Heroin addiction is a dangerous and widespread problem, both in the Dallas area and across the United States. As prescription painkillers become more difficult to obtain, heroin has emerged as a cheap and powerful substitute for these drugs.
Drug-related deaths in some areas of Texas have more than doubled in the past five years, as potent “black tar” heroin is smuggled into the state from Mexico. Until recent years, heroin addiction was relegated to male minorities in urban areas; today, heroin addiction cuts across race, gender and socioeconomic lines.
Heroin Treatment Centers, Mesquite can help addicts living in Mesquite, TX find the right rehab recovery program for them. Addicts and their loved ones can call 214-414-1108 to learn more.
Like other opioid and opiate drugs, heroin originates from the resin of the poppy flower. A milky substance called opium is first extracted from the flower’s pod; this substance is refined into morphine, and then refined a second time into various forms of heroin. The drug can be taken in multiple ways: Most users inject heroin into their muscles or veins, but it can also be snorted and smoked.
Heroin abuse has skyrocketed as new regulations make it more difficult for drug abusers to “doctor shop” for OxyContin and Vicodin prescriptions. Drug manufacturers have also reformulated the drugs to make it more difficult to pulverize the pills into a powder.
The shrinking supply of these painkillers has been a boon for the heroin market, and Mexican drug cartels now offer users a purer, less expensive form of the drug. Due to these conditions, heroin abuse has increased rapidly among Texas residents.
Even though heroin is a dangerous drug, abusers continue to take it for its intoxicating effects. Heroin users experience feelings of euphoria: a rush of pleasurable feelings caused by chemical changes in the brain. This rush is usually followed by feelings of warmth and safety, which makes the drug especially appealing to individuals living in unhappy, unsafe circumstances.
Unfortunately, the pleasant effects of heroin use don’t last long, and the rebound effect can worsen any feelings of depression and anxiety that might have led to drug use in the first place. Tolerance to opiates develops quickly, and users find themselves needing higher dosages of the drug in order to experience the usual euphoric effects. As an addiction forms, users need the drug to stave off the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that occur when they try to go without using.
The symptoms of heroin withdrawal appear within hours of the drug’s absence. Users often experience muscle pain, vomiting and diarrhea, and they are likely to suffer intense cravings for the drug. Chills and goose bumps are also common withdrawal symptoms.
Individuals who continue to use heroin face a variety of serious health risks. Cardiac infections, liver problems and kidney failure are just a few consequences of long-term drug use. People who frequently inject heroin are at risk for collapsed veins and infections transmitted by sharing needles.
In addition to these health issues, heroin addicts may be poisoned by additives sometimes found in batches of the drug. Getting help for a heroin addiction in its early stages can help individuals avoid some of these long-term dangers.
An addiction can be difficult to overcome, but a comprehensive treatment program can help individuals get on the road to recovery. The first stage of a treatment plan is detoxification, where users gradually stop using the substance of abuse.
Once a person has completely withdrawn from heroin, they can continue the rehabilitation process with counseling and behavioral therapy. In therapy sessions, recovering individuals begin to understand the nature of addiction and learn how to deal with the triggers and stresses that could lead to a relapse.
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