Heroin is a highly addictive and illegal opiate drug that can be snorted, smoked, ingested or injected into a vein or a muscle, according to WebMD. The powder form of heroin may range from white to brownish in color, or it may have a sticky black consistency. Similar to prescription opioid medications, heroin binds to the opioid receptors in the brain, reducing the perception of pain and producing a pleasurable high or “rush.” Available easily at low prices, the high from its use lasts roughly as long as the high from OxyContin and other prescription painkillers.
Heroin can be a deadly substance to abuse. Getting the right treatment for individuals who are addicted to heroin at the best treatment facility can help make a difference.
Spikes in opioid use disorders, along with the stricter enforcement and regulation of prescription opioid drugs, has led many people who once abused opioid prescription painkillers to turn to heroin to get high.
A number of other factors can also increase the risk of heroin addiction, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Being male.
- Being younger — ages 18 to 25 years old are most likely to develop heroin addiction.
- Living in a major metropolitan area.
- Being addicted to another drug, including alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and prescription opioid painkillers.
- Lacking private insurance or Medicaid.
- Nonmedical prescription opioid painkiller use.
People who are at the greatest risk of developing an addiction to heroin are those who have been addicted to prescription painkillers. As per the CDC’s statistics, individuals who are addicted to prescription opioid painkillers are approximately 40 times more likely to develop an addiction to heroin.