Heroin Addiction Health Risk Factors
What is Heroin?
Like other opiates, heroin comes from the poppy plant. Now sold illegally as a white or brown powder or as a thick black paste-like substance, heroin was once the wonder drug of medicine. Touted initially as a potent pain reliever with minimal side effects, the drug lost its favor with the medical profession due to its addictive properties and heroin health risks. Once addicted, quitting heroin use proved exceptionally challenging.
How Do People Use Heroin?
How Long Does Heroin Stay In Your System?
A 10-panel drug test can detect heroin up to forty-eight hours in urine after the last dose. However, small amounts of heroin remain in the body even when a high wears off. Because of these remnants of heroin within the body, heroin is detectable in saliva, urine, and hair. Moreover, although heroin leaves the body quickly, long-term use results in significant heroin health risks that last.2
Is Heroin Addictive?
Opioids release dopamine, a “feel good” chemical in the brain. Unfortunately, when opioids are used repeatedly, they change how dopamine affects the brain. The effects of heroin make the brain desire more heroin to achieve the same results, creating an addiction to the drug.
Prescription Opioids and Heroin
Sometimes opioid use disorder begins with legal drugs prescribed by a physician. Because opioids act in the same way as heroin, these drugs also have the same addictive properties. For example, using opioid painkillers prescribed after a surgery or some other injury routinely for a long time can lead to addiction.
Heroin Addiction Statistics
The CDC also reports that heroin more than doubled in the last decade among young adults ages eighteen to twenty-five. What’s more, nine in ten people who use heroin do so in combination with other drugs. On its own, heroin is a high risk for a dangerous drug overdose. Used simultaneously with other drugs, however, the risk of a drug overdose with heroin increases.
The following are other troubling statistics linked to heroin addiction:4
Effects of Heroin Addiction
Understanding the Dangers of Heroin Use
Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicates that almost 2% of adolescents have tried heroin.6 Drugs like heroin damage the way neurotransmitters send messages through the brain. Because the adolescent brain is still developing, heroin use during the teen years can negatively impact future brain function. In addition, routine heroin use during adolescence can also cause long-term health impairments like heart disease and lung complications.7
The mental health risks of heroin aren’t only found in the individual using the drug. Tragically, the ramifications of heroin use within the family can also extend to other family members, resulting in secondhand health risks of heroin. Heroin addiction in parents can cause psychological trauma and health risks with thirdhand heroin smoke, especially in young children. Children and teens with parents who struggle with heroin addiction have more issues with mental and social functioning.
Black Tar Heroin Health Risks
There’s a significant lack of quality control when it comes to heroin, and the contents of black tar heroin, especially, are unknown. Intravenous use of heroin, particularly black tar heroin, can result in infections and damage the veins. Black tar heroin health risks are more likely due to the high level of impurities.
Severe Health Risks Additional Risks
Dangers Of Heroin Addiction During Pregnancy
According to the World Health Organization, global heroin health risks are universal. Withdrawal symptoms from short-acting opioids start at about eight to twenty-four hours after the last dose. These withdrawal symptoms include severe cravings and significant physical effects, like seizures, muscle cramps, and diarrhea, especially during heroin detox. Quitting a heroin addiction is challenging, but it’s not impossible. With professional help and support, people addicted to heroin can proceed with their lives free from their addiction.11
Receiving care at a heroin rehab center gives individuals immediate access to trained professionals who can ease their discomfort and provide the best chance for success. Therefore, a heroin addiction treatment program is a safe and supportive environment to recover from substance abuse. Contact Concise Recovery today to learn how to help you or your loved one overcome heroin addiction and treat heroin health risks. Recovery is possible, and you can start your journey today by reaching out to our team.