Drug Rehab in Utah
  Utah Young Adult Treatment Programs
  by NewRoadsTreatment.com

5 Phases of Heroin Addiction

Addiction to Heroin and its CycleThe Lifecycle of Heroin Addiction


1.  Heroin Experimentation

Although the lovely graphic below is a little dated, most of the information still holds true here in 2013.  Millions of Americans have at least tried heroin just to experiment.   Most people have the impression that they can try everything at least once with no serious repercussion, unfortunately all too often a one time use of this powerful opiate can lead to heroin addiction.

2.  Initiation

There is quite a percentage of individuals who become addicted to the drug with only getting high on it once.  This percentage has only increased from about 20% ten years ago.  People will start out swallowing the opiate in pill form, then move to snorting or smoking it and eventually injecting it.  Obviously IV users are prone to more detrimental health activities such as sharing and using unsterilized needles.

3.   Commitment

Commitment is not the word you would think of when it comes to the abuse of any drug, especially heroin.  However within the addiction cycle, commitment just happens as a secondary instinct to survival.  Addicts will stop living, stop feeling, stop developing, and commit everything they have in them to getting their drug - simply surviving.  Take everything you work for to live a happy life - Shelter, food, water, human contact, love - and put all that energy into figuring out a way to spend more then $200 a day to support your addiction.  Then stop for one day and reality sets in and now you feel heroin WITHDRAWAL: vomiting, cold-sweats, insomnia, severe muscle aches, depression, anxiety, complete emotional dis-regulation, and fevers.  What now?

4.  Dysfunction

The term "functional alcoholic" is something that you hear quite often, "functional heroin addict" is not.  This is because most of the time it takes less then a year for someone to go from a healthy contributing member of society to a full blown heroin addict.  The drug becomes the priority above work, family, and self-health in no time at all.

5. Heroin Treatment

There is HOPE.  Heroin addiction, like many other addictions is a treatable disease.  With the proper level of therapeutic intervention and new learned skills on how to cope and deal with stresses in the real world, long term recovery is possible.  There are a variety of treatment levels such as outpatient and residential care that can assist heroin users in becoming sober.  Although difficult and a long road, recovery is possible if the individual is committed to getting clean.




Heroin Addiction Cycle

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