Heroin, as a potent narcotic, poses severe health threats. Heroin dependence is among the most difficult kinds of addiction to treat because both a powerful physical and psychological reliance on the drug develops through continued use. The withdrawal symptoms associated with heroin can occur mere hours after the last use of the drug, and in order to avoid the extreme pain and physical discomfort, addicts become caught in a cycle of using over and over to “beat” their withdrawal. Among other things, withdrawal from heroin can subject addicts to muscle pain, bone pain, abdominal cramps, vomiting, sweating, and extreme agitation.
The signs of heroin addiction can be very pronounced, particularly because there may be physical markers, such as track marks and wounds at the sight of injection. Aside from needle marks, additional signs of a heroin addiction might also be fatigue, lack of awareness (of self-image, hygiene, consequences of one’s actions, etc.), disorientation, vomiting, labored breathing, depression/suicidal thoughts, and slurred speech. Because heroin addiction is extremely physically and mentally destructive, seeking proper treatment is key in order to set an addict on the road to recovery. Heroin detox is the first step of most rehabilitation programs; through detox, the addict will work to overcome the physical dependence on heroin. This must happen first before they can successfully approach the deeper, psychological ties that they feel towards their addiction. These issues can be addressed through therapy and counseling; a combination of all these aspects of rehabilitation can help those suffering to overcome their heroin addiction.