Heroin Addiction


9.2 million people worldwide use heroin. Heroin found in street corner markets and prescription opioids coming from doctors alike are spiking an epidemic of overdoses. Dozens of lives are being lost by the minute to an overdose on heroin or morphine-based substances.

Heroin addiction can come on gradually or directly. Not everyone chooses heroin out of genuine interest. Much of the current opiate epidemic is due to prescription addiction leading to heroin. Unfortunately, some people do go straight to heroin, due to their curiosity or pressure from peers.

Three dances with heroin is all it takes to get swept into the cycle. After about three using episodes, the brain begins developing a tolerance. Tolerance occurs when the amount of heroin being used is no longer sufficient for reaching an equal or similar high. Encouraged to experience more heroin, the brain sends signals in the form of withdrawal symptoms and psychological craving. So the cycle will continue, until the dose and frequency of heroin reaches fatal levels.

Signs of heroin addiction

  • Preoccupation with finding and using the drug to get high
  • Sudden drop in weight
  • Going to great lengths to find heroin
  • Disregard for people, places, relationships, and finances in light of heroin
  • Change in wardrobe- long sleeves and long pants to hide track marks from intravenous use
  • Significant change in cognitive ability to operate normally, including speech and motor function
  • Symptoms of withdrawal when use is not consistent

Symptoms of heroin withdrawal

  • Irritability
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Physical agitation- muscle spasming, restlessness, aching limbs
  • Fevers and sweating
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Recovery from heroin takes time, patience, and care. Detox is a likely necessity for heroin use that has been prolonged and extensive. Medically assisted detox can help a person gradually come off of heroin while minimizing some of the more drastic effects of withdrawal. Drugs like suboxone and methadone are commonly prescribed substitute drug therapies. Ridding the body of heroin is only one part of the recovery process. Understanding where the addiction stemmed from is critical for gaining the awareness necessary to manage that state in the future. A variety of treatment modalities have been proven successful in treating heroin, combined with regular medical care, holistic wellbeing, and life skills.


Refuge Recovery empathizes with heroin addiction. We know what it is like to be lost, scared, alone, and suffering. Find your peace with us. Our facility offers detox, residential treatment, and outpatient services. For more information call 323-207-0276.

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