Heroin is an opioid drug and one of the most dangerous illegal drugs on the street. The semi-synthetic opiate is a central nervous system depressant and can cause addiction, sometimes within the first couple of uses. It can be taken orally, injected, snorted or smoked. The drug travels quickly to the brain with these routes of administration. Users who inject the drug also put themselves at risk of collapsed veins, contracting HIV or hepatitis and of developing skin abscesses. Heroin was actually legal in the U.S. for a time, marketed as a non-habit-forming cough suppressant and replacement for morphine. Recognizing that heroin was powerfully addicting, Congress in 1924 banned the manufacturing, sale or import of heroin. Heroin is derived from morphine which is taken from the opium poppy and is usually seen as a white or brown powder or a black sticky substance known on the street as “Black Tar” heroin.

Heroin’s Addiction Effects on the Body

Heroin is converted to morphine in the brain and attaches to opioid receptors, involved in the body’s pleasure and reward system and perception of pain. The extreme euphoria or “rush” experienced by users – especially those who inject it – is what usually causes people to continue and escalate their use of heroin. Use often causes dry mouth, warming sensation of the skin and heaviness of arms and legs. Heroin users are also known to nod off, alternating between being awake and asleep. A tolerance can develop with regular use, causing users to chase the same intensity they first experienced by increasing their dosages. The risk of a heroin overdose is high and can cause death.

Heroin Withdrawal Syndrome

A physical addiction to heroin happens when the body adapts to its presence and withdrawal symptoms set in if dosing is reduced or stopped altogether. The symptoms can kick in within hours of taking the last dose. Withdrawing from heroin can be mentally and physically challenging and absolutely requires medical intervention to ensure safety. Withdrawal symptoms can include a strong drug craving, irritability, restlessness, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, muscle and bone pain, cold flashes, goose bumps and trembling. Most major symptoms peak between 48 and 72 hours after the last dose is taken and subside after about a week. Abrupt withdrawal after chronic, heavy use can be fatal, especially in those who are in poor health.

Waismann Method: Opiate-Free Solution to Heroin Addiction

Heroin addiction can be devastating and destructive. In recent years, the purity of heroin has increased while the price has decreased. This makes it more attractive to users who are looking for a “fix.” Methadone maintenance is one treatment for heroin addiction but can cause addiction itself and the need for a second detox. Other opiate-derived medications are also available to help reduce cravings and other withdrawal symptoms. The Waismann Method of accelerated drug detoxification uses a completely opiate-free process to rid patients of their heroin addiction. The medically-supervised treatment is performed in a hospital and patients are heroin-free within days. The safe and humane treatment for addiction has been used successfully in the U.S. for over a decade.

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