and legs and dry mouth. Once the initial euphoria has worn off, there is a period of an alternately wakeful and drowsy state. Because more and more heroin is needed to achieve the same high, users are at a very high risk of becoming addicted the drug. The long-term effects of heroin addiction are quite detrimental and many are irreversible. After chronic use, users may contract various types of pneumonia, they may develop liver disease, infection of the heart lining and valves. Users who inject heroin are also at risk for collapsed veins.

Challenges Addiction Treatment Center understands the level of physical dependence that users experience is quite strong. Withdrawal symptoms can begin occurring as quickly as a few hours after the last time heroin is used. These symptoms include insomnia, diarrhea, restlessness, cold flashes and involuntary kick movements. Users in withdrawal also report severe muscle and bone pain. The symptoms typically peak within 48-72 hours, but can last up to one week. Some recovering addicts will experience withdrawal symptoms for up to a month.

While heroin withdrawal is not thought of as being as dangerous as alcohol or barbiturate withdrawal, it is recommended that users seeking to get clean seek medical help since heavy users are typically in poor health and the symptoms can be fatal. Heroin craving can be persistent, even after a user has been clean of the drug for some time. Triggers such as stress, places or people can cause very strong desires to use the drug years after it was last abused.

The Challenges Addiction Treatment Center staff is passionate about treating heroin addiction and ensuring a solid recovery program for those addicted to heroin. We have a caring group of professionals at that want to see you or your loved ones succeed in overcoming heroin addiction. Challenges is one of the oldest addiction treatment and relapse prevention centers in the United States and are located in the sunny state of Florida. If you or someone you love has a heroin addiction, we can help. Our treatment programs are specifically designed with the needs of the individual patient in mind.