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Heroin Addiction

Heroin is a highly addictive opiate that is obtained from the opium poppy. Heroin addiction has been a recurring problem in the United States and has ravaged communities affected by it. The addictiveness of heroin can affect nearly anyone and overdose deaths are highly common. Heroin is often the drug that people turn to once they can no longer obtain prescription opioids.

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Heroin is an opiate that is created from processing morphine. Morphine is a natural painkiller that is obtained from the opium poppy. Heroin was first made in 1874 in the hopes that it would be a weaker form of heroin that could serve similar medicinal purposes of pain management. Morphine addiction has always been an issue that affected communities that were using it for medical purposes.

Unfortunately, heroin is just as addictive as morphine and has since been a banned substance in the United States. Drugs often have a reputation for who uses them and for what. Heroin has for a long time had a reputation of being a drug that was favored by the poor. However, this could not be further from the truth as heroin addiction affects many different communities and is not limited by socioeconomic class.

Heroin Use Statistics and Economic Impact

According to druabuse.gov, heroin use is in on the rise. Part of this increase in heroin usage is the crackdown on the prescription of opioids.

In 2018, nearly 15,000 people died from a heroin drug overdose in the United States according to the CDC. Heroin is often a carrier drug for the more deadily fentanyl which is often mixed into heroin to give it extra potency. This indirectly gives heroin an even more dangerous reputation due to the number of overdose deaths from heroin as well as those from fentanyl.

In 2015, the cost of horin use disorder was estimated at a staggering $51.2 billion dollars. This was based on the number of heroin users, the cost of HCV treatment, as well as costs of incarcerating heroin users for related crimes.

The great amount of interest in the damage and cost the heroin epidemic has waged on the nation as well as on the infrastructure was largely fueled by the explosion in number of heroin users between 2000 and 2013. Between those years, heroin users had doubled. Overdose deaths related to heroin had also tripled since 2002, culminating in a record breaking year in 2014 in which the number of drug overdose deaths hit an all time high of just over 47,000.

Short and Long Term Heroin Use Risks

Heroin is dangerous regardless of the length of period it is used. However, heroin addiction symptoms and damage do differ depending on how long a person has been using heroin.

Longer term use sees even more severe consequences to the health of the user such as:

  • Lung issues and increased vulnerability to illnesses such as pneumonia
  • Cognitive impairment/damage
  • Further deepening of depression/anxiety
  • Liver and/or kidney damage due to the strain of processing toxic compounds
  • Heart disease/damage
  • Circulatory system problems

Short term risks include:

  • Blacking out or going in and out of consciousness
  • Slowed respiratory function
  • Low blood pressure
  • Mental illness such as anxiety and depression
  • Arrythmia of the heart and palpitations
  • Inability to focus

Heroin Treatment

Southeast Addiction understands the link between prescription opioid use and heroin use. Opioid/opiate addictions in general are highly dangerous and difficult to extricate oneself from without assistance. We are here to help. Much has been said about heroin addiction in the United States for the past 30 years. The economic impact, the burden on the healthcare system, the lost productivity that results from people being down and out. All of these things are certainly terrible, however the worst aspects of heroin addiction and drug addiction as a whole is the damage it wreaks to the community, to the family and friends, and of course, to the individual. If you or a loved one are suffering from a heroin addiction, call now before it’s too late. Heroin overdoses are highly common, and it is best to act as quickly as possible to detox from the drug.
Call (770)-629-0258 to get addiction help today.

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Southeast Addiction Center exists for one purpose: to help addicts establish sustainable recovery.