What is Heroin?
Heroin is a powerful semi-synthetic opiate derived from morphine. It delivers an intense “rush” and is more powerful than most opioid analgesics because it crosses the blood-brain barrier more rapidly. Also, it is a short-acting opioid, meaning, it takes effect rapidly, and it does leave the bloodstream quickly. Therefore, the continuous use of the drug leads to dependence and has a high potential for addiction. Heroin is known to cause “blissful apathy” along with its painkilling effects.
Heroin Detox causes painful withdrawal symptoms which can develop within 6-12 hours of the last dose. A heroin detox starts before the drug entirely leaves the system and in most cases, Symptoms can last between 5 and 7 days. In essence, a heroin withdrawal treatment under medical supervision is usually the most successful option.
Heroin was first synthesized from morphine in 1874. In fact, until 1910, it was marketed as a non-addictive cough suppressant and substitute for morphine. The Harrison Narcotics Tax Act, passed in 1914, was meant to control the sale of heroin and other opiates. Heroin was allowed for medical purposes until 1924 when Congress banned the sale, import, or manufacturing in the U.S.
Heroin is considered a Schedule I Controlled Substance in the U.S. This government classification says heroin has no legal medical use and has the highest potential among opiates for abuse and addiction. Synthesized from morphine, heroin can be smoked, injected, or snorted. The highly potent and addictive opiate has no accepted medical use but provides for a thriving and profitable black market business around the world.Heroin addiction is dangerous and can be deadly, and the risk of a heroin overdose is very high. Further, the impact of heroin addiction on individuals, families, relationships, the criminal justice system, and society is devastating.
What Does Heroin Withdrawal Feel Like?
Heroin withdrawal refers to the full range of physical and mental symptoms that occurs after stopping or dramatically reducing the drug use. After continuous use, people usually develop physical dependence and are susceptible to a painful withdrawal syndrome (due to chemistry changes that have occurred.)
The brain’s cells make subtle adjustments to help the user stay alive and conscious while taking heroin. These changes happened slowly, over a period of abuse, and similarly, the brain’s cells also need a particular time to reverse that damage. They can’t just change from requiring heroin to not needing heroin. The cells need adequate time to make the proper reversal adjustments, and during this regulation period, those cells might not function as they should.
Heroin withdrawal symptoms usually begin in around 5 hours after the last dose. It tends to peak between the second and third day and gradually subside between the fifth and seventh. The process can be exhausting and grueling, and even the most well-intentioned users can find themselves returning to their supply when the suffering of withdrawal becomes too much to bear.