Heroin addiction is a fact, heroin is not however, instantly or even nearly instantly addictive as crack cocaine or any other substance. This idea is based upon a fundamental misunderstanding of heroin addiction or any other drug and the supposed power of it. Research consistently shows that becoming addicted to any drug takes time, usually at least 2-3 months (often much longer) where the user builds up to regular daily use. No drug has the power to instantly addict a user. This is a myth which often gets reinvented by the media (often due to authorities such as the police or politicians making such a statement) each time a `new’ drug comes on the scene (witness ‘crack’, ‘ice’). Usually the new drug is not a new drug at all.

Controlled heroin use

Heroin use in many cases leads to heroin addiction. However there are also many occasional or ‘controlled’ heroin (and other drug) users who are capable of using the drug with informal controls / constraints on their using behavior e.g. using only at weekends, never on a working day, never alone, never with children around etc. In some cases such use can go on indefinitely with little physical harm accruing to the user. It is not uncommon for the drug use of such users to be unknown by those close to them.

Teen Challenge helps individuals seeking treatment for heroin addiction and drug abuse of any king through effective drug-free rehabilitation and free education. Don’t let yourself or a loved one continue to drown in the trap of drug abuse.

Heroin is relatively non-toxic

Heroin itself is relatively non-toxic; it doesn’t destroy skin tissue or other cells in the body as does alcohol and tobacco. Most of the health problems that stem from heroin use are life-style related or linked to the route of administration, injecting drug use for example – through sharing needles or improper use – often leads to various blood-borne diseases or viruses such as HIV or Hepatitis B/C and/or abscess or collapsed veins.

Heroin itself cannot give you spots, make you thin etc. as suggested by previous ‘educational’ campaigns. Those with the resources to buy their heroin without it impacting on money for food or personal welfare and who are careful about how they administer the drug, can live a generally healthy lifestyle.

Although overdose, (fatal and otherwise) can result from heroin use, it is rare that this is solely the result of heroin use alone. All addicts are afraid of taking the first step. Action is the bridge that helps us move from the dark to the light, get started right now with our free residential rehab.

Is heroin cut with dangerous substances?

Heroin is almost never purposely adulterated (‘cut’) with dangerous substances, despite popular belief that it is.

Is Heroin Addiction forever?

Heroin addiction is not necessarily a ‘life sentence’. Many heroin addicts ‘mature out’ of their addiction. The research literature reports extensive evidence of ‘spontaneous remission’ and ‘maturing out’ that demonstrates that even the most chronic of addicts may leave their addiction behind them when their circumstances change, e.g. new partner / child / job / perspective on the world, fed up with lifestyle / being arrested / having no money / having no relationships with family / friends / children etc. This relates primarily to ideas around ‘addiction pathways’ and undermines simplistic ideas of addiction being primarily bio-chemical in nature.

Heroin Tolerance, Addiction, and Withdrawal

With regular heroin use, tolerance develops. This means the abuser must use more heroin to achieve the same intensity or effect. As higher doses are used over time, physical dependence and addiction develop. With physical dependence, the body has adapted to the presence of the drug and withdrawal symptoms may occur if use is reduced or stopped.

Withdrawal, which in regular abusers may occur as early as a few hours after the last administration, produces drug craving, restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea and vomiting, cold flashes with goose bumps (“cold turkey”), kicking movements (“kicking the habit”), and other symptoms. Major withdrawal symptoms peak between 48 and 72 hours after the last dose and subside after about a week. Sudden withdrawal by heavily dependent users who are in poor health is occasionally fatal, although heroin withdrawal is considered much less dangerous than alcohol or barbiturate withdrawal.

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Are there any other problems that can occur from heroin addiction?

Heroin can cause feelings of depression, which may last for weeks. Attempts to stop using heroin can fail simply because the withdrawal can be overwhelming, causing the addict to use more heroin in an attempt to overcome these symptoms. This overpowering addiction can cause the addict to do anything to get heroin.

Help is available.

If you need help with heroin addiction you can apply for free to one of our Teen Challenge Centers today. Heroin addiction is a serious and growing problem, so apply today to our drug rehab today to get help. One of our Support Workers or Centre Manager will then contact you to arrange an interview. Our services are free.