Not only is heroin addiction possible, it is extremely likely from the moment you first take the drug. Heroin has a very powerful effect on the central nervous system and using it even on rare occasions can easily lead to addiction.
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is a drug of the type known as depressants. It’s made from morphine which in turn is made from specific types of poppy plants. Heroin is usually seen as a white or brown powder. In its white powder form, heroin is usually smoked or snorted through the nose while black tar heroin is usually injected intravenously, under the skin or into the muscles. While all forms of heroin have their downside, injecting the drug has been seen to have the most detrimental effects since it raises the chances of infection or getting diseases that are carried in the blood.
Medical Use Of Heroin
Just like other opiates such as morphine, heroin is used in treating medium to high levels of pain or to manage conditions with acute chronic pains. It is usually referred to as diamorphine in this case. However, in most countries including the USA, heroin has no medical use due to its addictiveness and it’s classified as a Schedule I drug which means that possession, distribution and sale of the drug is prohibited.
How Heroin Affects The Brain
Once heroin finds its way to the brain, it is converted back to morphine and in this form, it binds to the receptors in the brain associated with opioids. When an opioid binds to these receptors, it changes the way pain is perceived and also leads to increased production of dopamine. This is what causes the pain relief and euphoria associated with opioids.
If the brain is exposed to the opioid for a significant period, it will adjust and become more tolerant of the heroin. At this point, sensitivity to pain is also likely to increase and this has been said to happen even after using the drug only once. This results in the user requiring more heroin so that they can get back to the ‘normal’ state.
Using heroin more than once can easily result in addiction. After dependency sets in, users will start to crave for the drug. This is one of the early signs of addiction. The user will find themselves thinking about the drug obsessively. Soon enough, the user will not be able to stop themselves from taking heroin and due to the tolerance, they may find themselves using more of the drug than they planned to. Thereafter, the user will start to use the drug more often within a short period as they attempt to stay high for as long as possible.
Who Can Get Addicted And How To Avoid It
Under the right conditions, anyone can become addicted to heroin. In the US, there have been more people picking up the habit since 2007 and young adults are the most common users. Although use of heroin isn’t very high, any form of regular use can result in addiction. The best way to stay safe from this drug is to not use it at all.