For a heroin addict, their entire life revolves around obtaining and using more heroin. Since feeding their addiction requires purchasing more heroin and users rarely have an ethical source of income, continuing their habit requires that they obtain money in some other way, which they often do.
Heroin is an opioid drug that is synthesized from morphine, which occurs naturally in the seed pod of opium poppy plants. Originally developed and promoted as a non-addictive morphine substitute, heroin is now known as one of the most addictive illicit drugs in use and one of the most difficult drugs to quit. Methadone has since been developed to try and treat heroin addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 4.2 million Americans over the age of 11 reported using heroin at least once, and approximately 23% of individuals who use heroin become dependent on it.
Heroin is most often used as a white or brown powder, but can also appear as a black sticky substance known as black tar heroin. Heroin is either injected, snorted through the nostrils or smoked. Once heroin enters the bloodstream it reaches the brain very rapidly, making it highly addictive and highly dangerous. Once heroin reaches the brain it is converted back into morphine, which blocks opioid receptors in the brain that are responsible for the perception of pain and sensations of pleasure. Opioid receptors in the brain stem control automatic body functions like blood pressure and breathing, so heroin use can adversely affect these critical body functions.
Heroin users experience an initial euphoric rush, as well as dry mouth, warm flushing of the skin and clouded mental functioning. After the initial euphoric rush the user may feel alternately alert and drowsy. Repeated use of heroin can cause the user to develop a tolerance for the drug, which means the user needs more of the drug in order to achieve the same desired euphoric rush. The user can also develop a psychological and physical dependence on the drug, their body demanding more in order to proceed with its new “normal” functions as created by the chemicals in heroin. The severe and dangerous symptoms of heroin withdrawal also cause users to continue their use of the drug. Some heroin withdrawal symptoms include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting and severe cravings for more heroin.
Some side effects of heroin abuse include collapsed veins, infection of the heart, abscesses, constipation, liver or kidney disease, spontaneous abortion, pneumonia and fatal overdose.
How Heroin Addicts Feed their Addiction
Heroin addicts can become desperate in their actions to feed their heroin addiction. Following are five ways heroin addicts feed their addiction:
An individual who is addicted to heroin may resort to prostitution in order to obtain the money necessary to feed their addiction.
Asking for spare change for food or bus fare is another way a heroin addict may acquire money to purchase more heroin.
3. Selling gifts
A heroin addict may seem quite grateful to receive birthday or holiday gifts, but sadly they are not expressing appreciation for the gift itself, but for the amount of money it represents when sold.
Casually slipping expensive items or other merchandise into one’s pocket or bag in order to have an item to sell for heroin money is something a heroin addict will readily stoop to if it means obtaining more of the drug.
5. Stealing from family or friends
It is not unusual for a heroin addict to steal money or personal belongings from even their close friends or family members in order to feed their addiction.
Ryan’s Story of Heroin Addiction and Narconon Rehabilitation Treatment
Ryan, a graduate of the Narconon rehabilitation program, had lost everything due to a daily heroin habit. She was miserable in life, cheating her friends and stealing from her family in order to feed her addiction.
Ryan was initially awestruck by the Narconon program because it was markedly different from other treatment programs she had participated in. “They made me feel really comfortable and unafraid to be who I was at the time,” Ryan says. She felt positive about being able to look forward to the future and the changes she would experience through the Narconon program. Ryan was most impacted by the part of the program where she took responsibility for the mistakes she had made, the people she had wronged and the harm she had done to herself. This enabled her to put that part of her life behind her and look forward to an ethical way of life.
See her full story here:
Narconon’s Drug Rehabilitation Program
Founded in 1966 and based on the drug rehabilitation research developed by humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard, the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program is a holistic program that fully addresses and resolves the mental, emotional and physical causes and effects of drug use, enabling an individual to move forward into a drug-free, happy and productive life.
The success stories of Narconon program graduates like Ryan have proven that despite the overwhelmingly powerful aspects of heroin addiction, individuals can successfully treat and resolve their addiction with the Narconon program. “Now that I’m done with the program, I just feel like I have a new confidence and there’s nothing I can’t achieve. I feel new again,” Ryan says.