What Are The Most Potent Opioids In The United States?

DrugRehab.org What are the Most Potent Opioids in the United States_

The most potent opioids in the United States include carfentanil, fentanyl, heroin, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, morphine, oxycodone, oxymorphone, and a new deadly opioid combination drug called Gray Death. While most opioids are prescribed for pain relief, and contain addictive properties, some opioids are more potent than others.

It can be helpful to know which of these are the most dangerous, on the market and on the street, especially if you suspect someone close to you may be abusing these medications. Some opioids are harmful even to the touch, and taking repeated or large doses of them can result in dangerously slowed breathing, which can lead to overdose or coma.

DrugRehab.org What are the Most Potent Opioids in the United States_ Contain Addictive Properties

Others may have fatal results after just one dose, particularly combination opioids. That’s why it’s so important to recognize these medications, their severity, and seek help as needed.

With street drugs, there is never a guarantee for what kind of drug you’re getting or the dosage. It’s best to get out of the vicious, harmful cycle of addiction before you experience damaging effects to your health or worse.

Potent Opioids By Name:

The following are the most potent opioids in the United States, followed by a description of each. When a drug is “potent” it is medicinally effective or has a great ability to bring about a certain result, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.


Carfentanil is an opioid analogue of fentanyl, and is “one of the most potent opioids known” according to the U.S. National Library Of Medicine. Its potency level is 10,000 times that of morphine, and 100 times that of fentanyl. Carfentanil is typically used for tranquilizing large animals, including elephants.

Combination Opioid: Gray Death

Opioid combinations tend to be more potent than singular opioids. Gray Death is a current popular and deadly combination in use right now. As Forbes explains, Gray Death “looks like concrete and is so potent that it can be risky to touch and can kill you with one dose.” It contains fentanyl, heroin, carfentanil, and U-47700, a synthetic opioid commonly called Pink—all highly potent opioids.


Fentanyl is the most potent opioid used in hospitals or by doctors, according to CNN. However, much of fentanyl sold on the street is diverted from other countries, and that’s how it can become dangerous. People buying the drug may have no idea that they’re buying fentanyl and take too much without being under care of a doctor. Even a small amount of fentanyl can be lethal, as the drug can be accidentally inhaled or absorbed through the skin on contact.


Heroin affects the brain in a way similar to prescription opioids, causing euphoria, a sense of well-being, and slowing of certain functions. Why is it potent, then? Repeated heroin abuse can cause an excess of the substance in your body, which contributes to overdose. Also, heroin may be laced with additives such as sugar or starch, or with other substances. These can clog the blood vessels that lead to other organs and create permanent damage. Heroin should always be considered potent for the simple fact that there is no guarantee of what’s in it.


Hydrocodone is potent enough that it’s prescribed for patients who will need relief from pain round-the-clock for a long time. Drug label warnings for this medication strongly advise against breaking or crushing the pill, or taking it any other way than prescribed—as this can cause overdose and death. Just taking hydrocodone as prescribed can slow or stop breathing, so abuse of it is dangerous.

Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)

Hydromorphone is more potent than morphine, but not as potent as fentanyl. It’s another opioid that is potent even to the touch. As for the effects of it, the drug can cause withdrawal even with monitored use, and can cause fatal overdose when in the wrong hands.

Morphine (Kadian, Morphabond)

With so many potent opioids out there, morphine may be considered mild in the minds of some. But it’s not to be underestimated, as it can still cause addiction, dependency, and even overdose when taken in high doses. Morphine presents even higher risk of overdose when combined with other substances, like alcohol.

DrugRehab.org What are the Most Potent Opioids in the United States_ Oxycodone

Oxycodone (Oxycontin)

Oxycodone is two times as powerful as morphine, and like most opioids can cause respiratory distress. In the last couple decades, abuse of Oxycodone became quite popular as prescription rates increased. Yet abuse of this medication can be dangerous; it’s typically used for postoperative pain relief.

Oxymorphone (Opana)

Oxymorphone is often used to treat those with terminal cancer or chronic, severe pain issues. Because of this, the level of potency of the drug is high, about twice that of Oxycodone. People taking the drug as directed are advised to not stop taking it without help from a doctor. Abuse of Oxymorphone is far more risky as dosage is not regulated.

Why Are Opioids Addictive?

Opioids are addictive partly because the drugs contain chemical properties that change your perception of pain and your response to pleasure. They’re also addictive because when you take them, you experience an immediate rush of pleasurable feelings: euphoria, well-being, and calm.

This rush happens within the first few minutes, and is followed by a short-term “high,” or extended period of pleasurable feelings with minor side effects like drowsiness or slowed breathing. It’s the rush and subsequent high that gets you, makes you want to keep coming back to opioids even if you aren’t aware of it at first.

With time, you lose control; you can no longer recognize the difference between use and abuse, and will do nearly anything to seek the drug. Once you become addicted, you may form a physical dependence on the drugs, which means you’ll have withdrawal symptoms when not taking them. Withdrawal, while not always life-threatening, can be uncomfortable to the point that you want to avoid it, and so keep abusing the drugs.

Who Is Abusing Opioids In The United States?

If you’re caught in this cycle of opioid addiction, you aren’t the only one. The American Society Of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) states that, in 2015, “2 million [people] had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers and 591,000 had a substance use disorder involving heroin.”

Yet few people addicted to opioids ever receive help in treatment, and that is why overdose happens more and more. Plus, if you’ve been addicted to one opioid, it’s quite likely you’ll become addicted to another if you don’t find help. The ASAM estimates that four out of five people who first abused prescription drugs later became addicted to heroin.

DrugRehab.org What are the Most Potent Opioids in the United States_ 591,00 Had A Substance

The number of people addicted to opioids includes youth as young as 12 years of age, though adults in the age group of 18 to 25 abuse these drugs most. Women are particularly affected by prescription opioid abuse, as they are more likely to have chronic pain, seek medication for it, receive opioid medications, and fall into abuse of them.

What Can Be Done For Opioid Addiction?

So, what can we do to reverse the harm of opioid addiction? More all the time, new treatment modalities are developed and backed by evidence to support effective outcomes. Some of the evidence-based methods we employ at our facilities include:

  • Counseling: family, group, and individual
  • Psychosocial therapy: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), and Motivational Interviewing
  • Adventure therapy
  • Wilderness therapy
  • Treatment specific to men
  • Treatment specific to women
  • Medication-assisted therapy
  • Medically-supervised detoxification
  • Nutritional guidance and exercise support
  • Mindfulness and stress management techniques
  • Aftercare support

In addition to great treatment methods, people struggling with opioid addiction will benefit from the excellent care, peaceful surroundings, and serene landscapes often found at private rehabs. At DrugRehab.org, we have access to all the resources you’ll need to find a rehab that is right for you, and that works to build a treatment program that best fits your individual needs.

Find Hope In Treatment Today

Are you battling abuse of one of the most potent opioids in the United States? If you are, you don’t have to fight alone. We’d like to help you overcome addiction, and rebuild your life.

When you call today, your information will be kept confidential. Learn more about opioid treatment and the best rehab centers today. Contact us at DrugRehab.org.

For more information, call now!

For More Information Related to “What Are The Most Potent Opioids In The United States?” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From DrugRehab.org:



American Society Of Addiction Medicine—Opioid Addiction: 2016 Facts And Figures
CNN—What You Need To Know About Fentanyl
Forbes—Gray Death: The Most Powerful New Opioid Combo That’s Risky Even To Touch
Merriam-Webster—Definition Of Potent
National Institute On Drug Abuse—DrugFacts: Heroin
National Institutes Of Health—Opioids And Chronic Pain
New York Times—Inside A Killer Drug Epidemic: A Look At America’s Opioid Crisis
U.S. National Library Of Medicine—Carfentanil, Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Morphine, Oxycodone, Oxymorphone

Heroin and Alcohol: A Deadly Combination

DrugRehab.org Heroin and Alcohol A Deadly Combination

Every day in the United States novices try heroin or alcohol for the first time and every day each of these drugs claims lives of hundreds of people. Heroin is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that can have a major impact on a person’s breathing and thus decrease their oxygen intake.

When heroin is concurrently abused with alcohol, also a depressant, the combination can be a lot more than what was bargained for; often causing overdose, coma, and even death. It takes a deeper look at this relationship of two depressants to fully understand the severity of it.

Understanding The Dangers Of Heroin And Alcohol Abuse

Heroin is derived from morphine, but about three times stronger and includes an acetyl molecule which allows the drug to enter into the bloodstream and brain faster. One concern with heroin abuse is that it depresses the respiratory system, which basically means that it slows the breathing—oftentimes to a dangerous level. When heroin is concurrently abused with alcohol, this curbed rate of breathing becomes more likely. This can be dangerous on so many levels, but knowing what the situation can provoke can enable you to save someone’s life.

Alcohol is known for the sort of energetic feeling it creates (at least at first), but the truth is that ethyl alcohol is actually a sedative that not only slows down motor function and reaction time of the brain. It also affects the heart and breathing rate. Alcohol, like heroin, is absorbed into the bloodstream.

DrugRehab.org Heroin and Alcohol A Deadly Combination_Heroin Morphine

When drinking alcohol on a full stomach, it can take several hours (on a full stomach) to reach the brain, because it’s absorbed through the small intestine and stomach. When a person injects or snorts heroin, it’s in the bloodstream almost instantly, and makes it’s way to the brain just as rapidly—at which point it changes back into morphine.

Not only is mixing heroin and alcohol dangerous on a physical level, but also on a mental level. Heroin is among the most addictive drugs known to man, and alcohol’s well-known to cause drug dependency and addiction as well. A rehab treatment has potential to help a person with dependence and mental addiction. When heroin and alcohol are used at the same time, the double-depressant combination can cause a chain of events and complications such as:

  • Slowed reaction time—which makes driving dangerous
  • When the brain is slowed down, the lungs slow down
  • Lightheaded due to slow or shallow breathing and lack of oxygen
  • Lowers heart rate from less oxygen to the brain
  • Depressed brain, lung, and heart rate can put a person in a coma
  • Comas can lead to further brain damage, causing problems with memory and other disabilities

Signs And Symptoms Of Alcohol With Heroin

It can be difficult to determine if someone is using alcohol and heroin at the same time, because the two substances can have similar symptoms—and the tell tale signs of alcohol abuse can often cancel out the indicators of another drug. Some of the signs you may look for if you believe someone is using heroin with alcohol, are drowsiness, decreased motivation, or frequent scratching as a side-effect of opiates. Some other signs to look for in heroin use are:

  • Having muscle and bone pain
  • Complaining about chills
  • Frequently throwing up
  • Insomnia or inability to sleep
  • Feeling nervous

Unlike alcohol, the signs of heroin abuse may be a little harder to pinpoint. If someone is using heroin, you might not know what’s wrong with them, or why they’re acting weird. From the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “heroin gives you a feeling of well-being and happiness. It also makes you feel like the world has slowed down. People on heroin think slowly and might move slowly. Heroin makes people feel sleepy, like they’re in a dream.

Drugrehab.org Heroin and Alcohol A Deadly Combination_Pupils

Heroin makes the pupils (the black circle in the center of each eye) get very small. A person who injects (shoots up) heroin will have marks on the skin where the needle went in.”

Heroin And Alcohol Overdose Statistics

As previously mentioned, mixing alcohol with heroin can increase the chances of overdose. In the United States, “between 2000 and 2015, the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths more than quadrupled, and more than 12,989 people died in 2015” (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). Heroin use disorders usually start with abuse of prescription opioids, marijuana, and alcohol. The fact is that three out of four new heroin users report abusing prescription opioids before trying heroin.

Also in 2015, 26.9 percent of people 18 and older reported binge drinking in the past month. Why is this pertinent? Alcohol and heroin are deadly substances with potential to be even worse when mixed. It’s true and even though alcohol leads to nearly seven times the amount of deaths as heroin, when the two are combined it’s even worse.

DrugRehab.org Heroin and Alcohol A Deadly Combination_Prescription Opioids

Alcohol related deaths can include automobile accidents, alcohol poisoning, hepatitis of the liver, alcoholic cardiomyopathy, and opiate/alcohol overdose. In fact, “an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes annually, making alcohol the fourth leading preventable cause of death in the United States. In 2014, alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 9,967 deaths” (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism).

