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Heroin Addiction in Boston MA (617) 517-6448

Heroin addiction is one of the most well-known drug addictions in the nation for being tough to overcome. Unfortunately, many of the people dealing with a heroin addiction do not seek out treatment as soon as they should.

For help finding heroin addiction treatment centers, contact Boston Drug Rehab Treatment Centers at 617-517-6448.

What is Heroin?

Heroin is a potent and powerful illicit (also known as illegal) drug. It specifically comes from another, entirely legal, narcotic drug known as morphine. Morphine comes from a natural white, milky substance found in the seedpods of poppy plants. This drug falls under the drug category or class known as narcotics or opiates.

This is a drug that takes many forms on the streets. In its purest form (meaning with the fewest chemical impurities), heroin appears to be a bright white powder. However, this is by far and away the least common (and most expensive) form of the drug.

This drug may also be found in a brown powder form that ranges from light brown to almost blackish in color. And then there is the most common form, known as tar or black tar. This type is a sticky brown or black substance (or residue) that is solid rather than powdered.

Heroin is most often injected directly into the vein using a needle. However, the powder forms may also be smoked and/or snorted.

Why is Heroin so Addictive?

This drug is addictive because of the chemical effects that it has on the brain and nervous system. When heroin is consumed it immediately begins to bond with pain receptors throughout the body. This prevents these receptors from receiving signals from neurotransmitters that send signals to indicate pain.

Additionally, opioids takes up residence in the brain stem as well as the brain's reward centers. The brain stem effects are slowed respiration and heart rate as well as calming and suppressing other systems. The stimulation of the reward centers makes the user feel immediately content and even euphoric due to the brain chemicals that are released to associate the drug with a sense of reward and pleasure.

All of these effects are extremely potent, and the brain and nervous system almost immediately begin to adjust to the presence of opiates in the body. This can happen with even one or two uses. When the brain and nervous system stop doing certain things without being told to do so by heroin, this is a chemical dependence (physical addiction).

Heath Effects of Heroin Abuse

  • Low heart rate
  • Disorientation and confusion
  • Constricted pupils
  • Suddenly falling asleep
  • Drastically slowed breathing
  • Limbs appear and feel heavy
  • Lethargy
  • Inability or unwillingness to move body
  • Infections in injection sites
  • Sudden death
  • Heart failure
  • Skin infections
  • Sepsis
  • Endocarditis (bacterial heart infection)
  • Seizures

Treatments for Heroin Addiction

Addiction treatment should always begin with medical detox. Medical detox gets the heroin out of a person's system but does so gradually and incrementally using prescription drugs administered by a doctor that mimic the effects of heroin in the body in more and more reduced ways. This prevents the body from going into shock and eases a person's discomfort while going through detox.

Aside from detox, treatment should also include therapy in both individual and group settings to help a person to understand the reasons they formed an addiction, their triggers for substance abuse, and to develop ways to cope and avoid future relapse. Other treatments can include equine therapy, restorative yoga, art and music therapy, and many others.

While addiction is tough to deal with and overcome, it is not impossible. All you need to do is contact a drug treatment center as soon as possible for guidance and to get started in the treatment process.

For more information about heroin addiction treatment centers and support options, contact Boston Drug Rehab Treatment Centers at 617-517-6448.

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