Understanding the Dangers of Heroin
Heroin is a highly addictive and dangerous opioid substance. In fact, an overdose can be fatal. When someone becomes addicted to heroin, they might develop a tolerance for the drug and a dependence on heroin over time. When this happens, the risk of an overdose increases.
What Does a Heroin Overdose Look Like?
What Happens During a Heroin Overdose?
How Long Does It Take to Overdose on Heroin?
It does not take long to overdose on heroin. In fact, someone can overdose in as little as ten minutes after the individual uses heroin. If an individual notices overdose symptoms, they should call 911 immediately.
Is a Heroin Overdose Painful?
Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Addiction
The rush usually causes feelings of internal warmth that flushes across the skin. Dry mouth and a heaviness in a person’s arms and legs often coincide with the rush as well. Nausea, vomiting, and severe itching can also occur.
For instance, some studies have shown that repeated heroin use can deteriorate white matter, which is a type of tissue in the brain. From there, a person’s decision-making abilities will be impacted, as well as their ability to regulate behavior or respond to stressful situations.
Tolerance is also an issue stemming from long-term heroin use. People develop a tolerance to heroin when they need to take more of a substance in order to experience the same rush that they felt the first few times that they used it. Tolerance can also play a role in overdoses because people will take more heroin to reap the sensation that they initially enjoyed, but this increase in dosage can result in them taking more than their body can handle.2
Heroin Overdose Statistics
In 2016, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 948,000 Americans used heroin within the past year. The rate of heroin use and the heroin addiction rate have both been on the rise lately. The drug is most popular amongst adults between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five.2
In 2019 alone, more than 14,000 people died from a drug overdose that involved heroin. While overdose death rates have decreased by over 6% between 2018 and 2019, nearly one-third of all overdose deaths from opioids are caused by heroin in particular.3
Heroin Overdose Statistics by State
While overdose statistics differ from one state to the next, it is important to recognize that there has been an increase in overdose deaths in California, New Mexico, and Mississippi. In more than half of the remaining United States, the rates of overdose have remained stable.
Thankfully, the death rates have not increased within the past couple of years for those states. Even so, the rates of heroin overdose deaths are seven times greater than it was in 1999.3
Factors that Affect Heroin Use
There are many factors that affect heroin use, including protective factors and risk factors. Some factors that may increase the risk that an individual misuses heroin include the following:
Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Overdose
Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms
Heroin overdose effects can be severe, and sometimes, they can even result in a fatal heroin overdose. However, many people choose to quit taking heroin and save themselves from the possibility of an experiencing an overdose.
However, withdrawing from heroin is not an easy feat to tackle. While heroin withdrawal will be different for everyone who endures it, the experience is often difficult. Some of the most common heroin withdrawal symptoms include the following:4
How Long Does Withdrawal Last?
In certain instances, heroin withdrawal effects can transpire for a couple of weeks on end. While the onset of short-term heroin withdrawal symptoms may start immediately, psychological and digestive problems typically begin within seventy-two hours after taking the drug.4
Factors That Affect Heroin Withdrawal
Heroin Overdose Death Symptoms
Symptoms often include the following:
Overdose Causes and Effects
What Causes an Overdose?
Effects of Overdose Heroin
Treatment for Heroin Abuse
Also known as detoxification, a heroin detox refers to the stage in the recovery process where heroin leaves someone’s body. Heroin detox can be an unpleasant experience as it causes several negative side effects. However, by visiting a heroin rehab center, people can receive the help they need directly from psychological professionals.
Therapy is a way for individuals to learn how to cope with their heroin abuse. Two common types of therapy that can help people with heroin addictions include contingency management and cognitive behavioral therapy. Attending any of the therapies out there can give individuals the skills they need to cope with daily life. Plus, they will better understand the scope of their heroin addiction and how to help themselves.
If you or a loved one are seeking treatment for heroin addiction, it is best to attend a heroin addiction treatment center and seek out heroin overdose treatment. Since treatment is the best way to prevent heroin overdoses in the first place, finding the right heroin rehab center is crucial.
People in search of treatment for heroin abuse can expect to attend behavioral therapies and work with professionals whose goal is to help them overcome heroin withdrawal. Ultimately, people will learn how to cope with their addiction so that they can seek out healthy coping mechanisms and avoid furthering their heroin addiction.