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How Dangerous Is An Addiction to Heroin?

heroin addictionAn addiction to heroin can have disastrous consequences not only for the addict but for their loved ones as well. But how dangerous is heroin? And why does danger not seem to deter addicts from using the substance? Exploring these questions can help provide a better understanding on heroin addiction and the disease of addiction itself.

Understanding an Addiction to Heroin

Heroin addiction isn’t a moral failing or choice but rather an actual illness that requires treatment. An addiction to heroin affects the addict’s ability to function because it impacts them on a physical, mental, and spiritual level. Many addicts end up turning to heroin after abusing and being addicted to prescription painkillers, like Oxycontin, Dilaudid, or Percocet. The reasoning behind addicts switching from pills to heroin is because heroin is cheaper, more potent, and yet still easily available on the street. This only perpetuates their disease of addiction because now they have switched to street drugs that could be cut with any number of substances, including deadly fentanyl and fentanyl analogues like carfentanil.

Dangers of Heroin

Aside from the fact that heroin is illegal and typically cut with other, even more dangerous drugs like fentanyl, heroin has a large amount of other consequences. Health consequences are common for heroin addicts, especially liver disease, Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, blood infections, collapsed veins, heart infections, skin infections, and more. With all of these serious health problems, why would anybody turn to heroin? Most commonly, heroin addicts used other drugs like prescription pills, so their body is already physically and mentally dependent on these opioid drugs. They often want to reproduce the initial rush they first had from taking heroin and opioids, but this cycle of continual, habitual use is deadly. Some addicts don’t think the dangers will happen to them – until they do. Others, don’t even care anymore because they are so stuck in their disease that the most important thing to them is getting their next fix at any cost. They simply cannot see beyond their use, and they certainly don’t see a life in sobriety. Some may wish they could get off these drugs, but even if they try on their own, they are often lead back to using the substances just so that they don’t feel sick because opioid and heroin addiction can result in nasty, unpleasant withdrawals.

Treatment for Heroin Addiction

So, what is a heroin addict to do? Fortunately, there is viable treatment for heroin addiction. Because heroin addiction is a physical, mental, and spiritual disease, treatment should address each aspect. A medical detox and inpatient rehab will play a critical role in the process of their recovery because heroin addicts, like other opioid addicts, must be weaned off the substances and then receive care for underlying issues when the drugs are out of their system. Effective addiction treatment doesn’t just end with rehab though. There are also aftercare options, which include residential rehabilitation, Intensive Outpatient Program, Halfway Houses, and Sober Living communities.

The truth is that heroin addicts CAN recover and they DO recover. It is entirely possible to recover from a seemingly hopeless state of mind, but you will need help to do so.

If you or a loved one are struggling with a heroin addiction or another substance use disorder, The Watershed Texas is here to help any day at any time. Give The Watershed a call today at 1-800-861-1768.

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