How is Heroin Used?
Heroin is a highly addictive illegal opioid drug that was invented in 1874. It is processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance, and extracted from the seeds of the poppy plant. Heroin, like all other opioids, binds to the opioid receptors in the brain and depresses the central nervous system. As a result, when someone takes a hit of this drug, it causes an intense euphoric rush followed by a sense of calm and relaxation.
After the intense euphoric rush that the drug initially produces, users will experience a state of drowsiness. They may also experience heavy extremities, dry mouth, a warm flushing of the skin, nausea, vomiting, severe itching, loss of coordination, and a clouded judgment. The National Institute on Drug Abuse Heroin Research Report “What is heroin and how is it used?” says:
Pure heroin is a white powder with a bitter taste that predominantly originated in South America and, to a lesser extent, from Southeast Asia and dominates U.S. markets east of the Mississippi River. Black tar” heroin is sticky like roofing tar or hard like coal and is predominantly produced in Mexico and sold in U.S. areas west of the Mississippi River. (DRUGABUSE.GOV)
Heroin was a legal substance for decades until its use, and misuse rapidly rose. Then, it became clear that it was a highly addictive substance, so in 1924 the United States government made this drug illegal.
How Does Someone Use Heroin?
Heroin can be used in many different ways. Most users inject it; however, it can also be smoked, snorted, or taken orally. Those that inject the drug feel the effects the quickest. It takes 10 to 15 minutes to feel its peak effects when it is smoked.
Research shows that about half of heroin users use the injection route to administer the drug. Those who inject this drug usually have a higher rate of dependence and addiction than those who snort or smoke the drug. Also, injection users tend to use the drug more often and develop a quicker tolerance or addiction.
It doesn’t matter how this drug is used, it is highly addictive in any form, and users will quickly develop a tolerance that requires more and more of the drug to achieve the same results.
Heroin as One of The Deadliest Opioids?
Heroin is one of the most addicting and deadliest opioids available. In 2017, statistics showed that nearly 494,000 people in the US were active heroin users. This is about 0.2 percent of the population, and as many as 886,000 people had used the drug in the previous year.
The overdose rates amongst heroin users continue to rise yearly. From 2002 to 2013, the overdose rates nearly quadrupled. In 2013, 8,257 people died from heroin overdoses, and in 2017 it rose to over 15,000 deaths. In 2019 the number rose again to 16,167 deaths.
It’s not just heroin that people are dying from these days, it’s opioids period. In 2019, over 50,000 people in the United States died from opioid-related overdoses according to the NIDA.
Start Treatment for Any Drug Addiction at Evoke Wellness
You can successfully recover from heroin addiction. With the willingness, drive, and determination you can recover from any addiction. Treatment has come a long way and there are several different options available now to recover from opioid addiction.
Evoke Wellness offers a safe and comfortable environment for medical detoxification. Our patients are treated extensively so that minimal discomfort is experienced during the detox process. We provide residential treatment in a structured environment and then provide you with after-care support which is very important when being treated for addiction. Evoke Wellness is here to help you get on the road to long-term recovery.