The statistics of heroin and alcohol overdose are staggering, but there’s hope to fix this issue. There are a lot of caring professionals who understand the phases of addiction, and know how to help a person who’s struggling with substance abuse.

Detoxification And Other Treatment Programs

If you’ve established that you or someone you love has a dependency issue with heroin, alcohol, or both then you’re on the right path. Understanding that there’s a problem with drug abuse is the first step. The next step is figuring out a solution to the problem, and preparing for the road ahead. After a person stops using CNS depressants like heroin and alcohol, the withdrawals can be intense and a medical detoxification may be required. Some of the withdrawal symptoms experienced can include irritability, anxiety, depression, severe drug cravings, headaches, nausea, and seizures.

The reason a medical detoxification may be required is that the withdrawals from alcohol and opioids can actually be fatal—especially when the two are combined with one another. Detoxification can give a medical professional the adequate time needed to monitor a patient’s vitals and prepare them for behavioral therapy or whatever treatment comes next, but detox isn’t considered a full treatment. Detoxification only fixes the physical addiction.

The mental addiction from heroin and alcohol is a common ground for checking into an inpatient treatment. Behavioral therapy can be the answer to other emotional or mental disorders that often co-occur with substance use disorders and addiction. In a rehab center, substance use disorders and addictions are treated with treatment programs like medication assisted therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, contingency management, group therapy, and support groups.

How To Find A Treatment That Works For You

Contact DrugRehab.org today to speak with an addiction specialist about drug or alcohol addiction. Learn more about the dangers of Heroin and Alcohol by clicking the link below.

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National Institute on Drug Abuse – Heroin

Risks Associated with Snorting Heroin (Insufflation)

DrugRehab.org Risks Associated with Snorting Heroin

Why Are Some Drugs Snorted?

Snorting drugs, also known as insufflation, has been around for centuries. Hundreds of years ago, North American native cultures ground tobacco leaves into a fine powder called snuff in order to snort the drug instead of smoke it. Their reasoning was simple – snorting the drug caused them to feel the effects almost immediately.

The nasal passageways in your nose contain hundreds of tiny blood vessels that are close to the surface. This is one of the reasons your nose bleeds so easily compared to other areas covered with skin. When a drug is snorted, the fine powder is absorbed by these blood vessels and enter the bloodstream instantly, causing an almost immediate high.

DrugRehab.org Risks Associated with Snorting Heroin_Forms Of HeroinWhile this immediate high may draw some individuals to insufflation, there are many dangers associated with it. Permanent damage can be caused to nasal passageways after prolonged use, as well as an increased risk of contracting bloodborne diseases such as Hepatitis C through those thin blood vessels.

Repeated insufflation will also cause nasal passageways to produce more mucous to protect blood vessels, resulting in a ‘tolerance’ effect. Increased mucous can decrease a drug’s effectiveness, which can potentially cause an individual to increase their dose to a fatal level.

What Is Heroin?

Heroin is in the classification of drugs known as opioids. It is derived from a substance known as morphine, which is harvested from the Asian opium poppy plant in a process that removes the natural sap from the seed pod of the plant.

DrugRehab.org Risks Associated with Snorting Heroin_Morphine Poppy PlantAlthough the morphine concentrate is considered a natural substance, it is combined with many dangerous chemicals to produce the final product of heroin. This process, and the final product, are anything but natural.

The final heroin product can come in many varieties, including white or brown powder or a black, tar-like substance. Heroin can be introduced into the human body through various methods including smoking, injecting (shooting), or snorting (insufflation). Each method can produce a variation of the high, but all have a high risk for addiction.

Snorting vs Shooting Heroin

With the ongoing opioid epidemic that is hitting the United States right now, heroin addiction is more prevalent now than it has been in decades. Specifically speaking in terms of new heroin users, this number has doubled from 2005 to 2012. In 2010 alone there were 2,789 heroin overdoses that resulted in death, a number that has doubled since the previous decade.

DrugRehab.org Risks Associated with Snorting Heroin_Heroin OverdosesWith this shift in heroin users, hospitals and rehab facilities are seeing more and more suburban housewives, successful businessmen, and many young teens suffering from addiction and overdoses. There has also been a noticeable shift in the method of taking heroin, with more young adults and teens reporting snorting the drug than have in the past.

For many, the act of snorting heroin seems safer than injecting or shooting it. Widespread campaigns demonstrating the dangers of sharing needles and contracting bloodborne diseases have been partially responsible for this shift. For others, the act of injecting a drug intravenously is a big leap and snorting doesn’t fit the drug stereotype as much.

Regardless of an individual’s reasoning for shooting or snorting heroin, both methods are extremely dangerous and can result in addiction after just one dose. Snorting heroin can also cause the contraction of blood borne diseases through the thin membranes in the nose, making it just as dangerous as shooting.

Signs Of Heroin Abuse

The signs and symptoms of snorting heroin can appear immediately in an individual. Insufflation delivers the dose of heroin directly to the bloodstream through membranes in the nasal passageway causing an almost immediate high. If you suspect a loved one is high on heroin, look for the following signs:

  • Hallucinations
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Confusion
  • Low respiration (breathing) rate
  • Low heart rate
  • Constipation
  • Loss of consciousness

Prolonged use of heroin can be extremely hard on the body. As heroin use continues, the body will naturally build a tolerance to the drug. This tolerance can cause an increase in the dose or frequency an individually will take heroin, increasing the risks that come along with it.

Outside of the risk of fatal overdose and addiction, other long-term signs of heroin abuse include:

  • Infection of nasal passageways
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Liver and kidney failure or disease
  • Heart complications
  • Increased anger or agitation with normal stimulus
  • Lung infections and diseases
  • Collapsed veins
  • Inability to regulate behavior

Get Help

If you or a loved one is suffering from heroin abuse in any form, you are not alone. This is a growing epidemic in the United States that is affecting millions of people regardless of race, gender, profession, class, or culture.

Heroin is an extremely addictive drug with harsh withdrawal effects. Quitting cold turkey can be difficult and even dangerous. With heroin addiction, seeking professional help is the best answer. Call our addiction specialists today to discuss customized treatment options for yourself or your loved one.

If you or a loved one are struggling with a heroin addiction, contact us now!

For More Information Related to “Risks Associated with Snorting Heroin (Insufflation)” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From DrugRehab.org:



National Institute on Drug Abuse – America’s Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse
PBS – Transforming Opium Poppies into Heroin
National Institute on Drug Abuse – What is Heroin?
Hindawi – The Destructive Capacity of Drug Abuse: An Overview Exploring the Harmful Potential of Drug Abuse Both to the Individual and to Society

How Do People Use Heroin?

DrugRehab.org How Do People Use Heroin_

What Is Heroin?

Heroin is an opioid drug processed from morphine. In its pure form, it’s a white, bitter powder. The pure form is mainly smoked and snorted, as explained by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Powdered heroin is commonly cut, or adulterated, with other substances. When this occurs, the color of the drug changes, taking on a brownish tint.

Heroin is also found in another form called black tar heroin. The appearance is as the name suggests, thick, dark colored and either sticky or hard. The color and form occur from the impurities which result from the manufacturing process. Due to the impurities and lesser quality, many injection drug users choose to inject black tar.

How Does Heroin Work?

Opioid drugs work on your body and brain by attaching to opioid receptors. When this occurs, you experience a pain-relieving effect. Recreational drug users seek to induce another feeling from this chemical brain stimulation.

DrugRehab.org How Do People Use Heroin_ Powdered Heroin

Heroin, like other opioids, creates an intensely pleasurable state of euphoria. It can also create what is termed a rush. Heroin depresses your central nervous system (CNS). This is one reason why it’s such a dangerous drug.

What Are The Signs Of Heroin Use?

Learning the signs of heroin use can help you to identify a person in need of help.

When a person uses, they may experience:

  • A “rush” and sense of euphoria.
  • Decreased pain.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Flushed and warm skin.
  • Heavy limbs.
  • Intense drowsiness and wakefulness (being “on the nod”).
  • Intense itching.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Slowed breathing and heart functions.

If any of these seem familiar, don’t hesitate to speak up. It can be hard to have this conversation, but by doing so, you could be saving your loved one from harm and even death.

The Risks And Dangers Of Heroin Abuse

If you’re a heroin user or know someone who is, it’s pertinent you understand the risks and dangers of abuse. This information could help to save your life.

Here are some general dangers linked to heroin abuse:

  • Addiction
  • Compromised immune system
  • Complications of the lungs, including pneumonia
  • Decreased memory and decision-making skills
  • Endocarditis (infection of the heart’s lining and valves)
  • Impaired verbal and cognitive functioning
  • Poor impulse control
  • Miscarriage
  • Risky sexual behaviors
  • Withdrawal

Heroin can cause overdose, even on the first dose. Overdose occurs because your CNS becomes severely depressed. This leads to drastically reduced heart functions, blood pressure, and breathing rates. The intensity of these factors can cause coma, permanent brain damage, and may lead to death. The CDC reports that heroin-related overdoses are on the rise. Between 2002 and 2013, they rose 286 percent.

DrugRehab.org How Do People Use Heroin_ 286 Percent

What Ways Do People Administer Heroin And What Are The Risks?

As previously mentioned, people choose to use this drug numerous ways. In addition to the above, each route of administration has specific signs of abuse and unique risks.

Injecting Heroin Intravenously (IV)

DrugRehab.org How Do People Use Heroin_ Injecting

To prepare for injection, the user liquefies and dissolves the heroin by diluting and heating, or “cooking” it. It is then loaded into the syringe. Shared needles increase the risk of transmissible diseases, including HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B and C. Injection can also cause abscesses, track marks, and other infections within certain soft tissues.

When many people think of injecting heroin, they are quick to think of intravenous (IV) drug users. This means that the drug is injected directly into the vein. Before a person can do this, they tie off their arm with a piece of rubber tubing or a belt to make their vein bulge. These individuals also inject the drug at various other locations throughout their body, including the leg, neck, feet, and even groin.

Intravenous injection allows any contaminants or cutting agents within the heroin to travel throughout the bloodstream. This can lead to:

  • Clogged vessels
  • Cellular infection or death in certain organs
  • An immune response which can cause arthritis and similar illnesses

According to NIDA, IV heroin abuse can cause:

  • Collapsed veins
  • Scarring
  • Necrotizing fasciitis (sometimes referred to as flesh-eating bacteria) causes tissue death

Heroin can also be injected into into the muscle (intramuscularly) or directly beneath the skin (subcutaneously or “skin popping”).

Smoking Heroin

DrugRehab.org How Do People Use Heroin_ Smoking Heroin

Users place the heroin (typically black tar) on aluminum foil or the top of a pop can and heat it with a lighter. They then inhale the vapors with a straw or hollowed out pen. This is referred to as “chasing the dragon.”

The University of Arizona outlines the following dangers of smoking heroin:

  • Pulmonary (lung) function becomes compromised
  • An uncomfortable shortness of breath (dyspnea)
  • Severe and repeated asthma attacks (status asthmaticus)

Smoking heroin can also cause leukoencephalopathy, a serious disorder of the CNS’s white matter. A debilitating disease, it causes parts of your brain and spinal cord to deteriorate. This can lead to slurred speech, vision loss, paralysis, and even fatalities.

Sniffing/Snorting Heroin (Insufflation)

These methods are sometimes referred to as insufflation. To prepare, users draw the drug into lines with a razor or credit card on a hard surface like a mirror. They then use a straw, hollow pen, or rolled dollar bill to inhale it into their nasal cavity. This method is very invasive. It can cause great damage to the nose and surrounding areas, including:

  • Bone loss
  • Creating a hole in the septum (area between your nostrils)
  • Chronic nosebleeds
  • Collapsed nasal passages
  • Constant runny nose
  • Perforation (hole) in the roof or back of your mouth
  • Saddleback nose (a broad, flattened nose)

According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR), sniffing the liquified version of heroin through a nasal spray bottle is called “shabanging.”

Mixing Heroin With Other Drugs

Heroin is commonly abused with cocaine (including crack). Alternately snorting lines of these drugs is called “crisscrossing.” If a user injects them both at once it is called “speedballing.” Both of these methods are highly dangerous, as heroin is a depressant and cocaine is a stimulant. Because of this, your body and brain are being simultaneously pulled in two different directions. This increases your risk of overdose and death.

