Heroin Addiction and Rehabilitation

Heroin Addiction Rehab Header
Last Edited: November 18, 2021
Patricia Howard, LMFT, CADC
Clinically Reviewed
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and certified by an addiction professional.

Dangers of Heroin Abuse

Heroin, created from modifying Morphine, is one of the most addictive illegal drugs on the streets today. Because of this, the first and foremost danger of Heroin use is its very high potential for abuse and addiction. In fact, quitting a Heroin addiction leads to dope sickness and may require detoxing in a medical facility. Heroin has become the drug of choice for those who have already formed a dependency to other opioid painkillers, like Hydrocodone, due to Heroin being cheaper.

The main problem with Heroin, aside from its rising incidence around the world, is that it can cause a myriad of health problems when abused. The list is long and ranges from a low sex drive, miscarriage, to hepatitis, skin infections, liver and kidney disease, and HIV.

Because Heroin can be smoked, snorted or injected, there is a large potential for overdose and death, together with psychological and physical dependence. This is because Heroin causes the deterioration of white matter in the brain. This can cause erratic behavior, reduced impulse control and a loss of the ability to deal with stress. The inability to handle stress creates can increase the possibility of relapse.

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Street Names for Heroin

On the streets, Heroin is known by a variety of names, which vary depending on the mode of delivery and the culture of the user, with a majority of the nicknames coming from English speaking and Hispanic populations. A few of the nicknames include: Smack, Dope, Mud, Horse, Skag, Junk, H, Black tar, Black pearl, Brown sugar, Witch hazel, Birdie powder, Dragon, Hero, White stuff, China white, Mexican horse, Pluto, Skunk,Number 2.

True Stories of Addiction: Heroin Addiction

Effects of Heroin

Heroin is normally injected, snorted or smoked, and because it reaches the brain quickly, it is highly addictive. It clouds mental functions, impairing the ability to think and react, slowing down reaction times and diminishing the ability to make decisions, all while hindering the user’s memory.

Because heroin can be injected, and reusing dirty needles is common, the risk of contracting AIDS, hepatitis and other deadly blood-borne diseases. As well Heroin is linked to violence and crime due to its effects on the user’s brain.

Other effects include nausea and vomiting, the inability to feel pain, leading to related injuries. Miscarriage is also a common effect of heroin use, as well as the reduction of heart functions and breathing, which can cause death.

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