Led by heroin, America’s opioid epidemic is in full swing, filling up heroin rehab centers all across our nation. Heroin might be considered the “sexiest” of all the drugs, glamourized by rock stars and the dark-eyed heroin look featured by the fashion industry in media that portrays it as edgy and chic. Heroin addiction is a serious problem though, only exacerbated by its potency and a number of other factors not typically attributed to other hard drugs.
We are all taught by our parents to stay away from drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and other harmful substances when we are children. As we grow up, people begin to realize their power and independence and make their own decisions. We eventually make decisions in contradiction to what our parents told us earlier. While the consequences from alcohol might take some time to appears, trying those hard drugs like heroin we were told to avoid can have heavy consequences leading to heroin addiction treatment or the worst case scenario – death. This rebellion is best described as “touching the hot stove” for oneself.
The problem is that heroin is so chemically powerful, that it is virtually impossible just try it once. Lesser drugs like alcohol and marijuana may feel strong the first time but the feeling quickly fades. People who have tried heroin say that “You cannot just try it once,” the common excuse most people make to unknowingly take that first leap into heroin addiction. It may well be considered the “best high” available.
Scrambling for Solutions
In fact, heroin is so powerful, that outside of alcohol, it is one of the few drugs where heroin rehab centers will typically prescribe a heroin treatment medication, such as Methadone, to deal with the withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine is gaining popularity as a heroin treatment medication alternative to methadone because it has less addictive effects and can help with withdrawal symptoms as well as cravings.
Heroin works by affecting brain receptors involved in reward, pleasure, and pain. Heroin addiction is likely because it is a drug that crosses the blood-brain barrier even more quickly than morphine. This produces a massive “rush” and a feeling that cannot be duplicated. Heroin is highly addictive because it causes changes in the brain that trick the parts that are responsible for motivation and pleasure into thinking heroin is desirable. It is commonly injected, smoked or snorted and the reason for that, heroin rehab centers explain, is that those methods allow a person to feel the full effects of the drug right away. This, in turn, increases the potential for addiction because the brain is receiving a full about right away instead of slower absorption through the bloodstream.
Heroin’s Part in the Crisis
Established organizations and heroin rehabs centers classify heroin as an opioid. This is essentially an extremely powerful pain reliever and depressant. As opposed to stimulants, this slows your actions down and puts a person in a heavily relaxed state, which leads to many overdoses and death. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “each day, more than 130 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids,” or approximately 48,000 people each year. Overdoses happen so often because essentially, the heart, which is a muscle, becomes so relaxed that it is unable to beat, causing it to stop. In the cases where help arrives in time, a heroin treatment medication called Narcan is given to the person overdosing. Narcan blocks the opioid receptors and jump starts the heart to regain function.
Heroin rehab centers also have to contend with the massive opioid problem taking place in pill form. This legally prescribed heroin in the form of Oxycodone, Morphine, Fentanyl, and others gives people a taste for the drug and causes them to seek out the real deal heroin. This is compounding the heroin addiction problem at an alarming rate. According to the Center for Disease Control, “From 1999 to 2017, almost 218,000 people died in the United States from overdoses related to prescription opioids. Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids were five times higher in 2017 than in 1999.”
If you or someone you know shows any signs of misuse of heroin, get to heroin addiction treatment immediately. Heroin’s powerful chemical bond in the brain, its potency and potential for overdose and death is world renowned.
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