As the opioid epidemic increases, heroin is increasingly used in combination with other, more potent, opioid drugs. Responsible for countless overdoses, these deadly concoctions include fentanyl and carfentanil, and as of late, the lethal mystery combination termed “grey death.”

Some individuals purposely seek out these combinations, believing that they will increase their high. Others stumble into using them, as they unknowingly purchase heroin that is cut with these drugs. By either path, these powerful opioids have left a wave of destruction and overdose deaths across our nation.

Start Living A Drug-Free Life

No matter how you abuse heroin, you’re putting yourself at risk for addiction. Is heroin taking over and ruining your loved one’s life? Or maybe you’re the one struggling. Either way, we can help. It is possible to beat a heroin addiction and find sobriety. DrugRehab.org knows how to find the best heroin rehab centers for your needs. Contact us now.

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Understanding A Heroin Use Disorder

DrugRehab.org Understanding A Heroin Use Disorder

Because heroin is an opioid, individuals that abuse the drug have an opioid use disorder (OUD). This disorder was previously termed opioid dependence and abuse. A heroin-related OUD causes impairment and distress to the user within a period of one year. A heroin use disorder (HUD) includes patterns and behaviors which many commonly refer to as abuse and addiction.

Heroin is highly addictive and may cause coma, brain damage, and death. Heroin use and heroin-related overdose deaths are on the rise among most U.S. demographics. Fortunately, treatment exists which can help you or your loved one achieve a sober and more balanced life.

What Is Heroin?

DrugRehab.org Understanding A Heroin Use Disorder Derived From MorphineHeroin is one of the most addictive illicit drugs known to man. Heroin is derived from morphine, a naturally occurring drug synthesized from the opium poppy. It is found in one of two ways, either as a white or slightly brown powder or in black tar form. When a person uses heroin, the drug causes an excess of dopamine to build up in the brain. The overabundance of this chemical causes the pleasurable rush and euphoric state that heroin abusers seek.

Users may abuse the drug in the following ways: intravenously (injecting), insufflation (snorting), or by smoking it. Typically, the more pure, powdered forms are snorted or smoked whereas impure heroin (black tar) can only be injected. No matter how an individual chooses to abuse this drug, you still face risks of addiction, disease, and death.

What Is The Criteria Of A Heroin Use Disorder?

The American Psychological Association (APA) defines an OUD as “a problematic pattern of opioid use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by at least two of the following, occurring within a 12-month period.” These criteria, as outlined by the APA include that an individual:

  • Takes a greater dose of heroin or continues to use for a period of time that lasts beyond what they intended.
  • Is not able to decrease their heroin use despite a desire or an attempt to do so.
  • Spends increasing amounts of time seeking or using the drug and/or recovering from ill effects associated with heroin abuse.
  • Experiences cravings or an intense urge to use heroin.
  • Persists at using heroin even though it is creating or worsening relationships or other social obligations.
  • Decreases or completely stops taking part in job-related, social, or recreational obligations or events due to their heroin use.
  • Consistently uses heroin in a way which exposes them to physical dangers.
  • Does not stop using the drug even though they know it is causing or worsening a physical or psychological condition.
  • Experiences a tolerance. Specifically, the amount of drug they previously used does not create the same effects, leading them to use more to gain the pleasurable feelings they seek.
  • Experiences heroin withdrawal if they suddenly stop using. A person may continue to take the drug in an attempt to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

DrugRehab.org Understanding A Heroin Use Disorder Problematic Pattern

Withdrawal symptoms may include muscle and bone aches, uncontrollable leg movements, goosebumps and chills, nausea and vomiting, insomnia, nervousness or anxiety, intense cravings, and more.

What Are Other Signs And Symptoms Of A Heroin Use Disorder?

Are you concerned that your loved one is experimenting with heroin or suffering from an HUD? Being on the look out for the following signs and symptoms can help you to identify if you loved one may be at risk for an HUD. If a person is using heroin, they may:

  • Have a decreased sense of pain.
  • Have warm and flushed skin.
  • Complain of a dry mouth.
  • Become very itchy.
  • Have small (pinprick) pupils.
  • Feel like their limbs are very heavy.
  • Seem to move very slowly.
  • Become nauseous and even vomit.
  • Alternate between drowsiness and wakefulness.
  • Have slowed thinking.
  • Decreased heart and breathing rates.
  • Have track marks on their arms from injecting the drug.
  • Wear long sleeves in warm weather to cover up these marks.
  • Steal money or objects to pay for their habit.
  • Withdraw from their loved ones.
  • Lose interest in hobbies, friends, or things they previously enjoyed.
  • Begin struggling at work or school or even quit or get fired/kicked out.
  • Become evasive or lie if you try to talk to them about the drug or their behaviors.

Heroin use requires certain equipment. Knowing what to look for can help you to spot a problem. These items may include straws or hollowed out pens (for snorting), syringes, lengths of tube or belts (to tie off with prior to injection), and/or a metal or glass pipe. Many people may keep these supplies in a kit or bag.

What Are The Risks And Dangers Of Heroin?

Addiction is one of the biggest dangers of heroin use. The American Society of Addiction Medicine estimates that of those who try heroin, 23 percent will develop an OUD. An HUD may also cause:

  • Financial and legal problems
  • Loss of job
  • Marriage problems
  • Child custody battles
  • Infectious diseases (HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C)
  • Scarring and infection at the injection site
  • Collapsed veins
  • Miscarriage
  • Irregular menstrual cycles for women
  • Sexual dysfunction for men
  • Mental health disorders (depression and antisocial personality disorder)
  • Heart trouble
  • Other organ complications and damage
  • Withdrawal

Other severe risks include coma, overdose, and death. Overdose can occur even on the first use. According to the CDC, since 2010 deaths related to heroin have quadrupled. To further avoid these risks, it is urgent that you or your loved one get treatment. While an HUD is a pattern over a year, some individuals might get addicted much sooner. Don’t wait, start exploring your treatment options today.

How Do You Treat A Heroin Use Disorder?

Due to the intensely addictive properties of this drug, we highly recommend medically supervised detox and inpatient drug rehab. Detoxing from heroin can be very unpleasant, painful, and even dangerous. This is why you should never attempt to do this on your own.

Certain medications or pharmacotherapies may be used during detox and/or treatment. The following medications are supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse as evidence-based practices.

  • Buprenorphine
  • Methadone
  • Naltrexone

These drugs treat symptoms of withdrawal and cravings and may also be used as maintenance medications. Other medications may be used to treat any co-occurring disorders.

These medications are best supported by certain behavioral therapies as part of medication-assisted treatment (MAT). This integrative method addresses a person’s physical, mental, and emotional needs in one comprehensive approach.DrugRehab.org Understanding A Heroin Use Disorder 23% Will Develop An OUD

An individualized rehab program for an HUD may use a variety of treatment modalities, including cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and motivational interviewing. A thorough program should also offer individual and/or group therapy, family therapy and support, relapse prevention, and aftercare support. Every treatment program is different. Some may also offer holistic therapies, men’s or women’s only treatment programs, adventure therapy, equine therapy, art therapy, and more.

Don’t Let Heroin Rule Your Life Any Longer

While a heroin use disorder is a serious problem, it is not un- treatable. DrugRehab.org wants you or your loved one to succeed and find a fulfilling, drug-free life. Our treatment specialists can help you find the right program that fits your individual needs. Take the first step into living a life free from heroin—contact us today.

If you or a loved one are struggling with a heroin addiction, contact us now!

For More Information Related to “Understanding A Heroin Use Disorder” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From DrugRehab.org:

Using Naltrexone To Treat Opioid Addiction

What is Heroin Cut With?

Utilizing Equine Therapy In Addiction Treatment

Is Buprenorphine An Opiate?

What is Methadone?

What Are The Side Effects Of Heroin Use?

The Dangers of Snorting Oxycontin (Oxycodone)

How To Detox From Heroin


The National Institute on Drug Abuse — Heroin: Research Report Series

What Helps With Heroin Withdrawal?

DrugRehab.org What Helps With Heroin Withdrawal

Heroin withdrawals are painful and can feel like a bad case of the flu. Such withdrawals can be worse based on the amount of a drug that a person is using and how long they have been using the drug for. Drug withdrawals are a period of time when your body is not only craving a drug, but also trying to push the last of it out; this is also known as the detoxification period. Detoxing from heroin is serious and without help can lead to relapse and/or overdose.

If you abuse drugs, then you might have experienced withdrawals—the fact is, drug abuse and withdrawals pretty much go hand in hand. Some of the drugs well known for their withdrawal symptoms are alcohol, cocaine, and heroin. Withdrawals can be anything from a headache to nausea or diarrhea. Heroin can be dangerous; because people suffering from an addiction will sometimes do things, or commit crimes that seem out of character—just to get the drug.

DrugRehab.org What Helps With Heroin Withdrawal_Opium Plant

It isn’t only dangerous in the way of addiction, but also because of the withdrawals that come with quitting, stopping, or running out of the “fix.” During a withdrawal period, a person might seem irritable, short tempered, and dangerously hostile—this is pretty normal behavior for a person experiencing withdrawal from a drug.

What Is Heroin And How Can It Be Used?

Heroin is an extremely potent and addictive drug made from Morphine which is gathered from the Asian opium plant. In its purest form, heroin is a white or brown chalky substance which can be snorted, smoked, or injected. Heroin also comes in the form of a black substance which is usually injected—after it has been diluted with water or another fluid. A couple of other lesser known ways to use heroin is by suppository, or transdermal patch.

Heroin abuse often leads to addiction, and sometimes overdose and death. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 13,000 people died from heroin in 2015—which was a 20.6 percent increase from the previous year. Before they even have a chance to reconsider or regret a decision, heroin has people hooked both mentally and physically.

How Does Heroin Affect The Brain?

Most drugs will affect the user more than just physically, but also mentally—mental disorders and other serious conditions can arise from prolonged use of drugs like heroin. How does heroin affect the brain? According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Heroin enters the brain rapidly and changes back into morphine. It binds to opioid receptors on cells located in many areas of the brain, especially those involved in feelings of pain and pleasure. Opioid receptors are also located in the brainstem, which controls important processes, such as blood pressure, arousal, and breathing.”

DrugRehab.org What Helps With Heroin Withdrawal_Heroin and Brain

Once a person’s brain has become used to having the substance around, they are more likely to get addicted to the drug, and then without it, they don’t feel like they can function normally. A heroin high can last for up to 4 to 6 hours, and a person might use heroin anywhere from 2 to 4 times per day in order to keep from experiencing withdrawals.

High From Heroin—Then Withdrawal

Once heroin has hijacked the opioid receptors in the brain, a person experiences the high from the drug—which is likely to be a numbing euphoria, and is often characterized at first by a tingling feeling. This feeling is followed by a clouded mental state, dry mouth, and feeling of heavy extremities. After the initial high, a person will normally slip or “nod” in and out of consciousness and partial consciousness.

DrugRehab.org What Helps With Heroin Withdrawal_Heroin High

As a person becomes more comfortable using heroin, the more of the drug they will need to use to achieve the same buzz as before. Then as heroin is removed or taken away, a person is likely to experience the withdrawals—which can be one of the largest factors as to why a person doesn’t seek help. They might fight it, or put off quitting drug use altogether. Heroin withdrawal “symptoms usually start within 12 hours of last usage and within 30 hours of last methadone exposure” (U.S. Library of Medicine).

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

The withdrawal symptoms from most drugs start out mild to moderate and even though they typically don’t start for an average of 8 hours, with heroin, they can feel sick even sooner. “With physical dependence, the body adapts to the presence of the drug and withdrawal symptoms occur if use is reduced abruptly. Withdrawal may occur within a few hours after the last time the drug is taken” (National Institute on Drug Abuse).

There are different stages of opiate withdrawal, each can depend on how long a person used and how much they used as well as other factors. Heroin and other opioid withdrawals can feel like a bad case of the flu, and the short-term and long-term symptoms of heroin withdrawal can include:


  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Increased tearing
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Yawning


How Long Do Heroin Withdrawals Last?

The heroin withdrawal timeline will be longer or shorter based on the amount or length that a person repeatedly used the drug. Heroin is considered a short-acting opioid and the first withdrawal symptoms will show up 8 to 24 hours after last use and can last for 4 to10 days (this is frequently considered to be the worst of the withdrawal period). When a person tries to quit cold turkey, the symptoms can last up to like two weeks. Long-acting opioids like methadone begins 12 to 48 hours after use and can last for 10 to 20 days (National Center for Biotechnology Information – NCBI).

