The phrase “all it takes is one time” is frequently used in drug prevention and addiction, and there is no mistaking why. One of the most enticing narcotics one may misuse is heroin. It is typical for heroin to include fentanyl or carfentanyl, two drugs with much higher potency. Morphine, a naturally occurring chemical extracted from the opium poppy plant’s seed, is the precursor of heroin. According to American Addiction Centers, the Substance Enforcement Administration classifies heroin as an illicit drug with no recognized medical applications in the United States (DEA). Unfortunately, there is a significant chance that using heroin may lead to addiction.
One of our day’s most important public health crises is heroin addiction.
Is Heroin Drug Addiction After One Use Possible?
People are starting to reconsider the addictive potential of opioids after a year of record-breaking opioid-related deaths when narcotics killed more people than AIDS did at the epidemic’s peak. Americans were more likely to die from an overdose than in a vehicle accident. Researchers studying addiction are trying to answer the question: Can you get addicted to heroin after your first use, even if it’s unlikely that you would become dependent on OxyContin after taking one tablet.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, almost one-fourth (23%) of those who take heroin develop an addiction. Over 4 million Americans had used the substance at least once in 2011. Simply put, you won’t have to worry about developing a heroin drug addiction after one use if you never tried it in the first place.
A total of 494,000 Americans admitted to taking heroin for the first time in 2017, and 15,000 overdosed and died as a result.
How Addictive Is Heroin?
Heroin, a drug made from the painkiller morphine, causes extreme exhilaration. Users are always craving more of this, which frequently results in addiction. As explained in this PBS article, heroin is a semi-synthetic opioid that mimics the effects of opium, a chemical produced from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum). The specialized opioid receptors in the brain and neurological system respond when you inject, snort, or inhale heroin by causing a powerful dopamine release. This neurotransmitter causes sensations of pleasure or euphoria. Heroin users may suffer severe drug cravings if their brains become used to the euphoric high it provides.
Regular heroin users may experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop using heroin or cut back. While heroin withdrawal is not usually fatal, it can be painful and debilitating. You may experience nausea, vomiting, and severe anxiety. These symptoms may appear within 24 hours of taking your last dose.
Why Is Heroin Dangerous?
Heroin also causes drowsiness since it is a central nervous system depressant. This is why heroin users refer to the extreme sleepiness it causes as “nodding off” or “getting on the nod.” Heroin’s whole heart- and respiration-slowing effects at excessive dosages might result in unconsciousness and even death. In addition to the risk of overdose, heroin usage can result in several major health issues, such as:
chemical abnormalities that are permanent in the brain
a decline in cognitive abilities, including memory and decision-making
persistent heart and lung issues
recurring infections and illnesses
exposure to blood-borne diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B and C, for IV users
conditions or abscesses at the injection site that might result in significant circulatory illnesses
However, despite the dangers associated with before and after heroin misuse, Americans continue to try the substance and develop addictions. The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report claims that between 2010 and 2012, the number of heroin overdose deaths climbed dramatically in 28 states, showing a nationwide increase in the drug’s use.
What Is Heroin Made of and How Does It Affect the Brain
Heroin is a potent opioid narcotic created from substances found in the Opium Poppy plant called morphine. Heroin enters the body in various ways, but it swiftly travels to the brain and alters how the central nervous system works. Heroin is reverted to morphine in the brain before attaching to specific receptors involved in feeling pain and pleasure.
However, it doesn’t end there. Heroin can dull pain sensations and give you a rush of pleasure. Regardless, it also sends signals to brain parts responsible for regulating heart rate and breathing, memory, motor control, and emotional control (in the brain stem, cortex, and limbic systems).
Addiction development largely depends on the limbic system and its reward-response responses. The body releases dopamine from heroin, which gives rise to feelings of satisfaction and well-being for a brief time. However, drowsiness and mental impairment can last for hours. All animals have evolved dopamine-caused sensations to reinforce their survival behavior. Although dopamine levels are usually lower, eating and having sex can trigger dopamine responses.
Even the first time, heroin abuse causes the brain to need more because of the dopamine release and feel-good high it produces. Although each person has a unique propensity for developing an addiction, everyone runs the danger of becoming physically and psychologically dependent on heroin with repeated usage.
How Addiction to Heroin Develops
Most new users of heroin begin by snorting or smoking it. After the initial dosage, people get a warm, euphoric sensation that makes their pain and concerns vanish. According to some heroin addicts, it is the most beautiful sensation they have ever known.
The motivation to retake heroin is typically psychological. Although people don’t get addicted immediately, they could be compelled to use the drug again to experience its benefits.
But when people take heroin more frequently, they become used to it. Over time, the effects of the drug diminish, requiring higher and more frequent dosages to provide the same high. While striving to control their increasing tolerance, many people develop heroin dependence.
Heroin is a potent opiate that has caused addiction and dependency in many users. Your brain and neurological system adapt to the drug’s chemical alterations more quickly the more you use it. Although it’s improbable that you’ll get completely addicted to heroin the first time you take it, that first use might be the beginning of an obsessive cycle that swiftly progresses to addiction.
We Can Help You Overcome Your Heroin Addiction
You can detox your entire body in less than a week and become Heroin-free. This does not mean that you can get rid of your addiction to heroin. Becoming addicted to it can cause a complex network in the brain that is difficult to reverse.
Heroin is, without a doubt, a dangerous and unpredictable substance. However, Haven House Recovery exists to help you quickly and properly overcome your heroin addiction. If you think you might need assistance with your addiction, our friendly and caring staff is there for you every step of the way.
We urge you to contact our drug rehab in Nashville, TN, immediately if you or someone you know may be addicted to heroin and needs assistance. We’ll be there for you and help you with the proper treatment for any addiction.