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How Does Heroin Addiction Start And Why Do So Many Overdose?

1/18/18

treatment for heroin addiction

Heroin is one of the most addictive illegal substances in the United States. It's also one of the most dangerous and is responsible for many deaths in the opiate epidemic.

But how do people become addicted to heroin? And why do so many people die from an accidental overdose of the drug?

Heroin Addiction: How It Starts
Four out of every five people addicted to heroin first became addicted to prescription painkillers. Opioids, which are often used as painkiller medication, can produce a euphoric effect.

This sense of euphoria comes from the opioids' artificial endorphins, which ultimately begin to replace the body's natural endorphins over a long period of time. When the person stops taking the medication they may experience withdrawal symptoms such as depression, vomiting, chills, seizures, irritability, etc.

The withdrawal stage can be intense and overwhelming and is often the reason many continue to use an addictive substance. An addictive substance can also change the brain, causing a person to lose their sense of control over their use of the substance. It's for this reason that addiction is classified as a disease.

Heroin is easier to buy than prescription opiates and produces a stronger and quicker euphoria, which is why many people addicted to opioids will turn to it. What's more, a person needs only to inject the drug to receive a high.

Why do so many people die from an accidental overdose?
Heroin becomes addictive because of how quickly it affects the person. The drug immediately reduces anxiety and stress, providing a sense of euphoric calm.

However, the longer a person uses heroin the higher their tolerance becomes. This means, like alcohol, the person must use more of the substance to feel the same effects. But when a person uses a higher dose, their risk of overdose increases.

Is there treatment for heroin addiction?
Fortunately, there is a treatment for heroin addiction. Methadone treatment has proven to be between 60% to 90% effective in combatting heroin and opiate addiction.

Through a methadone treatment program in a rehabilitation center, a patient receives both therapy and medication to reduce withdrawal symptoms and treat their addiction. Methadone blocks the pain receptors of the brain, providing relief from opiate detox, while also preventing the euphoric effects of the addictive substance.

If you or a loved one is addicted to heroin or opioids, there are treatments for addiction available to you. For more information on methadone treatment contact Sundance Methadone Treatment Center today.


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