Though they last significantly longer, heroin withdrawals will peak (or be most intense) around 2 days since last use. This period of withdrawals is also known as detoxification.

Detoxification From Heroin

After a person decides to stop using heroin, the next step will be enduring the detoxification period. Detoxification is essentially the act of cleaning a drug out of the system. The withdrawal process is the body’s natural reaction to a system’s detox. It’s advised to take on a clean food regimen, along with lots of fluids and vitamins C and B.

As far as the professionals are concerned, “patients should drink at least 2-3 litres of water per day during withdrawal to replace fluids lost through perspiration and diarrhea.” (NCBI). Quitting heroin and facing withdrawals can be pretty terrifying and it’s not going to be easy. Let’s face it, withdrawals can be painful and unbearable, but the end result of recovery and sobriety will be worth it.

Managing Opiate And Heroin Withdrawal

Possibly one of the most important things to remember about detoxing is that professional treatment, therapy, or guidance is essential to a successful early stage of recovery. Trying to self medicate or manage your own opiate withdrawals can lead to neural damage, or even more intense withdrawals—which can lead to a relapse or substitution of another drug. Heroin withdrawals are serious and must be treated as such…

For instance, along with lots of fluids and a healthy diet, in some cases there was a need for medicine to help deal with the withdrawals from heroin; this is also known as a medication-assisted therapy. Some of the medications used for opiate treatment can include clonidine or opioid medications such as buprenorphine, methadone or codeine phosphate. There are also other over the counter medicines like ibuprofen, aspirin, pepto bismol (for nausea), and others that can be purchased at a reasonable price.

Sometimes, a person must go through a strict detoxification before starting a medication, or behavioral therapy, and these are by no means the end all for addiction—they are simply the beginning. Recovery can sometimes need daily maintenance to be successful.

Addictive Opioids Besides Heroin

Heroin is not the only opioid drug that can cause serious withdrawals. Even prescription opioid drugs can lead to an addiction and eventually painful withdrawals. “In 2014 in the US, about 435,000 people used heroin. In the same year, about 4.3 million people were nonmedical users of narcotic pain relievers. This means they were taking narcotics that were not prescribed to them. Narcotic pain relievers include:

How To Get Help For A Heroin And Other Opioid Addiction

Opiate addictions can come in a lot of shapes and sizes, and some are worse than others, but the fact of the matter is that all of them can cause serious withdrawals and can even lead to an untimely death. If you’re worried about a person you love and their drug use, or maybe your own drug use has gotten out of control; you might need help. We have a solution and can help you find the treatment you need—so don’t give up. Contact Us today to get the tools for a successful recovery. Heroin addiction kills thousands of people per year—you don’t have to be one of them.

For more information on freebase cocaine, call now!

For More Information Related to “What Helps With Heroin Withdrawal?” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From RehabCenter.net:



National Highway Safety Administration – Drug and Human Performance Fact Sheets
National Institute on Drug Abuse – What are the long-term effects of heroin use?
National Institute on Drug Abuse – Heroin
National Center for Biotechnology Information – Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings
U.S. National Library of Medicine – Opiate and Opioid Withdrawal

What is Heroin Cut With?

DrugRehab.org What is Heroin Cut WIth_

Drug dealers use other substances like powdered milk, sugar, starch, and quinine to increase the profitability and decrease the potency of the drug they are selling. Sometimes drug dealers will also lace the drug with other mood altering substances. Heroin typically isn’t pure when purchased on the street and can sometimes be 50 percent of the actual drug. Drug dependence is highly likely after using heroin, which can be extremely dangerous, and oftentimes an overdose will lead to death.

Most people don’t realize that when they score a bag of heroin, they’re also getting a mystery substance along with it. Heroin is generally cut with one of an assortment of other substances to lower potency and increase profitability. As if the idea of snorting, injecting, or smoking heroin wasn’t bad enough, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re getting more than you bargained for.

What Is Heroin?

Heroin is a highly addictive opiate second-hand from morphine; which is gathered from the seed pod of the Asian opium plant. Heroin is considered one of the more addictive drugs known to humankind. Its also in the opiate category—the DEA labeled heroin a schedule II drug because of its “ high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.”

Not only is it addictive, it’s also deadly—and it’s getting worse. “From 2014 to 2015, heroin overdose death rates increased by 20.6 percent, with nearly 13,000 people dying in 2015” (Center For Disease Control and Prevention). Street heroin is rarely pure, and you might be surprised by some of the other substances cut into the drug to spread it out.

What Substances Can Heroin Be Cut With?

“Highly pure heroin can be snorted or smoked and may be more appealing to new users because it eliminates the stigma associated with injection drug use” (National Institute on Drug Abuse). Heroin, in it’s purest form (a white powdery substance) is a lot stronger than it used to be, but nonetheless, the new users often prefer the high—although the majority of the stuff you find on the street has about a 50 percent purity and has been cut with another substance, which can include, but isn’t limited to: DrugRehab.org What is Heroin Cut WIth_50% Pure

  • Sucrose
  • Lactose
  • Mannitol
  • Caffeine
  • Quinone
  • Flour
  • Chalk
  • Talcum Powder
  • Starch
  • Nutmeg
  • Ajax
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Cadmium
  • Copper
  • Calcium
  • Ethanol

Heroin Cut With Sucrose

Not only has the drug heroin been nicknamed “brown sugar” but it can also be cut with forms sucrose such as brown sugar. So black tar heroin can be cut with brown sugar, which gives the drug a sweet smell, and sticky texture. Depending on the region, sucrose is reported to have been found in anywhere from 15 to 65 percent (and 21 percent in U.S.A.) of collected samples.

Heroin Cut With Lactose DrugRehab.org What is Heroin Cut WIth_Lactose

It’s true, heroin is known to be cut with lactose as well (better known as powdered milk). Since heroin is white in it’s purest form, perhaps cutting it with lactose gives the buyer and user the impression that the drug is better. Not only is it white, but lactose is also fairly inexpensive—and will allow for a higher profit margin than some of its substitutes. In a study by the Public Health Institute, lactose was found in up to 33 percent (but only 17 percent in The United States) of heroin samples collected.

Heroin Cut With Mannitol

Mannitol is a type of sugar that’s typically used in medicine—also a diuretic that can be used in a lung analysis when testing for asthma. Mannitol is a naturally occurring sugar derived from corn starch. It is white in color and its use for cutting with heroin may be popular because of it’s color and also its powdery texture. The sugary substitute was seldomly found in different regions and even then, Mannitol could be discovered in about 38 percent of heroin samples.

Heroin Cut With Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant and heroin is a depressant—both drugs are addictive and though caffeine is one of the original substances used for cutting, it’s still used by both heroin and cocaine dealers. Though only found in about 7 percent of samples; perhaps caffeine isn’t as popular as the widely used quinine.

Heroin Cut With Quinine

Quinine is a natural substance used in tonic water, and also medicine. It can be used to treat malaria and other ailments (leg cramps). In its powder form, quinine bark is a brownish substance and can also be used to make homemade tonic water. Quinine is the most popular cutting agent used in The United States and was found in 68 percent of the samples collected from Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Buffalo.

In Some Places—Heroin Is Also Cut With Minerals

In certain regions of Spain, 100 percent of heroin was found cut with minerals like iron and zinc. A large number of samples were also found with calcium, manganese, copper, and cadmium. Andalucia, Spain was one of the only places where the Public Health Institute found samples of heroin cut with minerals. Interestingly enough, the drug wasn’t cut with anything else (other than the listed minerals) in that particular region.

Is Heroin Always Cut With Other Substances?

Heroin is cut to increase the profitability of the drug and decrease the potency, the aim of the drug dealers is to make a profit on the drug—so much like cocaine, heroin is often cut to make more money. Though it isn’t always sold in a diluted state, in fact, since “opium is not cultivated in Illinois nor is heroin produced. Heroin producers in Mexico are changing their product to meet the demand for higher purity heroin that has developed in Chicago’s heroin market. A growing category of young, white, suburban heroin users in the Chicago area prefer higher purity white heroin over Mexican brown powdered or black tar heroin” (National Drug Intelligence Center).

DrugRehab.org What is Heroin Cut WIth_Lacing vs Cutting

Furthermore “…there is a public perception that illicit drugs, including heroin, are routinely ‘cut’ with other substances at each stage of distribution in which they pass. However, analysis of samples of heroin seized at importation and of street samples in the UK has shown that the differences in purity are not as large as often speculated” (Public Health Institute).

What Is The Difference Between Lacing And Cutting?

Drugs can either be “laced” or “cut” with other substances—usually to be laced means a drug mixed with another drug to imitate the original high of the original drug or to introduce a new feeling of euphoria. Cutting a drug, though it means that the drug is mixed with something else, generally just implies that the purity of the drug (heroin) has been weakened. Some of the other drugs, or stimulants that heroin can be laced with are:

How Much Does Pure Heroin Cost?

The most common form of heroin coming into The United States is black tar heroin, and purity usually varies between 50 and 80 percent. “In 1999, a kilogram of 79 percent pure black tar heroin sold for $40,000 to $75,000 in Imperial County. (And) A kilogram of 50 to 65 percent pure black tar heroin sold for $80,000 to $90,000 in San Diego County” (National Intelligence Center).

The price of heroin is variable based on where the drug is purchased, and from the same source: The price of heroin shifted just one year later—in “March 2000, at $14,000 per pound; this equates to $30,800 per kilogram.”

DrugRehab.org What is Heroin Cut WIth_Cost Of Heroin

How To Treat A Heroin Addiction

Heroin addictions can be one of the more difficult substance use disorders to treat, and frequently a detoxification, medication-assisted therapy will be necessary to get a person out of the rut. Recovery from a heroin addiction usually requires a full desire to stop, and can also require inpatient treatment and various therapies along with a fully supportive social environment.

Finding Treatment That’s Right For You

Heroin addiction is often fatal, and can lead a person to further crimes, loneliness and depression, homelessness, severe withdrawals and other undesirable circumstances. If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, and would like to find help. Contact Us at 833-473-4227 and one of our trained professionals will help you find the treatment that you deserve. You can put a heroin addiction behind you, and we can help get you there.

If you or a loved one is battling heroin abuse or addiction, please contact us now!

For More Information Related to “What is Heroin Cut With?” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From DrugRehab.org:



Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Heroin Overdose Data
Drug Enforcement Administration – Controlled Substance Schedules
National Drug Intelligence Center – Drug Threat Assessment: Heroin
National Institute on Drug Abuse – What is Heroin and How Is It Used?
Public Health Institute – Cut: A Guide to Adulterants, Bulking Agents, and Other Contaminants Found In Illicit Drugs



Heroin and Opioid Addiction Statistics

DrugRehab.org Heroin and Opioid Addiction Statistics

Combined, prescription opioids and heroin are responsible for more than 23,000 deaths per year, yet the number of users continues to grow. Each year over 160,000 people try heroin for the first time, and the cost heroin is at an all time low. A gram of heroin can cost as little as $100. Heroin and opioid addiction isn’t just in the streets either, and users range from the wealthy elite right down to high school students. The demographic for opioid use is growing, but wealth, status, and mental stability do not keep a person safe from addiction, overdose, or death…

Not every person who becomes addicted to heroin started by using an opioid pain medication first, or uses heroin by injecting it into their veins. A lot of people start using the drug based on the fact that it gets them high. However, a large percentage of people who get hooked on heroin, got there by previously using another drug. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “9 out of 10 people who use heroin used at least one other drug…” And 45% of people addicted to heroin are also addicted to prescription opioid painkillers.

DrugRehab.org Heroin and Opioid Addiction Statistics_heroin use

Heroin is a form of morphine, and comes from the Asian opium plant; it’s highly addictive, and often leads to overdose and death. Heroin can be smoked, snorted, or injected, but it can also be used as a suppository or a patch.

What Are Some Common Names For Heroin?

Heroin comes under a variety of aliases and street names. Most of the names have become popularized by the drug culture to perhaps make the drug seem cooler than it is. Some of the other lingoes used for heroin are:

  • Smack
  • Dope
  • Junk
  • H.
  • Black Tar
  • Birdie Powder
  • Dragon
  • Hero
  • China White
  • Black Pearl
  • Brown Sugar
  • Witch Hazel
  • Chiva
  • Mexican Horse
  • Pluto
  • Mud
  • Horse
  • Skunk

How Do People Become Addicted To Heroin And Opioids?

