Heroin is a class A drug made from morphine, and is also part of the ‘opiate’ category of drugs which derives from poppies. While versions of the drug have been around for hundreds of years, and continue to treat people across the world for complaints of pain or sleeplessness, heroin is a much stronger iteration of morphine, otherwise known as ‘diamorphine’.
The highly addictive qualities of heroin result from repeated use in order to obtain the desired side effects of wellbeing and pleasure. While these effects can initially sound appealing, the stark reality is that taking heroin involves serious short and long-term risks to your physical and mental health, including poor mental functioning, uncontrollable urges to itch your skin, and health problems associated with dependency such as liver disease, seizures, heart problems and blood clots.
Free heroin addiction assessment at your nearest Priory hospital
If you are worried that you or a loved one may have a heroin addiction, Priory’s free initial addiction assessment offers you an opportunity to discuss all of the options associated with your addiction. This assessment takes place with an experienced therapist and is completely confidential. There are many symptoms associated with heroin use and a range of indicators that a person may be using it.
Treatment for heroin addiction at Priory
At Priory, we are dedicated to providing expert heroin addiction treatment to all who entrust us with their care. We recognise that addiction does not define who you are, and we want to help you to put this behaviour behind you so that you can begin living the full and happy life that you deserve.
We understand that using heroin has likely caused immense distress throughout all aspects of your life, and it is our mission to help you to achieve recovery on all levels - mentally, physically, emotionally and socially.
It’s important to recognise the need to seek help & support. Heroin addiction will almost certainly require a private addiction rehab inpatient programme to overcome.
Treatment for heroin addiction takes place as part of our 28-day Addiction Treatment Programme, which involves intensive group and individual counselling & therapy in order to identify all of the associated issues and treat them holistically. Our consultant-led teams work to identify the patterns of destructive behaviour and social impact that the addiction has upon the individual’s life and the lives of people closest to them. Having the support of family and friends can be a significant advantage on the road to recovery, as they are able to offer a strong support network.
Methods of taking heroin
Heroin is most commonly injected intravenously, although it can be snorted, smoked or inhaled. Dependence and subsequently addiction to the drug can occur rapidly, with your body developing a tolerance quickly, causing you to require more of the drug to appease your cravings, risking fatal overdose and many associated difficulties.
All four ways of taking heroin, deliver the drug to the brain rapidly. Once there, it is converted back into morphine and binds to opioid receptors, located in many areas of your brain, such as those involved with pain perception, reward, and other areas that are critical for life.
This page was reviewed by Stephanie Chick (FDAP) in July 2020.
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