Heroin alters the chemical makeup of a person’s brain, and the effects of the drug’s first high frequently result in an insatiable want for more. Thousands of people turn to drugs every year in search of pain relief, as an outlet for their emotions, or as a kind of self-medication, all of which have the potential to irrevocably alter the course of their life.
Heroin can be smoked, snorted, or injected intravenously. Since IV injection creates the most intense effects, it is the most desirable and most popular way to use the drug. In recent years, with the large outbreak of drug-related HIV and AIDS cases from the sharing of dirty needles, trends toward snorting and smoking heroin have been documented. Many users also believe that by snorting and smoking the drug, there is less risk of progressing to addiction. This belief is untrue; the only difference between injection and other methods of heroin use is that the use of a needle sends the drug directly into the bloodstream and, therefore, affects a person’s mind and body faster.
Unfortunately, for those who become dependent upon heroin, the risk of contracting incurable and fatal diseases, such as HIV, AIDS, and hepatitis, often becomes outweighed by the desire for a faster and more intense high. An addicted heroin user may continue IV use despite knowledge of contractible and fatal diseases. As one of the most addictive drugs available, with the most difficult cycle of addiction to break, heroin addicts rarely stop using without formal treatment services.
Heroin is a relatively pricey drug, but after a person experiences a pleasure, the cost can become insignificant. The high is so enjoyable that a new user, very likely to become addicted to the effects and sensations of a heroin high, will continue to use the drug no matter what. Consequently, heroin quickly became popular in urban areas; however, its use has spread to all communities and neighborhoods throughout the country.
People who become addicted to heroin, who was once successfully participating in life, both within their environment and with the people around them, become desperate and behave accordingly. To obtain the now-needed drug, a life of crime, prostitution, and complete disregard for anything other than heroin takes over the mission of each day. Relationships, responsibilities, and activities that were once important now slip away into the life of heroin addiction. Some addicts begin to sell precious belongings and steal from people they love, while others turn to street life and to the selling of their own bodies to get more heroin.
Despite the fact that the substance most plainly causes harm to the addict, the addict’s loved ones and others connected to them are also negatively affected. A heroin addict will begin to withdraw from their friends and family and will only participate in activities that will facilitate the acquisition of additional opiates. Even though many heroin addicts will give up hope and begin to believe that their heroin addiction will cause them to die, there is still a chance for recovery because of the aid provided by drug rehabilitation clinics.