Physical addiction can be difficult to understand, especially once dire consequences arise and a person continues using a drug. Most people don’t start off addicted to a substance like heroin, in fact, by definition, addiction is something that occurs with repeated use of a substance. People become addicted to opioid drug like heroin by simply by using the drug over and over. Though in some cases, NAS might occur, wherein a baby is born with the addiction.

For a regular user and person someone suffering from addiction, what they are essentially doing is feeding the compulsion, which then leads to an obsession–and when a person decides they don’t want to use opioids, they can’t stop.

“This will be the last time I use” or “I will stop… as soon as this bag is gone!” The obsession with opioids takes over a person’s thoughts to the point where, even if they don’t want to think about drugs, it’s all they can think about. At this point of addiction, they are very likely to have withdrawals when they stop using the drug, and quitting “cold turkey” can be ineffective and dangerous.

The Heroin Epidemic

An epidemic occurs when there is a widespread disease in a community–other examples of an epidemic are the “flu epidemic” or the “typhoid fever epidemic.” Heroin use has become such a problem that it has been labeled an epidemic. Heroin use has reached an all time high and the people who are using the drug can be surprising.

DrugRehab.org Heroin and Opioid Addiction Statistics_heroin demographics

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention stated that, “some of the greatest increases occurred in demographic groups with historically low rates of heroin use: women, the privately insured, and people with higher incomes.” Heroin is becoming less of a “street drug.” It has made its way from the rural areas to the suburbs, and heroin can kill people from any race or stature.

How Old Is The Average Heroin User?

According to the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration: “In 2013, an estimated 169,000 individuals aged 12 or older used heroin for the first time in the past year… Among individuals aged 12 to 49 who initiated heroin use in the past 12 months, the average age at first use in 2013 was 24.5 years.” 24 years old, but that is a gross average of people between ages 12 and 49–which means that half of the people using the drug are younger than 24 and half are older. Could you picture your mom or dad, or your grandparents using heroin? Well the truth is, statistically, it’s plausible that a person over 60 years old could be using the drug.

How Many People Use Opioids?

An estimated 26.4 million and 36 million people use opioids worldwide, and a number of those people turn to heroin for its greater effect and cost. You would think that someone would have to be pretty desperate to start using heroin, right? Maybe not, a lot of the time, heroin use can start from prescription painkillers, and sometimes a person will start seeking their prescribed medicine on the street after they have expelled all of their other resources (including money, scripts, and so on). In 2013, 681,000 people over 12 years old reported heroin use.

DrugRehab.org Heroin and Opioid Addiction Statistics_overdoses

Switching To Heroin From Prescription Opioids

On the street, prescription hydrocodone (Vicodin) can cost up to $5 dollars per pill, or $10 per pill for something like oxycodone (Oxycontin). Because of the cost of prescription painkillers, most people simply can’t afford them. Even with a prescription, opioid painkillers cost as much as 3 times more than heroin. Many people turn to heroin to simply save money, but keep the drug addiction. Heroin use is becoming way too popular, and the cost of the drug has a lot to do with it.

How Much Does Heroin Cost?

The price for heroin has been on the decline since the 80s, and the price of a gram of pure heroin was $2,690 in 1982, but nowadays can be found for $600 and less per gram. The price of street heroin, which has been “cut” and divided into less potent servings (to save dealers money), can be as low as $100 per gram. A dose of heroin is typically 5-20 milligrams, which means that if a person is regularly using heroin, they can get high off of a gram of heroin up to 200 times! It all depends on the purity of the street drug, but in essence, heroin is dangerously inexpensive and widely available to the mass public.

DrugRehab.org Heroin and Opioid Addiction Statistics_heroin epidemic

How Many People Die From Heroin And Opioid Overdose?

The biggest cost of heroin abuse is life, and heroin is responsible for approximately 8,200 deaths in the United States. Prescription opioids were also responsible for some deaths–and, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “in 2015, more than 15,000 people died from overdoses involving prescription opioids.” A staggering number, but what is even more distressing is that “from 1999 to 2015, more than 183,000 people have died in the U.S. from overdoses related to prescription opioids.” Some of the most significant prescription drugs related to death are:

How To Tell If A Person Is Using Opioids

It isn’t easy to spot a drug user on the street. Let’s face it, people don’t usually start off a conversation by telling you that they have a drug problem. It sure would make things easier if they did, but a couple things to look for in a potential drug user, are: rapid weight loss or weight gain, loss of interest in hobbies, irritability, shrunken pupils, and constant exhaustion.

How To Get Treatment For Heroin And Opioid Addiction

According to a statistic by SAMHSA, “the number of people aged 12 or older who received treatment for heroin use during their most recent treatment in the past year has…risen from 277,000 people in 2002 to 526,000 people in 2013.” Some people aren’t fortunate enough to seek help, because many people suffering from an addiction don’t recognize a problem in the first place.

We are here to help, if you or a loved one is struggling with a drug addiction with heroin and other opioids. Contact Us today if you have questions about opioid addiction. Sometimes the phone can weigh a ton when you need help, but call now (1-833-473-4227) to speak to one of our caring professionals and get on the road to recovery. You don’t want to become another drug statistic…

If you or a loved one is battling heroin or an opioid addiction, contact us now!

For More Information Related to “Heroin and Opioid Addiction Statistics” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From DrugRehab.org:



Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Today’s Heroin Epidemic
Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Prescription Opioid Overdose Data
New England Journal of Medicine – Relationship between Nonmedical Prescription-Opioid Use and Heroin Use
National Institute on Drug Abuse – America’s Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – Trends in Heroin Use in the United States: 2002 to 2013

Heroin Addiction And Depression

DrugRehab.org Heroin Addiction And Depression

Mental disorders and addiction are often linked hand in hand. Sometimes it’s hard to know which occurred first. People who suffer from depression may use heroin to self medicate, but once the euphoria wears off it can leave individuals worse off, and in certain circumstances, with a greater illness to battle. Symptoms of depression can intensify when using heroin over a period of time. Within America, 15 percent of the population has suffered from depression.

Within the United States, 15 percent of the population is impacted by depression—making it the most common mental illness. Having little to no emotional sense of pleasure to form normal relationships, hobbies, and/or school or work connections—imagine if this was you. For the many individuals who contend with depression, these struggles are part of their everyday battle—one which may be worsened by heroin abuse and addiction.

DrugRehab.org Heroin Addiction And Depression 15 Percent

Many times a mental disorder and addiction link arms, which presents a challenge when both diagnoses are severe in a person. These two separate brain disorders intermingle, greatly impacting the other, and they both need treatment. Does drug abuse create a mental illness? The specific drug may trigger a mental disorder in people who are more genetically susceptible; however, in others, it’s not the drugs that cause it, instead the substances aggravate existing symptoms.

Mental Illness And Self Medication

People who suffer from mental illness can be prone to abusing drugs as a form of self-medication. When using these drugs, the individual may feel some temporary relief from mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, stress, etc. For example, a youth may have the beginning stages of a mental disorder and so he begins abusing drugs. Suddenly, the symptoms of the disorder heighten much quicker than they originally would have, thereby increasing the drug abuse.

How Are Depression And Addiction Related?

The areas of the brain which are impacted by depression are extremely similar to the areas affected by addiction. Both addiction and depression are centered in the same behavioral areas, including those responsible for pleasure, motivation, reward, and neurovegetative functions. Research continues to examine the relationship involving the two. There is still not a clear understanding of the root cause of the mood differences which involve depression.

DrugRehab.org Heroin Addiction And Depression Examine The Relationship

Many brain regions associated with addiction share a variety of symptoms with depression, and studies of patients with depression were reported as having abnormalities in these same brain areas. Though there has been contradictory reports as well, further research is still needed. There is also a high rate of suicide with heroin addicts.

Does Heroin Make Depression Worse?

The reward pathways in the brain, when they have little activation, can cause depression. For some who suffer from it, especially those who already abuse heroin, turning to drugs to create a leveled out feeling in brain may seem like an easy fix. When a drug, such as heroin, is used to treat symptoms like depression, it often leads an individual down a path worse than where they even started from. Those who are prone to one mental illness, can easy obtain two such as a co-occurring drug addiction. Many of the same pathways, chemicals in the brain, and molecules from addiction are also present in mental illness—thus linking them strongly together.

It can be far too easy to judge those who are addicted to heroin or another type of drug as doing so from weaknesses of their morals or character, however, this is not the case. An addiction is a disease of the brain, one that has the potential to worsen other disorders, such as depression, or even cause it. Some people who start off using prescription painkillers end up down the path of addiction, even progressing to heroin, even though they started off with legitimate concerns of pain.

What Is The Impact Of Addiction?

When dealing with a heroin addiction, an individual often goes through many different types of battles, such as neglecting relationships and responsibilities, random mood swings, health troubles, lying, or often buying drugs instead of paying bills, etc. These negative changes may foster addiction.

DrugRehab.org Heroin Addiction And Depression Negative Changes

The cycle of addiction is a constant up and down—extreme pleasure and comfort, followed by the lows—which may at first make an individual just feel “normal.” However, when a person first takes heroin, the euphoria is typically unlike anything they’ve ever felt, but after awhile, the once pleasurable feelings start to level out, and again, they feel normal. Overtime, the euphoria diminishes, and eventually, the situation progresses to the point where life, and their moods, starts to feel terrible unless they have heroin. The problem which starts to develop with prolonged abuse is that an individual needs more of the drug to not just feel the euphoria, but also the normal feelings. As this occurs, a person needs more and more heroin to feel even that—this is called a tolerance.

Soon depression settles in, even after abusing the drug—and it may not matter how much is abused—a person is often unable to shake the depressed feelings. This soon turns into a cycle of a person self-medicating their own depression. To top it off, there are additional side effects associated with withdrawal as well, including depression. Quitting can be difficult for those individuals who face depression, physical withdrawal symptoms, and cravings.

Help Is Always Here

If you or a loved one is battling heroin addiction and depression, contact us now!

When dealing with depression or a heroin addiction, there is help available for you. Whether the heroin addiction came first and ended in depression or vise versa, we are here to support you. Facing the duality of both of these mental illnesses can be difficult to overcome, but with our assistance you can overcome these battles. Contact us today at DrugRehab.org.


For More Information Related to “Heroin Addiction And Depression” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From DrugRehab.org:



U.S. National Library of Medicine — Depression, Hopelessness, And Suicidal Intent Among Heroin Addicts
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — Tips For Teens: The Truth About Heroin
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai — Molecular Basis Of Addiction And Depression

Signs Of A Heroin Overdose

DrugRehab.org Signs Of A Heroin Overdose

The scope of heroin overdose is far reaching. In the U.S. alone, for instance, 10,500 people died of heroin overdose in the year 2014, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. While the majority of people who experience overdose are suffering from addiction, some people may overdose with the first use. Further, many who abuse substances such as heroin may also abuse other substances. Combining substances such as alcohol with heroin can be dangerous and even fatal. Unfortunately, heroin abuse has become more widespread in the last decade. For these reasons, it is important to understand what heroin is, how it affects people and may cause overdose, and the signs of heroin overdose.

DrugRehab.org Signs Of A Heroin Overdose 10,500 People Died Of Heroin Overdose

Heroin—What Is It?

Heroin is an illegal, opioid drug which is very addictive. Opioids are substances which alleviate pain and produce calming effects. Heroin gives the person abusing it a feeling of well-being and an immediate “rush” of pleasure. The drug appears in pure form as a white powder that is usually snorted, but can appear in other forms and be smoked or injected. Though the immediate effects wear off quickly, heroin may produce a number of short- and long-term adverse health effects.

What Side Effects Are Caused By Heroin?

Individuals affected by heroin abuse may experience a host of side effects and long-term health effects, including overdose. Some of the initial effects may include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Flushing of skin
  • Heavy feeling in limbs
  • Nausea
  • Severe itching
  • Vomiting

After the rush and primary side effects, the person may experience extreme drowsiness and have impaired thinking. Breathing and heart rate will also slow down for several hours, conditions which can lead to more severe problems.

