Understanding Heroin Addiction

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What is heroin addiction?

Heroin addiction is a physical addiction to the drug heroin.  Heroin comes from the seedpods of poppy plants and once the flowers have wilted away from the plant, heroin manufacturers remove the milky sap from scored pods.  The sap is then dried and is used to produce pure heroin.  Rarely is pure heroin sold because of the expensive cost.  However, various grades of heroin are becoming more readily available.

What are the signs of heroin addiction?

According to the mayo clinic, signs of heroin addiction can include:

  • Euphoria or feeling “high”
  • Reduced sense of pain
  • Drowsiness or sedation
  • Slurred speech
  • Problems with attention and memory
  • Constricted pupils
  • Lack of awareness or inattention to surrounding people and things
  • Problems with coordination
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Sweaty, clammy skin
  • Constipation
  • Runny nose or nose sores (if snorting drugs)
  • Needle marks (if injecting drugs)

What does heroin addiction do to the body?

The high from heroin works to “trick” the body because it simulates a natural substance.  The body believes that the drug is not dangerous and that it should be in the bloodstream.  It does not put the immune system or liver on alert when in the body, but instead quickly moves to the brain to make the drug user feel happy and relaxed. The body compensates for the drug, so over time it becomes immune to the reaction – causing the user to need higher doses of the drug in order to achieve the euphoric state – quickly leading to addiction.

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