Substance abuse is a problem for millions of people around the world. It affects the quality of their lives, their health, their family, their friendships, and their work. Although they know that it’s bad for them, they cannot simply quit because of their strong dependence on the drug. Those that try experience withdrawal symptoms that are difficult to deal with on their own. For those who are struggling with addiction, below is heroin withdrawal explained:
This drug is an opioid that happens to be one of the most used recreational drug worldwide. Its main medical use is for pain relief. The administration is usually done through injection for greater potency, although smoking and snorting are also possible. It is a quick acting substance that is felt almost right away with the effects lasting for several hours. Those that take heroin are likely to experience side effects like euphoria, dry mouth, decreased breathing, blood infections, pneumonia, constipation, and abscesses. Prolonged use can lead to addiction and fast onset withdrawal symptoms.
Heroin abuse is an issue that cuts across all demographics from young to old, rich to poor. The CDC estimates that half a million people are dependent on heroin in the US alone. Overdose is a big problem due to the great dependence developed for the drug. People tend to take more and more just to calm their nerves because smaller doses no longer give the desired effect. Certain people have a higher risk of addiction such as those who already have a history of prescription opioid abuse. In 2016, more than fifteen thousand deaths were recorded due to a heroin overdose. This can be prevented through rehabilitation and detoxification.
Withdrawal symptoms will be experienced after stopping the use of heroin. The severity will depend on the strategy used: a sudden stop or a gradual decline. The frequency of use prior to the withdrawal is also a big factor since this will influence just how much dependence the body has on the substance. The common symptoms include both physical and psychological side effects. Suddenly stopping use can lead to seizures, hallucinations, and convulsions. As for short-term effects, a person may experience insomnia, dehydration, excessive tears, aggression, irritability, loss of focus, sweating, and runny nose. Long-term effects include depression, paranoia, hyperactivity, anxiety, and high blood pressure.
Support and Recovery
Lighter cases may be treated through the use of heroin withdrawal medications that help to get them out of the habit without experiencing too much discomfort. Severe cases, on the other hand, will need to be treated through inpatient programs for holistic interventions. Note that relapse is common, even among those who have been sober for many years. It’s a continuing struggle that requires dedication, as well as support from loved ones.