Prolonged heroin abuse may also greatly impact a person’s health. As the National Institute on Drug Abuse states, “repeated heroin use changes the physical structure and physiology of the brain, creating long-term imbalances in neuronal and hormonal systems that are not easily reversed.” Continued abuse may also cause a breakdown of the brain’s white matter, resulting in changes to decision-making, changes in behavior (and the ability to control one’s behavior), and changes in response to stressors. Heroin can also cause “profound degrees of tolerance and physical dependence.” In other words, people affected by heroin abuse may develop a tolerance to its effects or may experience extreme withdrawal symptoms when not taking it.

DrugRehab.org Signs Of A Heroin Overdose Perhaps One Of The Most Dangerous

Perhaps one of the most dangerous side effects of long-term heroin abuse is the risk of forming addiction. Addiction changes a person’s behavior to make the person seek and continue use of a substance, often regardless of the consequences or knowledge that the substance is harmful. Those affected by addiction may also experience cravings which are so severe, that they are often unable to do much else besides seek use of the drug. These urges are frequently what cause people to overdose, as people seek the drug more often, taking higher and more frequent doses, in an attempt to overcome a developed tolerance. This puts people affected by addiction at high risk of overdose.

What Are The Signs Of Heroin Overdose?

How many people are at risk of overdose? Anyone who abuses heroin may be at risk and those who overdose are at high risk of fatal outcomes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that, “between 2000 and 2015, the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths more than quadrupled, and more than 12,989 people died in 2015.” The heroin epidemic is a disease which affects many, and the possibility of heroin abuse resulting in overdose must be recognized. Only with the proper recognition of symptoms and an appropriate diagnosis and care, can people receive the help they need for abuse or addiction.

DrugRehab.org Signs Of A Heroin Overdose The Rate Of Heroin-Related Overdose Deaths

If a person is undergoing overdose, he or she will display a number of alarming symptoms, which may include the following:

  • Constipation
  • Delirium
  • Discoloration in nails and skin (blue in appearance)
  • Discoloration in tongue
  • Disorientation
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Fainting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Muscle spasms
  • Slow to weak pulse
  • Small to extremely small pupils (pinpoint pupils)
  • Stomach or intestinal spasms
  • Slow or stopped breathing

In the most severe cases, an overdose may result in a coma, leading to death.

What To Do In Case Of Overdose

In case of overdose, it is best to seek professional medical help right away. Call emergency services, and if instructed, roll the person to the side to prevent choking (in case of vomit). It will be helpful to have the person’s name, age, (approximate) weight, what substance he or she took and the dosage, if possible. Once the person gets medical help, he or she may get blood or urine tests, help breathing, chest scans or x-rays, medications, such as Narcan; and all available care to help restore health.

Finding Treatment

Not everyone who experiences heroin overdose will be ready for treatment, but many need it. Finding an inpatient rehab center with supportive staff, varied treatment methods, including a medically-supervised detox; and individualized care may help a person greatly during the early days of recovery.

To learn more about good rehab facilities, or to speak about your questions and concerns, contact us today at DrugRehab.org.

Contact us today for more about the signs of Heroin overdose

For More Information Related to “Signs Of A Heroin Overdose” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From DrugRehab.org:



Centers For Disease Control and Prevention— Heroin
National Institute On Drug Abuse — Heroin
U.S. National Library Of Medicine — Heroin Overdose

Signs And Symptoms Of Heroin Use

Signs And Symptoms Of Heroin Use

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) notes that 4.8 million people, 12 years of age and older, confessed that they have used heroin during their life. With these numbers, chances are, many people may be unaware of the issues their family members are facing with this drug. Being the loved one of a drug user, your concerns can grow high and it may feel as if things are out of your control. Despite this, understanding heroin abuse can help you to better support your loved one, and get them help.

One of the biggest problems you may face, is that a drug user is very rarely honest with themselves about the substances that they are abusing, or the damage it is causing them. Many users are secretive, trying to mask their habits or symptoms. For this reason, if you’re trying to reach out to help someone you suspect is using heroin, it can be helpful to be aware of the signs and symptoms that point to heroin use and abuse.

Evidence Of A Heroin Habit

Signs And Symptoms Of Heroin Use EvidenceSince heroin is usually smoked, snorted, or injected, you may find evidence and remains of the drugs or paraphernalia. Many people may keep their supplies assembled in a kit, in a small bag or case, which may be hidden. Examples of heroin paraphernalia may include:

  • Traces of a tan or whitish powder
  • Dark, sticky residue
  • Burnt spoons
  • Small glass or metal pipes
  • Syringes
  • Rubber tubing, ropes, or belts in proximity to other items—people use these devices to make their veins enlarge prior to injection
  • Tiny baggies or balloons that contained the drug
  • Lighters, if they’re not a smoker
  • Candles, for heating the heroin
  • Materials used for a filter, may include the tip of a cotton swab or a cigarette filter
  • Burnt squares of foil
  • Straws, foil rolled into a tube, or an empty pen case—these items are used to inhale the vapors when the heroin is heated

When a person is seeking a fix, they may be very desperate, and very inventive, thus they may use whatever they have near as a vessel for using heroin. For instance, you may find a pop or soda can that appears burnt, that an individual used to heat heroin. If you find any of these things, we caution you to be very careful, and refrain from handling these items, if at all possible, as some of these items may transmit various infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis C. Also, it is a criminal offense to be in possession of paraphernalia.

What Happens To The User?

Heroin is a quick to action opiate, and when it is injected, surges of elation thrive within the body in seconds. When the drug abuser uses it in another way, they may not feel the euphoria as sharply. When a person uses heroin, there are some telltale physical and behavioral signs that you can look for that are indicative of heroin abuse, as well as some more serious symptoms that result from more prolonged use.

Physical Signs And Symptoms

When a person uses heroin, it converts back into morphine when it enters the user’s brain. At this point, the morphine binds to opioid receptors within the brain, including those in the brainstem, effectively altering certain automatic processes that are essential for life, including, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), blood pressure, arousal, and respiration. This change is responsible for some of the outward signs that you may see in a heroin user. Here are some physical signs and symptoms you can look for that may manifest from heroin use:

  • Signs And Symptoms Of Heroin Use 4.8 MillionInjection site marks, including scars or scabs
  • Constipation, you may find laxatives because of this
  • Dry mouth
  • Runny nose
  • Constricted or tiny pupils
  • Respiratory depression (shallow breathing)
  • Sleepy eyes
  • Flushed skin
  • Tendency to nod off, then alternate back to a more wakeful state
  • Reduced blood pressure and body temperature

A heroin user may have a low immunity to illness. Any pain the user is experiencing will be significantly suppressed, since opioids are known for their pain relief. Pregnant women can also experience a spontaneous abortion, otherwise known as a miscarriage.

Long-term heroin use creates more serious complications, including various risks that result from injection. According to NIDA, these may include collapsed veins, a breakout of bacterial skin infections at the injection site, abscesses, diseases of the liver and kidneys, infective endocarditis, and various infectious diseases, including HIV and hepatitis B or C.

Sometimes, a user may not be able to find more drugs right away, and may begin to encounter the symptoms of withdrawal. These can occur in as little as 6-12 hours after the last dose. It can be useful to understand the physical symptoms of withdrawal as well, in order to spot a heroin problem. Some signs of withdrawal include:

  • Restlessness
  • Shaking or spasms
  • Nausea, may be accompanied by vomiting
  • Chills and goosebumps
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Anxiety or nervousness
  • Pain in your muscles and bones

Please be aware that withdrawal from heroin can be very uncomfortable, and we recommend that an individual never attempt to undergo it on their own. Instead, we recommend detoxing from heroin in a medically supervised environment.

Behavioral Signs

Heroin, like any drug, alters a person’s behavior. These changes can often help to point you towards a problem. They include:

  • Cognitive troubles and disorientation
  • Unstable mood
  • Impaired decision-making or self-control
  • Lack of motivation
  • Scratching
  • Slurred speech
  • Neglect of grooming and personal hygiene
  • Failure to eat
  • Covering arms with long sleeves
  • Alienating themselves from loved ones
  • Spending time with people that use
  • Use of drug slang (Smack, Junk, etc.)
  • Stealing valuables or money to cover their drug habit
  • Changes in performance within their school or work responsibilities

If you witness any of these signs, alone or paired with any of the aforementioned physical symptoms, there is cause for concern. Please reach out to a professional in order to avoid the risk of further medical complications or overdose.

Also, for many people, prescription opioid abuse precedes heroin abuse. Young people who have injected heroin have been reported to misuse prescription opioids before they started to abuse heroin. For this reason, if you have known your loved one to abuse prescription drugs, and witness any of these signs or symptoms, without any apparent use of pills, there may be cause for concern.

Understanding The Signs Of Overdose

Signs And Symptoms Of Heroin Use OpiateOverdose can happen at any point. When a heroin overdose happens, it will cause slow or shallow breathing, blue lips and fingernails, low blood pressure and pulse, clammy skin, delirium, convulsions, and coma. If you suspect an overdose, seek help immediately, as overdose can be fatal.

A Person Addicted To Heroin Will Need A Helping Hand

Many of those addicted to heroin often times don’t see how this addiction is ultimately creating damage to his or her life. They may go through life neglecting their own needs. The desire for the drug will likely far outweigh anything else on their daily to-do list, or their need for self-care. Lack of nutrition will create a very haggard look, and they will progressively look worse when the drug use is heavy and prolonged.

Some of these individuals may reach out for a helping hand, but many of them may fear the painful sickness of dealing with their own withdrawal, and continue using to avoid this uncomfortable state. It can be vastly beneficial if loving family members step up to give their loved ones a hand to hold, and support during these troubled times, so that together, you can find treatment for their heroin addiction. Those addicted to heroin need a good treatment program to lead them out of this detrimental addiction and help them get through the withdrawal stages.

By knowing the signs and symptoms of heroin use, a loved one may be able to uncover an addiction and start to make arrangements for rehabilitation for that individual. With this information, family members can see behind the denial, with the love and compassion that is necessary to help a person into a rehab center.

Stop The Destruction, Get Help Today

If you or a loved one exhibits any of these symptoms or signs of heroin abuse, reach out for a helping hand today. Our compassionate staff is standing by to offer you more information on heroin abuse and addiction, and the treatment options that exist to help. Please contact us at DrugRehab.org today.

Contact us if you or a loved are considering treatment.
For More Information Related to “Signs And Symptoms Of Heroin Use” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From DrugRehab.org:


National Institute on Drug Abuse — DrugFacts—Heroin
National Institute on Drug Abuse — What are the medical complications of chronic heroin use?
MedlinePlus — Heroin Overdose

How To Treat Heroin Addiction

How To Treat Heroin Addiction

If you or someone you love is suffering from a debilitating addiction to heroin, help needs to be found as soon as possible. Trying to manage the problem by yourself is a process few can master, which is why it is so necessary to get professional treatment. There are many different methods utilized in treating heroin addiction, all of which are designed to focus on one or more aspects of addiction.

How Heroin Causes Addiction

Before discussing heroin addiction treatment, it is worth understanding how heroin use causes addiction. When heroin is used, it travels quickly through the bloodstream where it ends up in the brain. Here it is converted into morphine, another strong opiate. This morphine will then seek out the opioid receptors in the brain and stimulate them into activity.

Opioid receptors are spread throughout the brain and body to receive the important chemicals that help regulate various important aspects of the body. One of these aspects is the release of endorphins or pleasure-creating hormones. The body automatically makes this chemical, but heroin and other opiates trigger an excessive release, the kind that can’t be created naturally.

As a result, the body and the mind experiences an intensive sense of euphoria that is very pleasurable. This causes some to continue using heroin to achieve the same effect. Over time, the brain and body become dependent on heroin to activate these opioid receptors, in turn shutting down its own production of endorphins. As a result, those with a heroin addiction must use heroin to feel pleasure and to avoid the negative side effects that occur during withdrawal.

This intense effect helps explain why heroin is so addictive. It also helps to explain why heroin treatment is such an extensive process. It isn’t something that can be done in just a few days or weeks, but requires a month or more of serious treatment and a lifetime of constant diligence.

