Heroin: A Real Smack in the Face

The First Taste is Never Free

It’s a commonly heard warning/enticement that the first taste of an illicit drug is free. Whether or not this is literal depends on the dealing, but the idea behind the saying is sound, especially with extremely addictive drugs like heroin. Even a single use of heroin can start the road to addiction, and that how dealers get you. Perhaps they’ll offer something new, for free, just to try out, knowing full well how addictive it is.

Once is all it takes for some drugs to get their hooks in you and heroin is one of the most commonly abused opiates in the nation. Unfortunately, heroin has been made to appear more popular and even fashionable in recent years, believe it or not. In some fashion circles and even popular magazines, the “heroin addict look” has been promoted as fashionable, desirable , and “chic.” Greasy hair, sunken cheeks, waxy complexion, excessive thinness, dark circles under the eyes, and a blank expression has appeared in music videos and fashion magazines, portraying heroin use as something fun or cool and making the physical effects it has on the body look like something to strive for to keep up with the latest fashion trends.

What is Heroin Addiction Really Like?

As is the case with many substances, as a person uses they begin to build up a tolerance. When this happens, the same dosage has a lesser effect, driving the user to seek out more of the substance or find something stronger in order to get the desired effect. Eventually, this cycle gets so bad, their withdrawal symptoms so severe, they need to take dangerous amounts of their drug just to “level out” and feel normal, or do away with the horrible symptoms of withdrawal.

Heroin use itself can cause a multitude of problems, such as constant itching, coughing, sniffling, slurred speech, extreme lethargy and lack of motivation, and heightened aggression and hostility towards others. Heroin functions much like morphine and binds to the opioid receptors in the brain, causing an intense rush and feeling or euphoria. After the rush, however, users will feel sleepy, have clouded, muddled thoughts, and a much slower heartbeat and breathing which can be life-threatening.

Other effects of heroin use can include shallow breathing, clammy skin, and overdoses can cause convulsions, and coma which can lead to death. Withdrawal symptoms can appear very quickly after the last use and can be just as dangerous. Withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person based on a

multitude of factors, including how long the user has been addicted, their dosage and frequency of use, age, weight, genetics, physiology, and more.

Help For the Addicted

It can often seem like addiction is and impossible struggle, one that will drag a person down into the grave with no hope of escape. Addiction is a progressive disease, which means that the longer it remains untreated, the worse it will get. Too many times, friends and family members will do nothing in the vain hope that if they just leave it alone, maybe it will get better, but it won’t.

Whether you’re suffering from heroin addiction or someone you love is, there is help out there, you just have to reach out. Professional interventionists are trained and can help identify the best method of intervention to reach a loved one and bring them into treatment. Many of these trained professionals are recovering addicts themselves, which makes them uniquely qualified to assist in leading your loved one out of the darkness and despair they too once experienced.

It’s not too late to make a difference. It’s never too late to turn a life around and get the help one needs to throw off the chains of addiction and start living a long, happy, healthy life, free from substance abuse. Pick up the phone and call today. Don’t wait for things to get worse when you can make the change now.

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