Heroin is very addicting. Some studies claim that more than 20% of individuals who use it will develop an addiction to it. It is possible to develop a tolerance to it as well. When this occurs, users will need more and more of the drug in order to get high.
Because heroin is physically addicting individuals who stop taking it will experience withdrawals. These may include things such as pain in the bones, diarrhea, insomnia, muscle pain and cold flashes. Individuals will also have strong cravings for the drug. As a result, many people, while going through the withdrawal process, will start using again. For this reason, it is often necessary that withdrawal occurs in a licensed, well reputed rehabilitation or detox center. Another reason that detox or rehab may be necessary is that it can also be dangerous for a person to quit cold turkey.
Physical withdrawals usually last for about one week and a good rehab center can help make the process easier, decreasing the likelihood that an addict will begin using again. Certain medications may also be administered to help lower the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. The longer a person has been taking heroin and the more they have used it, the longer the withdrawal symptoms will last. It can take some individuals months before they are able to get the drug completely out of their system.
Depending on the rehab or detoxification facility, addicts may be given drugs to help lessen the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. This makes it much easier to avoid relapsing. Two common drugs given are methadone and Buprenorphine.
Heroin is a very dangerous drug. It is extremely addicting and its use, even short term, can be fatal. Anyone that has an addiction to heroin, or knows someone who does, needs to get help as soon as possible. There are numerous drug rehabilitation centers that will be able to offer their services. Detoxification may also be a necessary part of the rehab process. The focus of detox will be to get the drug out of the addict’s system so that they can focus on overcoming the mental part of the disease.