Withdrawal Symptoms Must Be Treated

The first step in managing heroin addiction is to detoxify the body. This requires a medically-tapered dose of replacement medicines. The idea behind this process is to keep the body from falling into a dangerous state of withdrawal which can be life-threatening. Withdrawal symptoms of heroin include:

  • Anxiety and frustration
  • Severe pain
  • Sleep problems
  • Sweatiness and clammy skin
  • Abdominal cramps and diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Goosebumps
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

Replacement agonist medicines, such as methadone, stimulate the same full-opiate effects to prevent withdrawal. Doses are then slowly decreased until the person in treatment no longer needs any medication to avoid withdrawal. At this point, the body will have gone through the full rigors of detoxification. Other medications that are commonly given for heroin withdrawal include buprenorphine, which has an effect similar to methadone, but with less potential for addiction, due to the fact it is a partial agonist and does not impact the opioid receptors as heavily as a full agonist.

Other treatments use medicines that aren’t agonists, but antagonists. These block the action of the illicit opiate, preventing a user from getting high or experiencing a sense of euphoria. One example is naltrexone. This medicine is more typically prescribed after withdrawal is over to fight relapse and maintain sobriety, though some people report that it helps to alleviate cravings, it does not serve this purpose in everyone. These medications are paired with the mental health treatments that are crucial to promoting sobriety.

Mental Health Disorders Must Be Diagnosed

Drug addiction and mental health disorders often create a difficult scenario known as co-occurring disorders. The comorbidity between these two problems are common for a variety of reasons. Often, people are compelled to use drugs due to anxiety or depression. This is common with heroin use, as it slows the mind and decreases emotional potency.

How To Treat Heroin Addiction Study

Those with unbalanced personalities, such as those affected by bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder, may use heroin for thrill seeking purposes. These choices may also be paired with the urge to self-medicate. Even more severe mental health problems, such as schizophrenia, can lead to heroin use. Some of those who suffer from schizophrenia and heroin abuse claim that drug use calms the negative mental chaos of schizophrenia.

In some cases, research suggests that it may be possible for heroin addiction to lead to the development of these conditions, rather than the reverse. Whatever the connection between the two concerns, it is important to treat them both at the same time using dual diagnosis recovery methods.

Dual Diagnosis Treatments Are Important

Dual diagnosis treatment is the process of treating co-occurring disorders at the same time in order to decrease the negative impact each has on the other. This is a method that has been particularly important for heroin and other opiate substances. For example, one study of 189 opioid-dependent people found that co-occurring diagnoses were common in 59 percent of all cases.

Dual diagnosis treatments take the form of psychological counseling and addiction treatment methods. For example, if a person has borderline personality disorder, dialectical behavior therapy will help calm the symptoms of this disease and decrease its impact on the use of heroin.

While this is going on, drug education courses, relaxation tips, and distraction therapy methods will be utilized to help manage heroin addiction in a constructive way. Physical health improvements are also implemented during this step, including managing any pain or malnutrition that may have occurred as a result of addiction. The idea is to help promote full-body and mind recovery.

These methods will take up the majority of your treatment time. During these therapy sessions, you will learn how to be a stronger person who doesn’t need heroin to be healthy and happy. However, heroin is a powerful drug that leads to a lot of painful relapses for some people. Learning how to avoid this problem is heavily focused on during your heroin addiction treatment.

Relapse Treatments Must Be Undertaken

Relapse with heroin is a dangerous problem, as it may cause a person to fall back into the throes of addiction or may trigger an overdose and death. Unfortunately, various studies have found that relapse rates are high in those addicted to heroin. This was especially true in the early 70s, when one study showed that only 25 percent of those who finished treatment achieved success.

How To Treat Heroin Addiction Recovery In The 70's

However, a modern study in 2002 found that 40 percent of those who finished rehabilitation maintained their abstinence, while those who did relapse did so quickly after leaving treatment and usually sought treatment after relapse. While the 15 percent sobriety increase is very promising (as treatment methods have improved) the conclusion reached by the study was this: “Treatment services should develop further and strengthen relapse prevention and relapse coping skills among drug misusers.”

How To Treat Heroin Addiction 2002

To that end, rehabilitation groups are now focusing heavily on providing services that help manage the dangers of relapse. For example, those in recovery are taught to identify their triggers and to find ways to negate them. Sobriety groups like Narcotics Anonymous also help those in recovery to create a positive sobriety group. Many of these treatments are typically utilized in the aftercare period of recovery.

Aftercare Helps Prolong Treatment Effectiveness

Managing a heroin addiction doesn’t stop when treatment ends. It requires mastering a variety of aftercare techniques in order to avoid relapse. For example, the relapse avoidance techniques mentioned above will be used to avoid falling back into negative patterns of behavior. Other aftercare recovery methods, like temporary residence in a sober house or job placement, help you to integrate back into the world with less of a struggle.

Aftercare is just as essential to recovery success as any treatment program. For example, one study of those addicted to drugs in prison found that those who utilized aftercare treatment did significantly better than those who received none. That’s why it’s so crucial to focus on aftercare after treatment.

Now that you better understand the ways that heroin addiction is treated, you can start looking for a recovery center that can help you. There are thousands of such groups around the nation who are willing to help those who are interested in eliminating heroin addiction and regaining a sober lifestyle.

Finding A Heroin Treatment Center Near You

Getting treatment for heroin addiction requires finding a center that offers this kind of treatment. Most drug rehab centers are staffed with people who understand this concern and who have years of experiencing treating it. They will work you through the process and help you to get clean.

Time is of the essence when treating heroin addiction, as studies have shown that people who get treatment sooner have lower relapse rates. It has also been shown that those who stay in recovery longer (such as 90 days, as opposed to 30) are more likely to remain clean. Breaking that year mark is an important milestone in recovery, but it’s one that requires a lot of work.

So try to look for a center that offers long-term residential treatment near you. However, if you are worried about relapsing or of being influenced negatively by those around you, recovery in a center in another state may be a good idea.

Once you’ve decided on whether near or far away centers are right for your needs, start contacting ones that you think you’d like to attend. Many offer unique treatment options, such as adventure therapy and yoga techniques, that help manage heroin addiction in specialized ways.

Getting Help As Soon As Possible

Contact us if you or a loved are considering treatment.The severity of heroin addiction makes it a problem that can’t be ignored. Treat it by checking into a drug rehabilitation center. If you or someone you know is suffering from heroin addiction and needs help on the path to sobriety, please contact us at DrugRehab.org today.

National Institute On Drug Abuse – Naltrexone
National Center For Biotechnology Information – Impact of substance dependence and dual diagnosis on the quality of life of heroin users seeking treatment
American Psychology Association – Relapse rates after treatment for heroin addiction
Society For The Study Of Addiction – Factors associated with abstinence, lapse or relapse to heroin use after residential treatment: protective effect of coping responses
The Prison Journal – Three-Year Outcomes of Therapeutic Community Treatment for Drug-Involved Offenders in Delaware: From Prison to Work Release to Aftercare

The Top 10 Most Addictive Drugs

The Top 10 Most Addictive Drugs

There are a variety of dangerous drugs in the world and the addictive levels of each varies wildly. Some are relatively non-addictive, while others cause addiction very quickly. Understanding the most addictive substances available can help you understand whether you or someone you love is at a high risk for addiction. While drug use of any kind is typically dangerous and potentially addicting, these substances are the most problematic.

The Basis Of Our Ranking

Our list is based on information gleaned from two different studies. The first was published in The Lancet in 2007, from a team headed by British psychiatrist David Nutt. The idea was to create a system for assessing the addictive level of various types of drugs. Three different aspects were measured, including physical dependence, psychological dependence, and pleasure generated by the drug.

The findings of this study were somewhat controversial because it was found that alcohol and nicotine, two legal and commonly accepted substances, were more addictive than ecstasy. Various newspapers in his homeland and the public ridiculed the studies and called for Nutt to resign.

Though he didn’t resign, the controversy led to him being fired and another study was allegedly undertaken to confirm the truth of his hypothesis. This study has been reported to agree with Nutt’s findings, though no online publication of the study has been found.

The Top 10 Most Addictive Drugs Heroin


Heroin is a substance that has a reputation for being incredibly addictive. The reasons for its addictive nature have to do with how it works on the mind and the body. When heroin is introduced into the body, it binds with opioid receptors in the mind to stimulate pleasure by releasing dopamine in a way beyond what the body can produce on its own.

Unfortunately, once heroin is removed from the system, the body won’t produce dopamine for a period of time. This will cause a variety of symptoms, including depression, nausea, physical pain, and hallucinations. To avoid these symptoms, people may continue to use heroin.

The Top 10 Most Addictive Drugs Crack Cocaine

Crack Cocaine

Just slightly under heroin sits crack cocaine, a type of cocaine that is smoked, rather than snorted. Crack cocaine is chemically very similar to normal cocaine, but it takes effect more quickly and, due to its potent nature, creates a more intense high. This high decreases in about 10 minutes, which is quicker than powder cocaine’s 30 minutes. As a result, increasingly higher doses are often necessary

Those who use crack cocaine experience a high that creates feelings of high energy, happiness, and excitement. These feelings are more extreme than naturally-occurring instances, and as crack wears off, it causes increased depression, anger, and anxiety. Though the withdrawal effects of crack cocaine are short-lived, they are extreme, and fending them off requires often increasingly higher doses. As a result, nearly half a million people in the country are currently addicted to crack cocaine.

The Top 10 Most Addictive Drugs Nicotine


The finding that nicotine was more addictive than crystal meth, and just as addictive as crack cocaine, were a major influence on Nutt being fired. However, studies have shown that nicotine stimulates the activity of a neurotransmitter in the brain, named nicotinic, and makes it necessary to ingest nicotine regularly.

As a result, withdrawal symptoms (such as anxiety, mood swings, and headaches) are common when people try to quit smoking or chewing tobacco. These symptoms are often very severe, and easy access to nicotine products makes it easier to relapse than with many other substances. As a result, it is estimated that one in every five deaths in the country was influenced by nicotine use.

The Top 10 Most Addictive Drugs Methadone


The use of methadone in opiate withdrawal cases has been common for decades, because it is a healthier and cleaner alternative. Like heroin it is an opiate, albeit one that is less addictive. In a medical setting, methadone doses are carefully monitored and tapered to decrease withdrawal symptoms and to decrease the risk of developing an addiction. Unfortunately, addiction is still possible.

Crystal Meth

Crystal meth is an alternative form of methamphetamine that does something that its parent drug does not: teach your brain to crave it. When someone smokes crystal meth, they are stimulating the areas of the brain that produce dopamine and norepinephrine, the chemical that increases your feeling of alertness. As a result, those who use crystal meth often feel increased energy and a more “focused” state that helps them perform a task more efficiently.

Unfortunately, the brain can become reliant on these artificially increased doses of dopamine and norepinephrine. However, crystal meth also damages the neurons that produce these chemicals and makes them less effective at producing them. As a result, those who suffer from crystal meth addiction may have a permanently decreased ability to feel pleasure and focus.


Barbiturates are a depressant type of drug that were once widely prescribed as a treatment for anxiety and other concerns. However, benzoodiazepine drugs have taken their place, due to their higher effectiveness. They are still sometimes used to treat epilepsy, however. Addiction to these substances are very possible, and withdrawal is often very similar to alcohol withdrawal.

As a result, cramps, seizures, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, and even hallucinations are all possible. In severe cases, heart problems, hypthermia, and even death can occur.

The Top 10 Most Addictive Drugs Alcohol

The Top 10 Most Addictive Drugs Alcohol AddictionAlcohol

The legal status of alcohol helps increase its potential for addiction, but its impact on the mind and body already create a potent addictive potential. When a person drinks alcohol, their body releases high levels of endorphins and dopamine, which makes them feel happier. It also decreases feelings of anxiety and self-control, which may make socialization easier. This is the reason that alcohol is considered a “social drug.”

Unfortunately, those who become addicted to alcohol become reliant on it to release endorphins, even as their body becomes physically reliant on it to operate. Withdrawal symptoms from alcohol are among the worst, and can actually cause death in severe cases. Sadly, this has led to an addiction rate of nearly 10 percent of the nation (nearly 18 million Americans).

The Top 10 Most Addictive Drugs Cocaine


Though less potent than its sister drug, cocaine remains dangerously addictive. It stimulates dopamine release and prevents the mind from reabsorbing it into the body. Though this symptom is only temporary, it will make a person crave cocaine at high levels.

The effects it causes (including extreme pleasure, energy, and happiness), its quick nature of use, the potency of its high, and the rapid development of tolerance make its potential for addiction severe. Though withdrawal symptoms are typically short-lived, psychological dependence is high with cocaine.

