Why is Heroin so Addictive?

Why is Heroin so Addictive?2018-07-11T15:37:45+00:00

Heroin is considered a highly addictive substance, and the high that many people get from using it often drives new users to seek it out again. While you won’t likely become physically dependent on the drug from a single use, even one experimental or social experience with heroin can lead to repeat use and fast addiction. But why is heroin so addictive?

A fast, intense high

One of the things that brings people back to the drug initially is the fast and intense high that comes from smoking, injecting or snorting heroin. The high hits within a few minutes and only lasts from a few minutes to about half and hour, which can cause individuals to seek more drugs to re-create the experience. What might have begun as an experiment or intended one-time social drug use can become a habit and then a full-blown addiction faster than anyone realizes.

In other cases, individuals dealing with stressors or triggers turn to heroin because of the euphoric feeling it enables, followed by a sluggish and sleepy period of a few hours. During this time, individuals feel like they don’t have to deal with the issues that caused them to seek escape, and they may turn repeatedly to heroin for this purpose.

man thinking about why heroin is so addictive

Changes to brain functionality

Even one use of heroin causes changes to brain functionality, and continued use can exacerbate those changes. Heroin interacts with receptors in your brain, causing the release of more dopamine than is normal. Dopamine is a natural substance that drives feelings of pleasure, but too much of it or a constant supply of it isn’t good for your body.

Medical science also believes that the receptors that are part of this interaction with heroin die off or become dysfunctional as they are overextended. That makes it hard for individuals to experience natural pleasure or enjoy things they normally did, such as hobbies or social experiences. That can lead someone to seek out the high of heroin again so they can feel pleasure.

Serious withdrawal symptoms that keep people using

Whether you turn to heroin for a pleasurable way to forget something about your life or fall into a cycle of addiction that begins with an experiment, quitting heroin can be extremely challenging. One of the reasons heroin addiction is so hard to beat is the serious withdrawals that occur if you let the drug exit your system after a physical dependency develops.

A physical dependency occurs when your body becomes used to the levels of dopamine and other changes caused by heroin. At some point, your brain begins to see this as the normal state, so when heroin exits your body and things attempt to go back to normal, your body thinks something is wrong and reacts accordingly. That can lead to withdrawal symptoms, and dependence causes you to rely on heroin to keep these symptoms from occurring.

Some common heroin withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Agitation and nervousness
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain in the abdominal area
  • Sweating and chills
  • Tremors
  • Muscle spasms

The symptoms can be very severe and uncomfortable. Even when someone decides to quit heroin, they are often driven back to the drug just to stop the withdrawal symptoms.

Heroin addiction isn’t impossible to recover from

Even though heroin is a very addictive drug, you can live a drug-free life even after battling with heroin addiction. Because of the withdrawals and other factors making heroin so addicting, though, it usually takes professional help to seek sobriety. Call us today at 877-284-0353 to find out more about heroin rehab in Florida and how we can help you feel more comfortable during recovery.

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