Overcome Heroin Addiction

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Heroin (diacetylmorphine (INN)), also known as diamorphine (BAN, or, especially in older literature, as morphine diacetate), is a semi-synthetic opioid drug synthesized from morphine, a derivative of the opium poppy. It is the 3,6-diacetyl ester of morphine (di-acetyl-morphine) and a morphine prodrug. The white crystalline form is commonly the hydrochloride salt diacetylmorphine hydrochloride, though, when supplied illegally, it is often adulterated, thus dulling the sheen and consistency from that to a matte white powder, which diacetylmorphine freebase typically is. 90% of illicit diamorphine (heroin) is thought to be produced in Afghanistan. Source: wikipedia,ehow.com

Spot Signs of Heroin Use

Heroin is synthesized directly from the morphine in opium poppy seeds. It mimics the action of naturally occurring endorphins on the brain by producing euphoria and is the most addictive of all the opiates. Injection is the most effective way of using low-quality heroin but snorting and smoking are becoming more popular due to the risks of sharing needles. The following steps will show:

Look for changes in behavior. Children who have started using heroin may suddenly replace old friends with new ones and there may be a dramatic drop in grades or job performance.

Watch for physical changes because of heroin use. Heroin users may develop runny noses and eyes, constricted pupils and spend an unusually large amount of time sleeping or exhibit apathy or lethargy. A regular user may have an unkempt appearance and begin to neglect their hygiene.

Find unusual items around the house such as capsules, small plastic bags, syringes, packaging material for antihistamines or unusual residue in the coffee-bean grinder. Cash or other valuables may be missing and a sudden pattern of stealing or borrowing money appears. On the other hand, you also may find unexplained valuables.

Notice other clues to indicate heroin use. A heroin user may wear winter clothes during the summer to hide needle marks.

Treat Heroin Addiction

As Heroin is one of the most addictive substances on the planet, and overcoming addiction is very difficult due to the severity of withdrawal symptoms. While methadone substitution has historically been the most common method of helping a heroin addict, alternative ways to treat heroin addiction are of increasing interest to addiction treatment professionals.

Act early, if possible. A heroin addict's chances of recovery are greatly increased if the problem is addressed quickly, rather than after years of drug abuse.

Understand that methadone substitution has a strong track record for helping heroin addicts recover. Methadone is a synthetic opioid that controls heroin cravings by blocking heroin's effects on the body, eliminating withdrawal symptoms. However, the waiting list at a methadone clinic may be lengthy, forcing the addict to consider other possibilities.

New alternative drug therapies are gaining momentum among addiction treatment professionals. In particular, the use of dihydrocodeine and buprenorphine are becoming increasingly widespread. Buprenorphine is similar to methadone, but with less effective opioid action and much lower risk of creating a physical dependence of its own. Dihydrocodeine, a relative newcomer, is attractive because it comes at a fraction of the cost of methadone and is considered safer, less toxic and equally effective.

Sign the heroin addict up for behavioral therapy. Professionals universally recognize the effectiveness of therapy as a treatment method. Cognitive-behavioral interventions, in which the therapist attempts to help the user understand what led them to addictive behavior in the first place, has been successful. However, many experts agree that behavioral therapy is most effective when combined with other treatments, particularly methadone or an equivalent.

Be prepared for a difficult battle. While the most acute heroin withdrawal symptoms typically abate within a week of discontinued use of the drug, a general irritability and craving for heroin can linger for months or years afterwards. Psychological and physical cravings for the drug are the leading cause of relapse in users who have been treated for addiction. Continued medical care and therapy is necessary to overcome heroin addiction.

Stay positive. With proper care and a strong will, heroin addiction can be beaten.


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