Heroin is an illegal drug that is part of the class of drugs known as opioids. It is highly addictive.
It is made from morphine, a potent substance found in opium poppy plants that grow worldwide.
The most common—and dangerous—way to abuse heroin is by injecting it intravenously.
Heroin is also known by a variety of street names, including junk, smack, dope, brown sugar, white horse, and China white.
Two people can take the same amount of heroin, and one may overdose while the other may survive.
This is because various factors influence the risk of overdose, including:
Taking heroin in combination with other drugs such as alcohol and benzodiazepines is especially dangerous. The combination can cause loss of consciousness and act on the brain stem to prevent breathing.
Below are some of the symptoms of a heroin overdose:
The number of heroin overdoses has been rising steadily in the United States over the last decade.
During 2010-2015, heroin overdose deaths increased by four times from 3,036 to 12,989.1
In 2015, over 13,000 people died of heroin overdoses in the United States.2
In 2018, nearly a third of all opioid deaths involved heroin. Around 15,000 Americans died from a heroin overdose—almost five deaths for every 100,000 Americans.3
Although the number of heroin overdoses in 2018 decreased by 4% compared to 2017, it is still four times higher than in 1991.4
In some cases, such a large dose of heroin requires medical assistance to survive. In such instances in which breathing is very slow or deep, doctors of first responders may administer Narcan (naloxone). Narcan is an opiate antagonist that binds to opioid receptors, preventing heroin from activating them, and can even look like it reverses the overdose.5
Some of the best options for heroin addiction treatment include:
Inpatient Treatment is geared toward addressing more severe cases of addiction. During this type of treatment, patients live on-site at a drug rehab center while attending different activities, such as one-on-one therapy sessions and group meetings.
Outpatient Treatment is a recommended treatment for anyone dealing with a less severe case of substance use disorder. It involves living off-site but attending activities on-site 1 to 2 times per week.
As the name suggests, Intensive Outpatient Treatment is a more intensive treatment than outpatient care. It involves patients living off-site but participating in a more activities-packed program at a rehab center.
Addiction comes with a set of emotional and mental issues. Individual counseling is geared towards helping you discuss those emotional and mental issues to obtain long-term sobriety.
If you or a loved one needs help, please call us at
(888) 744-9969 and our team at Blueprints For Recovery in Arizona will help.