Heroin is an opiate drug that is synthesized from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of the Asian opium poppy plant. Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder or as a black sticky substance, known as "black tar heroin.
Street names for Heroin include:
smack, snow, junk, tar,
horse, white horse, dragon, dope, H, big H, white nurse, white lady
How Is Heroin Abused?
Heroin can be injected, snorted/sniffed, or smoked-routes of administration that rapidly deliver the drug to the brain. Injecting is the use of a needle to administer the drug directly into the bloodstream. Snorting is the process of inhaling heroin powder through the nose, where it is absorbed into the bloodstream through the nasal tissues. Smoking involves inhaling heroin smoke into the lungs. All three methods of administering heroin can lead to addiction and other severe health problems.
What Adverse Effects Does Heroin Have on Health?
Heroin abuse is associated with serious health conditions, including fatal overdose, spontaneous abortion, and-particularly in users who inject the drug-infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. Chronic users may develop collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, and liver or kidney disease. Pulmonary complications, including various types of pneumonia, may result from the poor health of the abuser as well as from heroin's depressing effects on respiration. In addition to the effects of the drug itself, street heroin often contains toxic contaminants or additives that can clog blood vessels leading to the lungs, liver, kidneys, or brain, causing permanent damage to vital organs. Chronic use of heroin leads to physical dependence, a state in which the body has adapted to the presence of the drug. If a dependent user reduces or stops use of the drug abruptly, he or she may experience severe symptoms of withdrawal. These symptoms-which can begin as early as a few hours after the last drug administration-can include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea and vomiting, cold flashes with goose bumps ("cold turkey"), and kicking movements ("kicking the habit"). Users also experience severe craving for the drug during withdrawal, which can precipitate continued abuse and/or relapse.
Heroin Addiction Treatment in Florida
Heroin addiction treatment usually begins with medically assisted detoxification
to help patients withdraw from the drug safely. Medications such as Clonidine
and Buprenorphine can be used to help minimize symptoms of withdrawal.
At Florida Center for Recovery, Drug Rehab
we help clients with heroin addiction to discover or rediscover the original
problem or problems that drove them to start abusing drugs. Behavioral interventions
- particularly, cognitive-behavioral therapy, a behavioral treatment approach
that combines behavioral therapy, family education, individual counseling,
, drug testing, and encouragement
for nondrug-related activities as well as alternative therapies are part
of our heroin addiction treatment. Our therapists teach our clients how
to overcome problems with real-life solutions by equipping them with tools
and life skills to confront and handle common obstacles encountered in life.
Only when both the underlying reasons for the heroin addiction and the heroin
addiction problem are resolved can a person become a healthy and happy member
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