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How Opiate Use Can Lead to Heroin Addiction

Heroin is a type of opiate that’s derived from morphine, the active ingredient in opium. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), about 902,000 people in the U.S. over the age of 12 struggle with an addiction to heroin. Because this drug can be so addictive and destructive, understanding how it can lead to an addiction is a good defense against it.

If you or someone you know may be at risk for abusing opiates or developing an addiction to them, read on for more information about how opiate use can lead to heroin addiction. Here are some facts you should know about opiate use and its potential consequences.

How Does Opiate Use Lead to Heroin Addiction?

To answer this question, it’s important to understand what happens when someone uses opiates. When someone takes an opiate, the drug binds to certain receptors in the brain that are associated with the experience of pain relief. When someone takes an opiate, they’re essentially plugging into the opioid receptors in the brain. Some people may feel euphoric or relaxed. Others feel sleepy, or experience decreased anxiety or stress.

When someone uses an opiate and feels these effects, they’re also building a tolerance to the drug. This means that they’ll have to increase their dosage over time to achieve the same effects as before. This escalation of dosage can put someone at risk of developing an addiction to opiates. Because opiates can be expensive and hard to obtain, heroin becomes a less expensive and less difficult-to-obtain alternative.

Why Is Heroin So Addictive?

Opiate use can lead to tolerance. Over time, a person using opiates will have to take higher doses to achieve the same effects. If a person continues to increase their dosage, they may eventually find that they can’t feel anything at all unless they take more than they should. This is where the risk of addiction comes in.

Someone who has developed a tolerance to opiates has a much higher risk of forming an addiction to the drug. This is because the brain is already acclimated to the effects of the opiate, and a person will have to keep upping their dosage to re-experience those effects.

What Are the Risks of Using Opiates?

When someone uses opiates, they’re putting themselves at risk of overdose. All opiates have the potential to be fatal when too much is taken at once. If someone overdoses on opiates, they’ll likely experience slowed breathing, and their heart rate will slow down. This can be fatal in some cases. If someone overdoses on opiates, they’ll need to be treated in a hospital and monitored.

Finding Treatment

If you’ve been struggling with an addiction to opiates, it’s important to seek help. Don’t feel as though you’re alone in your struggles with opiate addiction. Millions of people have had to overcome addiction, and there are resources and people available to help.

If you’re worried that you or a loved one may be abusing opiates, it’s important to speak up and get help. Abusing opiates can lead to serious health issues, including organ damage, an increased risk of contracting diseases, and death. You don’t have to let opiate abuse take over your life. With help from The Guest House, you can find treatment to overcome your addiction and lead a healthier lifestyle. Call (855) 483-7800 to start your journey of recovery today.