Originally created as a less potent and non-addictive substitute for morphine addiction, heroin is now recognized as one of the most potent and addictive drug substances currently in existence. Heroin is in the opiate family of drug substances – a group of drug substances that are derived from resin in the seed pod of the Asian poppy plant. The original opiate drug substance to make its way into America was opium itself, which was brought over in the early 1800s by Chinese immigrants. By the 1850s, opium addiction was a major problem in the United States, and scientists began looking for a way to preserve this drug’s pain-relieving qualities while reducing the drug’s potency and addictiveness. As a result of these efforts, morphine was created, and it soon proved to be far more addictive and potent than opium. Once again, scientists sought to preserve the pain-relieving qualities of opiates while reducing the drug’s potent and addictive nature, and heroin was born.
Heroin Addiction Problems
Heroin normally presents as either a powder or a black, sticky substance. Individuals can smoke or inhale heroin but one of the most popular methods of heroin consumption is through injection, as this provides the fastest and most desirable results. Once consumed, heroin quickly makes its way to the brain, where it is converted back into morphine. Morphine binds to opioid receptors that control the communication of pain, are involved in the processes of pleasure and reward, and regulate the basic functions of key body systems like heart-rate and respiration. When an individual decides that heroin use is helpful in some way – perhaps because it stimulates euphoria and pleasure or because it suppresses pain – they continue to consume heroin regularly and can quickly move into heroin dependence and addiction problems.
Once the human body grows to depend upon heroin in order to function normally, the individual no longer has a choice about their heroin use and is driven by powerful cravings and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms to maintain a certain level of heroin in their body at all times. The individual may recognize at some point that heroin use is destroying their health and life, and they may wish to be free from this drug but they simply don’t know how to break their connection with a drug that seems to control their every thought and action. It is not unusual for a heroin user to attempt to take their own life just to get relief from their addiction problems.
Solving Heroin Problems
Obviously, the best way to solve heroin problems is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. This can often be accomplished by providing effective heroin education. Individuals who think that heroin can help them in some way or who think that they will be able to always control and limit their heroin use simply don’t understand the truth about how this drug affects the human body, and how even casual, limited heroin use can quickly escalate into full-blown addiction problems. An individual who does receive the facts about this drug is often able to make the wise choice to abstain from heroin use.
But what about those individuals who have already slipped into heroin use and addiction problems? Despite the fact that true and lasting sobriety from heroin use may seem like a fictional fantasy to these individuals, it can and does occur with proper treatment services. More specifically, heroin addiction problems can be effectively and permanently resolved with long-term residential rehabilitation treatment.
Long-term residential rehabilitation treatment programs remove the individual from the life environments and routines that may be contributing to their heroin abuse and addiction problems, and places them in a safe, drug-free and supportive environment for the duration of their treatment program. These programs can also provide the support necessary to help an individual successfully and fully withdraw and detox from heroin, often considered one of the most difficult parts of heroin recovery. Most importantly, long-term residential rehabilitation gives the individual the time they need to focus on resolving each and every cause and effect of their heroin use, so that they can not only handle the damages caused by past heroin use, they can move forward into a stable, happy and heroin-free future.
When heroin abuse and addiction problems have taken over an individual’s life, long-term residential treatment is the real antidote, and it has proven workable numerous times.