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Opiate Hotline Heroin Facts

Heroin being prepared to inject

Heroin being prepared to inject

What is Heroin?

  • Heroin is an opioid drug derived from morphine, a natural substance found in the seed pod of the Asian opium poppy plant.  It is a highly addictive opioid and responsible for thousands of addicts, overdoses and deaths in the USA.  According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse there was a six fold increase in heroin related deaths from 2002 to 2015.  Heroin and related opioid and opiate overdoses and emergency room stays are at an all time high.  The problems caused by addiction can be horrendous and the financial burden to buy drugs to feed a heroin addiction is daunting.  As bad as opioid and opiate addiction can be there is always hope for the person who is ready to make a change and turn their back on drug addiction.

What does heroin look like?

Heroin is found in several forms:

  1. White powder
  2. Brown powder
  3. Black, sticky substance known as black tar heroin

What are common names for heroin?

  1. Dope
  2. Horse
  3. Junk
  4. Smack

How do people consume heroin?

  1. Smoke
  2. Inject
  3. Snort
  4. Sometimes mixed with cocaine and is called a “speed ball

How does heroin affect someone?

When heroin enters the brain it actually changes back into morphine.  It binds to opioid receptors on brain cells, especially those involved in feelings of pain and pleasure.  It causes:

  1. Strong, feelings of euphoria
  2. Heavy feelings in the hands and feet
  3. Clouded and impaired mental functioning
  4. Dry mouth

What are the long term affects of heroin use?

  1. Likelihood of becoming addicted
  2. Collapsed veins
  3. Lung complications
  4. Abscesses
  5. Infection of the heart lining and valves
  6. Possible overdose
Heroin overdose statistics

Heroin overdose statistics

What happens during heroin withdrawal?

  1. Muscle and bone aches
  2. Sleeplessness
  3. Diarrhea and vomiting
  4. Cold flashes with goose bumps
  5. Uncontrollable leg spasms
  6. Severe heroin cravings

How are heroin overdoses treated?

Typically Naloxone is the medicine used to treat heroin overdose, it should be given as quickly as possible.

How heroin addicts recover

The first thing an addict does to begin their road to recovery is admit they have a problem and cultivate a strong desire to quit.  National Opiate Hotline strongly recommends speaking with a doctor or qualified and experienced medical professional.  Ending a heroin addiction can pose health risks because heroin is so toxic to the body and addictive, so talk to a medical professional.  It’s ideal that an addict gets involved in some sort of treatment.

Heroin treatment paths include:

  • Out patient counseling
  • In patient counseling
  • Day treatment
  • Free support groups like Narcotics Anonymous

Don’t be a statistic. If you or a loved one is tangled in heroin use or addiction the National Opiate Hotline is here to help provide guidance.  The call is free and we’re here 24/7. 1-888-784-6641