It’s no secret that heroin has taken a devastating toll on our society in recent years. The opioid epidemic has ravaged many families in the U.S., and the power of these drugs can seem perplexing. Understanding the science behind the addictive nature of heroin is one small step toward educating and thus preventing this drug from continuing to take hold of the lives of so many. Recovery from heroin addiction is possible, and if you or a loved one is seeking a heroin rehab in Florida, BoardPrep Recovery is here for you.
Why Is Heroin So Addictive?
We have all heard of heroin, and we know that it is terribly and catastrophically addictive. What many of us might still wonder, however, is why is heroin so addictive? First, it might help to understand where it comes from.
Heroin is an opioid drug that is derived from morphine, a naturally occurring substance found in the poppy plant. It is highly addictive mainly due to its ability to rapidly enter the brain and bind to specific opioid receptors, leading to a range of euphoric and sedative effects. The binding releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward, and because heroin is so potent and fast-acting, the brain creates a very strong sense of reward. This leads to the impulse for more of the drug, creating a cycle of addiction.
Heroin use can lead to changes in the brain, specifically in areas related to decision-making and impulse control. These changes can make it difficult for a person to stop using the drug, even when they want to. Additionally, chronic use can lead to changes in the brain’s reward pathways, making other natural rewards less pleasurable, thus increasing the drive to use heroin.
Signs of Heroin Abuse
It is important to be able to identify the signs of heroin abuse. Recognizing the signs and symptoms can help to empower those who have a loved one that suffers from a heroin addiction, in that they can try and support them as best as possible if and when they are ready to receive treatment. Some common signs of heroin abuse include:
- Constant itching
- Rapid weight loss
- Slurred speech
- Drowsiness or falling asleep mid-activity
- Dry mouth and nausea
Almost anytime a person develops a tolerance to a drug, it points to the fact that an addiction is present. Regular use of heroin leads to the development of tolerance, where a person needs to use increasingly larger amounts of the drug to achieve the same effects. In conjunction with tolerance is withdrawal, meaning when an individual attempts to stop the use of the drug, they experience uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms related to heroin use often include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea and vomiting, cold flashes, and fever. These symptoms can be intense and often drive continued use of the drug.
Social and emotional signs are also common when a person is using heroin. Social isolation, increased depression, and anxiety, as well as intense irritability, can all be related to heroin abuse. Difficulties at work or at school are common, in addition to strained familial relationships and an increase in lying or hiding behaviors.
BoardPrep Recovery Offers Heroin Rehab in Florida
At BoardPrep Recovery, we are proud to offer services that aid in recovery from addiction to heroin. It is not an easy road, but we have the staff and the training to help you or your loved one go from hopeless to healthy. We understand the importance of treatment and of support, and we strive to ensure that every one of our clients feels important in our care. If you or a loved one is seeking treatment for heroin addiction, please contact us today at 866.796.4720 to learn how we can help.