Heroin Addiction

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An illegal and highly addictive narcotic, heroin comes in the form of a white or brown powder or as a black tar type of substance. The drug is usually injected, smoked or snorted to produce the euphoric feeling known as a “rush.” All three methods of use can lead to addiction very quickly.

Heroin addiction is a crippling disease. The onset of dependence begins quite rapidly and within a short time more and more of the drug is need to produce the same affect initially experienced by the user – this is called “developing a tolerance.”

When the user first takes heroin into their system, they often feel nauseous and tired. Users refer to this sleepy state, almost like going in and out of consciousness, as being “on the nod.” The effects of the drug begin within seconds and last for two or three hours.

While under the influence, the heroin addict often experiences difficulty breathing, nausea and vomiting, drowsiness and fatigue, extremely dry mouth, itching and constricted pupils.

There are a number of physical and psychological consequences associated with heroin addiction, including Hepatitis, HIV, and AIDS, complications with pregnancy, skin disease and abscess, gum disease, respiratory issues, heart disease, muscular weakness, memory loss, and overdose that may result in death.


If you are concerned that someone you care about might be using heroin, the first reality to consider is that the user is rarely honest about their drug use. You will probably need to observe their behaviour – and there are several signs to look for.

If under the influence of the drug, the individual may appear to be very tired and they may have laboured breathing. They may actually alternate in and out of consciousness “nodding off.” The user may be nauseous and the pupils of their eyes are typically constricted or “pinned.”

An injection drug user typically has needle marks (known as “track marks”) on their body – often on the insides of the arms.

The heroin addict tends to withdraw from family and friends, often isolating and/or hanging out with other drug users. Typically, the addict becomes unmotivated to participate in normal social situations, often experiencing memory problems and a complete lack of interest in current or future events.

An often sudden change in personality usually occurs in someone addicted to heroin, as you can imagine with the symptoms and effects described above. If you think that you are dealing with a heroin addict, express your concerns to the person in a kind and loving way. In addition, there are several support groups and professionals available to answer your questions and concerns.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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