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Frequently Asked Questions: Heroin Addiction

Person listening to someone going through the frequently asked questions about heroin addiction

The use of heroin in the United States has been increasing noticeably in recent years, making it more important to familiarize yourself with frequently asked questions about heroin addiction. You or a struggling loved one may need to enroll in a heroin rehab center, and it would help if you know what to expect in heroin addiction rehab or what type of drug heroin is. Contact Northpoint Recovery today at 888.296.8976 to learn more about the effects of heroin abuse and how going to heroin rehab can help you or a loved one.

What Type of Drug Is Heroin?

Heroin is derived from the morphine alkaloid in the opium poppy plant and abused for its euphoric effects. In its purest form, heroin is known chemically as diacetylmorphine hydrochloride or diamorphine.

What Is the History of Heroin?

Heroin was first synthesized legally from morphine in the late 1800s, and the Bayer Company of Germany was the first to introduce heroin in the U.S. to treat tuberculosis and, ironically, as a remedy for morphine addiction. However, because of the highly addictive nature of the drug, its abuse was widespread. In 1924, federal law made all heroin use illegal in the country.

What Does Heroin Look Like?

The majority of illegal heroin is sold as a white or brownish powder. However, it is usually cut with sugar, powdered milk, or starch. Heroin can also be cut with strychnine or other poisonous substances. Furthermore, highly potent opioids such as fentanyl and carfentanyl—far more powerful than heroin itself—have been found cut into heroin bought on the streets.

What Are the Effects of Heroin?

Physical effects of heroin use can include slowed or shallow breathing, nausea, and pinpoint pupils.

What Are the Short-Term Effects of Heroin Use?

After an intravenous injection of heroin, an individual may feel an extreme surge of euphoria that lasts 45 seconds to a few minutes—accompanied by flushing of the skin, dry mouth, and a sensation of heaviness in the user’s limbs. This rush peaks after one or two hours and wears off in three to five hours, except for its sedative effect, which can last longer.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Heroin Abuse?

Intravenous use can be complicated by the risks of sharing contaminated needles—possibly infected with hepatitis or HIV/AIDS, and toxic reactions to any impurities in the drug. Other medical issues that can arise include abscesses, collapsed veins, endocarditis, pneumonia, and spontaneous abortion.

Of course, the most significant danger of using heroin is developing addiction.

What Happens if You Overdose on Heroin?

Overdosing on heroin is serious—it can be fatal. Suppose you are with someone who has overdosed. In that case, you must contact the emergency services immediately, as it requires treatment with naloxone—a medication formulated to effectively block or reverse the effects of opiate use, including respiratory depression, drowsiness, and loss of consciousness.

What Is Heroin Rehab?

The most successful way of recovering from heroin addiction is to attend an inpatient course of treatment at a heroin addiction rehabilitation center or hospital. Drug rehabs usually involve:

  • Detox
  • Therapy
  • Education

Apart from inpatient rehab, other forms of rehab include outpatient treatment and recovery housing.

How Long Is a Heroin Rehab Program?

The length of addiction rehab programs varies, but they usually last between 28 to 90 days. Extended programs in sober living facilities, like recovery housing or halfway houses, can last up to 18 months.

What Are the Benefits of Heroin Rehab?

Rehab provides several benefits to addicts, designed to give them a chance at a successful recovery. These are:

  • Safe and secure environment
  • Individualized treatment plan
  • Access to resources
  • Follow-up support and aftercare programs

Rehab is the most effective way of treating heroin addiction.

Find Heroin Rehab in Idaho at Northpoint Recovery

Northpoint Recovery can answer your frequently asked questions about heroin addiction and more. Know more about the effects of heroin abuse, what to expect in heroin addiction rehab, and what type of drug heroin is with the help of our team. Contact us at 888.296.8976 to learn more about our heroin addiction treatment in Boise, Idaho.