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Heroin is known by many names including smack, H, junk, tar, dope and more. Heroin is one of the most addictive substances on the planet. While some drugs take a few times to become hooked, heroin only takes once. This lethal drug can be snorted, injected, and even smoked. When the substance is injected, the effects are nearly instant. It can lead to a rush, which then leads to a mellow euphoria for hours.Snorting heroin leads to less intense highs, and smoking leads to a faster euphoric feeling, without the long-lasting duration.
Heroin is dangerous for numerous reasons, but perhaps some of the most important are that consistent usage leads to physical restructuring of the brain. Studies on the effects of heroin show that the drug can deteriorate white matter in the brain. What is white matter? White matter helps every day individuals to make decisions, control their behavior, calculate their movements, and even respond to stress with peace. Another downside to the drug is that one can build a tolerance using heroin. This means that the more a person gets used to the drug, the more they’ll need to use, and this can lead to severe situations, including overdosing. If a user decides to stop using heroin, even if for a moment, the body instantly goes into withdrawal mode.
Heroin withdrawal symptoms can occur after 6-24 hours after the last hit. These numbers fluctuate depending on usage rate. Many of the symptoms are not pretty, including sweating, anxiety, depression, restlessness, heaviness, excessive yawning, sneezing, runny nose, insomnia, chills, severe muscle cramps, vomiting, cramps, and so much more. It can also cause the body to have spasms.
Heroin has an interesting history, mainly making an entrance in the art world. Renowned painters and writers found peace in the drug, only to be victims of an overdose down the road. The drug first appeared in 1874, when a chemist, C.R. Alder Wright at St. Mary’s Hospital in London found a new substance. Essentially a more potent form of morphine, but this is not where the drug took off. In 1901, St. James Society in the United States decided to give free samples of heroin to morphine addicts who were trying to quit their bad habits. Unfortunately, the addiction rates for heroin would surpass those of morphine only two years later. It wasn’t until 1924 that the United States Congress decided it was time to ban heroin altogether. However, that didn’t stop black markets from selling the substance. Now, heroin is found in all social classes, neighborhoods, and countries, and the need to fight addiction is higher than ever.
There are numerous approaches to treating a heroin addiction. Each individual is different, meaning that each person’s journey will be unique. That’s why it’s crucial though to match the treatment method to the needs of the patient. For example, therapy can include cognitive-behavioral therapy and contingency management. The idea behind cognitive therapy is to help patients pinpoint the root cause of their addiction. By working backwards in time, patients are able to be more aware of their motivations, triggers, and low moments. At Healing Properties, we strive to bring programs such as therapy, advanced wellness, Zen spaces, inpatient programs, outpatient programs, and so much more into our sober home. There was a time for getting high, but now is a time for healing. At Healing Properties, we know that addiction can be scary, and that it can be difficult to let go. Stop the fighting! Stop denying yourself a life that contributes to your goals, relationships, and happiness. We treat you like the man that you are, and now is the time to grow.