The Top 10 Most Addictive Drugs Amphetamines


Amphetamines are a type of stimulant that can be used for a variety of medical purposes, such as increasing energy, treating sleep disorders, and helping with ADD and ADHD. Adderall, Dexedrine, and Desoxyn are all legal prescription forms of amphetamines. Methamphetamines are an illegal and non-medical variety that have become a major problem across the country. However, even legal amphetamines carry the possibility of addiction, though no more than methamphetamine.

Using amphetamines improperly can cause problems with speaking, a dry mouth, dizziness, constipation, insomnia, and heart problems. It can also cause addiction due to the ways that it impacts the production of dopamine and other endorphins. The increased levels of these chemicals it causes cannot be naturally stimulated, which leads to a reliance on amphetamines to achieve them again.

The Top 10 Most Addictive Drugs Benzodiazepines


When a person suffers from anxiety, substances like benzodiazepines can help them achieve a sense of calm and stability. However, these substances are high on the list of addictive substances due to the way that the mind can become reliant on them. They cause a rapid tolerance, making severe withdrawal symptoms likely. These symptoms include severe anxiety and panic attacks, though physical reactions, such as nausea, may also occur.

Improper use of benzodiazepines is uncommon, but it does occur—in these instances they are usuallly used in conjunciton with other drugs. Unfortunately, even proper use may cause addiction. However, unlike most of the other drugs on this list, benzodiazepines do serve a medically-necessary purpose. If use is halted, it is typically done in a controlled and tapered way, to decrease the potential for withdrawal symptoms.

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Contact us if you or a loved are considering treatment.Addiction to any of these or any other substances is a dangerous problem that must be treated as soon as possible. That’s why you need to contact us at DrugRehab.org today. We can help set you up with a rehab center near you that will help you beat addiction and regain a sober and healthy life.


Independent – The 5 Most Addictive Drugs In The World
Tech Insider – These Are The 10 Most Addictive Drugs In The World
The Science Explorer – Experts Ranked The Top 5 Most Addictive Substances on Earth
The Lancet – Development Of A Rational Scale To Assess The Harm Of Drugs Of Potential Misuse
Mental Health Daily – 10 Most Addictive Drugs List
The Guardian – Government Drug Adviser David Nutt Sacked
National Institute On Drug Use – What Effects Does Heroin Have On The Body?
Medline Plus – Cocaine
Be Tobacco Free – Nicotine Addiction And Your Health
Foundations For A Drug Free World – What Is Crystal Meth?
Huffington Post – Why Alcohol Is So Addictive
National Institute On Drug Use – Well-Known Mechanism Underlies Benzodiazepines’ Addictive Properties
Drugs.com – GHB or Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate
Project GHB – GHB Addiction
Healthline – What Is Amphetamine Dependence?
University Of Maryland – Center For Substance Abuse Research
European Monitoring Centre For Drugs And Drug Addiction – Barbituates

Drug Overdose Deaths At All-Time High

Drug Overdose Deaths At All-Time High

America’s Leading Cause of Accidental Death is Now Prescription Drug Overdose, CDC says

The stories are painfully familiar in American life.

A student athlete injures his leg playing football, gets addicted to opioid painkillers and progresses to heroin.

A suburban mother, the victim of a car accident, finds relief from the powerful narcotic OxyContin. She loses her insurance coverage and switches to heroin to soothe her pain.

Teenagers raid the family medicine cabinet and swap pills at house parties. A few of them begin a deep descent into drug addiction.

America is facing an unprecedented epidemic of prescription drug abuse, overdose deaths and rising heroin use among people addicted to opioids.

More Americans died from drug overdoses in 2014 than any previous year on record, according to a report released this month by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There were 47,055 drug overdose deaths in 2014 in the United States, an all-time high and a 6.5 percent increase over 2013.

Opioids – primarily prescription painkillers and heroin – were involved in 61 percent of all drug overdose deaths in 2014. The rate of fatal opioid overdose has tripled since 2000, the CDC reported.


“Opioid disorders have reached alarming levels throughout our nation, and we must work together to overcome this serious public health threat,” said Kana Enomoto, Acting Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

“It takes collective effort from all parts of our communities to educate people about this problem and help prevent it,” Enomoto said. “Everyone needs to know how to identify people with opioid disorder, help them find treatment, and know how to help prevent overdose deaths.”


Death from accidental prescription drug overdose has surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of unintentional death in the United States, according to the CDC. In 2014, there were approximately one and a half times more drug overdose deaths than deaths from motor vehicle crashes, the CDC reports.

The agency notes two interrelated trends: a 15-year increase in overdose deaths involving prescription opioid pain relievers, and a recent surge in illicit opioid overdose deaths, driven largely by heroin.

“These findings indicate that the opioid overdose epidemic is worsening,” the CDC notes in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published January 1, 2016. “There is a need for continued action to prevent opioid abuse, dependence, and death, improve treatment capacity for opioid use disorders, and reduce the supply of illicit opioids, particularly heroin and illicit fentanyl.”

West Virginia had the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in 2014, with 35.5 deaths per 100,000 people, followed by New Mexico (27.3), New Hampshire (26.2), Kentucky (24.7) and Ohio (24.6). Fourteen other states had statistically significant increases in the rate of drug overdose deaths between 2013 and 2014, the CDC noted.


Abuse of prescription opioid drugs such as OxyContin and Vicodin is a key reason for increased heroin use, according to drug experts and law enforcement officials.

Both heroin and opioid painkillers are derived from the same opium poppy plants, bind to the same receptors in the brain and have similar euphoric effects. People who are addicted to prescription opioids sometimes turn to heroin as a cheaper, more accessible opioid — although illegal and unregulated.

“The increased availability of heroin, combined with its relatively low price (compared with diverted prescription opioids) and high purity appear to be major drivers of the upward trend in heroin use and overdose,” the CDC notes.

Fatal heroin overdoses have more than tripled since 2010, from 1 death per 100,000 people to 3.4 deaths per 100,000 in 2014. The sharp rise in heroin deaths “is closely tied to opioid pain reliever misuse and dependence,” the CDC says.

Nearly half of young people who inject heroin say they first abused prescription opioid drugs before feeding their addiction with heroin, according to three recent studies by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

“Many of these young people report that crushing prescription opioid pills to snort or inject the powder provided their initiation into these methods of drug administration,” NIDA reports.

A half century ago, the typical heroin user was a young impoverished teenage boy whose first opioid drug was heroin. Today, the typical user is more likely to be a suburban, white middle-class young adult who previously abused prescription painkillers, according to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry in May 2014.


To reverse the current opioid epidemic, health experts recommend greater access to naloxone (Narcan), an effective antidote that can reverse an opioid overdose. They also emphasize the need for safer prescribing of prescription opioids and effective treatment for addiction — including medication therapies such as buprenorphine and naltrexone that can reduce strong opioid cravings and prevent relapse.

“Efforts to ensure access to integrated prevention services, including access to syringe service programs when available, is also an important consideration to prevent the spread of hepatitis C virus and human immunodeficiency virus infections from injection drug use,” the CDC notes in its report.

SAMHSA publishes a free Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit for first responders, treatment providers and people recovering from opioid overdose. To access the toolkit, which was updated in 2016, click here:

http://store.samhsa.gov/product/Opioid-Overdose-Prevention-Toolkit-Updated- 2016/All-New-Products/SMA16-4742

To learn more about the safe use of prescription opioids — and how to handle an opioid emergency — click here: http://america-starts-talking.com


1-800-NCA-CALL (800-622-2255) 24-hour helpline sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.

1-800-662-HELP (4357) 24-hour National Drug and Alcohol Abuse Hotline offering treatment referral services to people seeking treatment and other assistance; sponsored by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT)

1-833-473-4227 24-hour hotline providing free, confidential referrals to treatment programs and rehab clinics nationwide. Sponsored by DrugRehab.org.

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Oral Health and Substance Abuse

Oral Health and Substance Abuse

Maintaining a healthy smile is an important part of daily routine for many people. Numerous studies have shown a correlation between oral health and overall health, making the effort to protect teeth and gums that much more important. Oral health tends to suffer as a result of substance abuse, often leading to severe damage to teeth and gums. Early intervention may be the key to preventing more serious conditions in time, and promote healthy change for those struggling with addiction.

How Substance Abuse Harms Oral Health

Substance abuse can cause adverse effects on oral health in various ways. While the impact is not always abrupt, the damage is often severe when left untreated. This can lead to irreversible disease and lasting effects, such as tooth loss and deep discoloration. The most common factors responsible for poor oral health due to substance abuse include:

  • Neglecting oral hygiene practices, such as brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups
  • Stomach acid from reflux and vomiting eats away at the enamel of the teeth, exposing the dentin, and making teeth more porous. This makes teeth more susceptible to sensitivity and decay
  • Oral pain may be a sign of a problem, but masked by analgesic qualities in certain drugs
  • Stimulant drugs like ecstasy, amphetamines, and cocaine are known to cause jaw clenching, chattering, and teeth grinding. Chipped teeth, decay, and infection may result
  • Lowered immunity from drug and alcohol use causes inflammation of gums and higher likelihood of infection

Discoloration, tartar buildup, and decay are commonly found in people with substance abuse problems. While the physical appearance of poor oral hygiene is unappealing, the damage dealt to the rest of the body is far more troublesome in many cases.

How Poor Oral Health Impacts The Body

In 2009, literature was disbursed by the American Academy of Periodontology, and The American Journal of Cardiology. This literature evaluated the direct correlation between heart disease and gum disease. This literature urged cardiologists and periodontists to cross reference information, as the two diseases are often linked. In addition to heart health, oral health can impact other functions:

  • Gingivitis, a gum disease, leads to inflammation and bleeding of the gums. This leaves the gums more susceptible to infection
  • An oral infection can be especially dangerous, as it can spread quickly to the blood, infecting vital organs
  • When left untreated, an escalated gum disease called Periodontal disease can develop. This causes the gums to separate from the teeth, leaving a large pocket for food and bacteria to develop. This infection often affects the underlying bone and roots of the teeth
  • Periodontal disease is also linked to diabetes, heart disease, premature birth, dementia, and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Tooth decay can result from tooth damage and poor hygiene, also leading to infection and severe pain in the mouth

Addiction causes many issues within the body, including lowered defenses against infection and disease. Poor oral health can magnify these problems, making recovery difficult, even with medical intervention.

Methamphetamine Use And Oral Health

Meth is recognized as the most blatantly damaging drug for oral health. In a short span of time, methamphetamine use can cause serious decay, discoloration, inflammation, and infection in the teeth and gums. This condition is commonly referred to as “meth mouth,” and observed in many cases of methamphetamine addiction. There are many reasons for this condition, including:

  • Methamphetamine causes saliva glands to halt production, resulting in dry mouth. Saliva production is necessary to carry away food particles, and helps to keep teeth clean
  • Clenching, grinding, and chattering are common side effects of methamphetamine, causing tooth decay and breakage
  • Corrosive chemicals in methamphetamine such as lithium, and sulfuric and muratic acid eat away at the enamel of the teeth. Acid erosion begins at first use, resulting from smoking and snorting the substance
  • Sores can develop on the gums, cheek, and tongue, increasing the risk of infection.
  • Hygiene is often ignored as a result of meth use, resulting in days or weeks without brushing or flossing.
  • Lifestyle factors also play a role, including poor diet and sugary drink consumption

Without quick intervention, the damage caused by meth use is irreversible. Many people struggling with methamphetamine addiction experience pain and irritation, but often ignore the symptoms when under the influence of the drug. Some can see the effects of meth on oral health within a few days, when the drug begins to halt saliva production.

Making A Change

When considering the many negative aspects of addiction, it’s important to acknowledge the significant toll that substance abuse takes on oral health. Many tooth and gum issues are left untreated, leading to more severe consequences down the line. Understanding the correlation between oral and overall health may lead to healthier choices in those struggling with addiction. Prevention, early intervention, and a healthy routine can promote significant changes in oral health. These changes can have lasting positive effects on the entire body.

We Can Help

If you or someone you know needs help finding treatment, the caring staff at DrugRehab.org is here to help.Substance abuse can severely impact the health and wellness of those struggling with addiction. If you or someone you know needs help finding treatment, the caring staff at DrugRehab.org is here to help. We can answer any questions you may have about the effects of substance abuse on oral health, and how to end the cycle of addiction. Contact us today.