Myths About Heroin Addiction

Heroin Addiction

Heroin has become one of the leading illegal opioid drugs in the United States. Statistics from 2019 show 10.07 million Americans age 12 and older abused opioids. About 745,000 opioid users abused heroin; 404,000 used heroin and prescriptions. With the staggering number of heroin addiction victims, some still don’t know what heroin is and how it is used as a drug. That leads us to wonder about what is true and what is considered a myth about heroin.

What is Heroin?

Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine, a natural substance taken from the seed pods of poppy plants. It is typically grown in Asia, Mexico, and Columbia. Heroin is a white or brown powder in drug form. It can be smoked, snorted, or injected by users.

Once heroin enters the brain, the body converts it back to morphine and it binds to opioid receptors, located in many areas of the brain. These receptors control dopamine levels – the ‘feel-good’ chemical in the brain that brings pleasure. It can also affect the receptors that control pain, heart rate, sleeping, and breathing. 

The drug eventually dulls these receptors and users require more and more to get the high feeling, leading to a heroin addiction. A heroin addiction can be deadly and generally requires treatment at a heroin rehab center. If you are seeking heroin addiction treatment, check out Gratitude Lodge in Long Beach and Newport Beach, CA. We treat a number of drug addictions, and our heroin addiction recovery program can get you back on the road to healthy and sober living. 

Myths Associated With Heroin

At our heroin addiction treatment centers in Newport Beach and Long Beach, we’ve heard all kinds of strange myths and rumors about heroin addiction. Here, we refute some of the most popular ones. 

#1 — Heroin addiction starts with a pain pill prescription given by a doctor.

Most people believe that users become addicted to heroin because they were first addicted to prescription pain pills. But it has been found that 51.3% of Americans are getting opioids from a friend or relative, not doctors; and even then, it rarely leads to heroin use.

#2 — Heroin deaths occur because of impurities in the drug, not the drug itself.

When heroin is being cut, other substances or toxins are added in, and that is believed to cause the overdose deaths. In reality, most of the deaths are occurring with longtime heroin users and there isn’t any evidence to prove that toxins are causing the deaths.

#3 — Heroin is a young person’s drug.

Many believe that heroin is only used by young drug users, and that it is a drug that users typically grow beyond over time. Research shows that a third of heroin users are over the age of 40. The average age of users who die from heroin overdose are in their 30s. Users who are in their 50s or 60s are more likely to die from heroin overdose.

#4 — There are high-functioning recreational heroin users.

It is believed that there are heroin users that can continue to function normally in society while recreationally using heroin. This statement is false because heroin is a highly dependable drug and the way it affects the brain makes it highly addictive.

#5 — Smoking or snorting heroin is not as dangerous as injecting it. 

It is said that injecting heroin is more powerful and can lead to an almost instant high, so the myth was created that smoking or snorting heroin is not as dangerous. There is also a stigma around needles being associated with drugs, so it downplays the severity of smoking and snorting the drug.The truth is, heroin is just as dangerous, regardless of the method used and it still leads to addiction and overdose.

#6 — Heroin addiction occurs after one dose.

Since heroin is a highly addictive substance, it is believed that an individual can become instantly addicted. Like most drugs, heroin takes time for an addiction to form. While the brain is affected after first use, it requires repeated use of the drug to become an addiction. As the dopamine levels drop in your brain, it requires more and more heroin to feel high, which leads to the addiction.

What Does Heroin Rehab Look Like?

After entering a heroin rehab center near me like Gratitude Lodge, the first step is to go through detox to rid your body of the drug through medical treatment. This stage is where withdrawal symptoms become prevalent. The staff at the heroin rehab center work with you to overcome these symptoms. From there, you begin the rehab process, which involves a 12-step program, therapy sessions and a relaxed environment to help you learn how to live a sober life.

If you are in search of a heroin addiction recovery program, look no further than Gratitude Lodge. We offer a specialized program for heroin detox and rehab. Our staff is professionally trained to care for and guide you through the recovery process. If you have questions, check out our website. We have information about who we are and the types of treatment programs we offer. Don’t be afraid to reach out today with your concerns. We will be glad to make this experience as comfortable as possible and help you reach a sober lifestyle.

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