Stages of Heroin Addiction

Heroin’s popularity seems to run in spurts. Most heroin users live in the inner cities, however, many people that live in the suburbs and even rural areas can come across a heroin addict living among them or even a heroin addiction themselves. Unlike other drugs, initial use of heroin usually leads to an addiction. Heroin is highly addictive and leads to the person becoming completely controlled by their heroin addiction. The life of a heroin addict is more of a career progression into complete addiction. Here are the stages of heroin use that lead to a heroin addiction.

The first stage is experimentation – The person experiments with a variety of drugs, and may sniff heroin occasionally. The second stage is initiation – The person is initiated into using heroin intravenously. The first time is often accompanied by sickness that results in vomiting. However, the high is very pleasing to the user and is instantaneous. The drug is injected and the user immediately develops a liking for heroin quickly becoming an addict. The third stage is commitment – The user is now an addict and starts using the drug on a regular basis. They also start hanging around others who use the drug. Heroin becomes the center of attention in their life. The fourth stage is dysfunction – The heroin addict’s life now consists of robbing, stealing, and getting high from heroin. The addict can no longer hold any sort of employment and loses contact with family and those that don’t use heroin. The user may experience several episodes of overdoses, coming very close to death, they will often be hospitalized for various reasons, and they are likely to be arrested for crimes committed. Also, many will try to seek treatment programs but will often be unsuccessful and drop out. The fifth stage is treatment – If a fatal overdose doesn’t occur, the addict will eventually seek treatment and work extremely hard to kick the heroin addiction.

Heroin is powerful, dangerous, and very expensive. Addiction is almost immediate after injecting the drug. After awhile the high doesn’t last long at all causing the heroin addict to take heroin several times a day just to obtain a high. The addiction is so strong that the addict becomes sick if unable to obtain heroin and starts experiencing withdrawal symptoms. At first, the addict obtains heroin because it produces an immediate, pleasant experience. Eventually, the high or the experience doesn’t last long enough and the addict starts taking more to obtain the high and to prevent the withdrawals. Heroin addicts don’t want to experience those symptoms so they get high again to keep from going through it. Symptoms of a heroin withdrawal include, severe cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, profusely sweating, tremors, fever, and disorientation. The withdrawal process can take a couple of days and the cravings are usually extremely intense during the withdrawal process. The withdrawal symptoms are very unpleasant but heroin addiction is even more unpleasant. Heroin addiction is very hard to overcome and many are addicted for years. Oftentimes what causes an overdose is that small doses or whatever the amount of the dose the addict gets high from loses its punch. The addict has to take more just to get the same effects or high from heroin. The addict ends up taking too much and overdosing, which can cause death.

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