Heroin Abuse & Treatment
Heroin (diamorphine) is a semi-synthetic opoid drug synthesized from morphine, a derivative of the opium poppy.
Heroin is typically a white crystalline powder, although it is commonly adulterated with various additives and may appear off-white or even brown. Heroin is used as both a pain-killer and a recreational drug. It is listed as a controlled substance under Schedules I and IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. Under the name diamorphine, it is a legally prescribed controlled drug in the United States.
The most common methods of illicit heroin use is intravenous injection, called "slamming" or "shooting up." Recreational users may also take the drug via snorting or smoking by inhaling its vapors when heated.
The withdrawal syndrome from heroin may begin within 6 to 24 hours of discontinuation of the drug. This time can fluctuate with the degree of tolerance as well as the amount of the last consumed dose. symptoms of withdrawal includes sweating, malaise, anxiety, depression, excessive yawning or sneezing, tears, insomnia, cold sweats, chills, severe muscle and bone aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps and fever.
Heroin addiction withdrawal can last several weeks to several months. Attempting heroin withdrawal or detoxification without professional assistance is not only dangerous, it is potentially lethal.
Heroin addiction withdrawal can cause serious physical and emotional trauma including stroke, heart attack and even death. Methadone is often used to ease heroin withdrawal, though this typically ends with the individual acquiring an addiction to another drug.
Recovery from heroin addiction involves detoxification as the initial step. Secondly, the individual needs to be willing to participate in a rehabilitation program. The highest documented success rates for heroin addiction recovery are through long-term drug rehabilitation treatment lasting at least 3 to 6 months.
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