The dangers of heroin abuse are well known. Heroin users face the risks of overdose and addiction daily. They often experience social isolation and the deterioration of their physical health. Read on below to find out about some of the most common dangers of heroin abuse.
Heroin is highly addictive. Therefore, repetitive use of heroin is reinforcing, causes tolerance to develop, and results in withdrawal when heroin is stopped.
Heroin tolerance is a universal problem for heroin users. The phenomenon refers to the fact that, as a person uses heroin over time, the amount they need to feel its pleasurable effects increases. The amount a person needs to avoid the unpleasant effects of withdrawal also increases over time.
Heroin tolerance is the reason a heroin habit becomes so expensive over time. What was once a sufficient amount to get high no longer is, and the user is forced to spend more and more on their habit.
One of the most dramatic dangers of heroin abuse is withdrawal. Withdrawal is the painful syndrome a heroin user experiences when they fail to administer heroin in a timely fashion. Usually occurring in as little as six hours after a person's last dose, withdrawal ravages the body and mind. While heroin withdrawal isn’t fatal on its own, it’s an extraordinarily uncomfortable experience for someone to undergo.
Overdose, which can often be fatal, occurs when a heroin user administers too much heroin at one time. Even those who have never experimented with drugs know that overdose is one of the primary dangers of heroin abuse. The depressant effects of the drug overwhelm the respiratory and muscle functions of the body and breathing creeps to a halt. Medical professionals can sometimes save a heroin user by quickly administering naloxone, commonly called Narcan.
Overdose is especially common during a new relapse. Because the user has not had heroin in their system for a while their tolerance has decreased significantly. Relapsing users frequently overestimate their tolerance and administer too large a dose all at once. The risks are increased if the user is injecting the drug.
The fentanyl scourge has increased the risk of overdose among heroin users. A potent narcotic, fentanyl is now found in a large proportion of street heroin samples. Drug distributors add fentanyl to increase the potency of their product. Unfortunately, fentanyl also increases the dose variability of each bag of street heroin. As a result, some bags are much more potent than others which can cause overdoses amongst the unwary.
Social isolation is one of the lesser-known dangers of heroin abuse. Because heroin use is illegal, users frequently immerse themselves in a criminal underworld of black markets and drug dealers in order to sustain their habit. As a result, users frequently withdraw from more typical social interaction and become isolated from their family and friends.
Additionally, the time that users spend obsessing over, pursuing, and using heroin leaves little room for any normal social interaction. Users become withdrawn and alone, cutting them off from avenues of help and support.
Here at the San Antonio Recovery Center in Texas, our professionals provide those who need help overcoming their addiction with comprehensive, affordable care. We treat the whole person, physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally, rather than just a collection of symptoms. We offer a range of programs, including:
Please call us at 866.957.7885 if you or a loved one is battling the dangers of heroin abuse or any other addiction. No one needs to go through the fight alone.
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