How Long Before You Are Addicted to Heroin?
Heroin is a commonly available illegal opiate in the United States. Despite the efforts of drug control agencies, the drug continues to flourish in the country no thanks to an organized network of traffickers and distributors.
People who turn to drugs such as heroin do so for many different reasons. Most teenagers admit their first was due to the pressure to fit in with friends or certain groups. Young adults take the drug because they enjoy the high or because they need excitement in their lives or an escape from dull lives. For older adults, the reasons are not much different. Common reasons are physical pain management, coping with loss or other forms of emotional pain, and as an escape from the problems of adulthood.
Heroin Addiction Timeline
All methods of heroin use — whether injection, smoking, or snorting — create a serious risk of addiction. People who use heroin over time develop a tolerance for the drug. Over time, heroin lessens a user’s ability to feel pleasure, so he or she must take the drug simply to feel normal. Addicted individuals who stop using heroin will also experience the intense and painful symptoms of withdrawal such as cravings, restlessness, muscle and bone pain, nausea, and vomiting.
- Tolerance: When a person regularly uses heroin, he or she finds that more and more heroin is needed to achieve the same intensity of effects. This increased need is known as tolerance. Developing a tolerance for heroin begins with the first use. Tolerance occurs as the body adapts to the presence of heroin.
- Dependence: When higher doses of heroin are used over time, a person becomes dependent on the drug. Physical dependence develops when the body gets used to the presence of heroin. At this stage, if the heroin user decides to quit, he or she will develop withdrawal symptoms.
- Addiction: To counteract the withdrawal symptoms, which can be very intense, the individual starts to take more heroin in increasing doses. This continues the vicious cycle of heroin addiction.
The timeline for heroin addiction from tolerance to full-blown addiction happens within 3 weeks with regular use. This time is not the same for everyone and some people become addicted in as quickly as five days. Of course, this depends on certain factors.
Finding Help for Heroin Abuse
Most people who become addicted to heroin tend to ignore the problem because it is hard to believe addiction can happen in three weeks – not to say five days. Thus, heroin abuse continues for months and even years until the addict seeks help.
You do not have to wait for months or years before you seek help for heroin addiction. Even if you are a long-term user, it is still possible to come back. Mid Hudson Addiction Recovery is committed to helping people find their way back from heroin addiction and live healthy drug-free lives. Our helpline is always available and we have the resources to rescue you. Our addiction experts will be glad to help you. Call us now.