The addictive side of heroin

| Oct 19, 2016 | Uncategorized

Many Arizona residents who read or hear reports about illegal drug use or other crimes in which drugs were involved can sometimes adopt a harsh viewpoint about the people involved. This sadly may come from a lack of understanding about just how real and serious drug addiction is. Knowing a bit about this may offer a new perspective on these situations.

Narcanon indicates that heroin is one of the five most addictive substances. The others are alcohol, methamphetamine, cocaine and prescription opioid painkillers. A CNN Health report from five years ago stated that as many as 22 million people in the U.S. struggled with some type of addiction to an illegal drug.

As a person uses heroin, they can develop a tolerance to it. This leads them to using more of the drug to reach the euphoric state that it creates. This state is due to heroin’s conversion to morphine and its attachment to the opioid receptors in the brain. People who use heroin experience a slowdown in breathing and reduced mental and cognitive functioning. Respiration can slow to deadly levels.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains that a person’s situations as well as genetic makeup can contribute to his or her chance of becoming addicted to a drug. People who have mental health conditions may also be more at risk for drug addiction. When drugs are used at younger ages, they may interfere with normal development. This also adds to the chance of developing an addiction. Drug addiction can be treated and managed but can never be fully cured.