A business man sits with his head in his hand, wondering why heroin is so addictive.

How Addictive is Heroin?

Have you ever experienced the pull of the ocean tide? Its strength and persistence is deceiving,
causing the most skilled swimmers to underestimate its overpowering grip that can result in a
suffocating pull, and sometimes even death.

For those who have felt its power, they are left with the haunting memory of how helpless they felt when caught in its tow, trying with all their might to break free from its grip, but eventually losing strength and simply giving up – allowing the tide to run its course.

Heroin addiction is remarkably similar to the ocean tide, gripping its victims with relentless fervor and forcing them upon a course that they never believed they’d experience.

But, how long does it take to get addicted to heroin? The onset of heroin addiction can occur through a number of means, but the result is always the same: feeling lost, alone and overwhelmed.

Why is Heroin So Addictive?

Heroin is a debilitating drug, impacting various organs within the human body and rewiring the manner in which the brain responds to both pleasure and pain. In particular, heroin binds to specific receptors within the brain, causing a flood of dopamine to be released when the drug is introduced into the human body.

This “feel good” chemical is typically responsible for regulating pain and feelings of general wellbeing. However, when heroin is ingested, it creates an artificial release of dopamine, causing an addict to not only experience this false flood of feel good chemicals, but to also quickly become addicted to that deceptive experience.

Here are some facts regarding the physical toll heroin addiction has on the human body and how the disease has impacted society:

  • Heroin is chemically related and interacts with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain and nervous system to produce pleasurable effects and relieve pain.
  • Heroin can depress breathing by changing neurochemical activity in the brain stem, where automatic body functions, such as breathing and heart rate, are controlled.
  • It is estimated that 23% of people who use heroin become addicted.
  • The number of people reporting current heroin use tripled between 2007 and 2014.
  • Heroin overdose deaths quadrupled between 2002 and 2013.

How Long Does It Take to Become Addicted to Heroin?

There is no exact science to detect the time frame of heroin addiction onset. The fact is that some people can become addicted in a very short time frame and others may be able to avoid serious addiction issues for some time. While full-blown addiction can vary in the amount of time it takes to develop, the effects of heroin use can be seen after the first use and become exacerbated as time wears on.

Short-Term Effects of Heroin
o Dry mouth
o Itching
o Nausea
o Vomiting
o Analgesia
o Slowed breathing
o Irregular heart rate

Long-Term Effects of Heroin
o Collapsed veins
o Infections of the lignin and valves of the heart
o Constipation
o Stomach cramps
o Liver and kidney disease
o Pneumonia
o Death

All of the effects of heroin use have potential long-lasting impacts on an addict’s physical health and mental wellbeing. While some may not experience all of the symptoms associated with addiction, the damage being done within an addict’s body is well documented among all medical professionals.

How to Quit Your Heroin Addiction

Taking back control of your life and conquering your heroin addiction begins when you admit that a problem actually exists. Finding the courage to face your addiction and ask for the appropriate social and medical assistance to safely detox from the drug can require various interventions.

In particular, finding out if medical supervision and clinical detoxification is necessary for you to safely begin rehabilitation. Stopping your heroin addiction is best achieved with a comprehensive diagnostic assessment from a clinically qualified professional.

Additionally, researching treatment facilities to identify which one best suits your needs, and will aid in your recovery journey, is also an essential first step in the process of quitting your heroin addiction.

These initial steps can set the tone for your entire recovery process, so making sure that the addiction treatment center you select is clinically sound and socially verified is critical.

Holistic Heroin Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

Overcoming a heroin addiction is no simple task, but with the right treatment facility and clinical staff, all things are possible.

Regardless of where your heroin addiction has landed you, you can stop your addiction and get your entire life back on track.

Don’t let heroin claim your life or hurt those you love the most any longer. There is life-changing
support and a sober future ahead of you.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, your precise recovery needs are our main priority; your successful recovery and sober re-entry into society is our utmost mission.

At our non-12 step rehab and holistic recovery center, our heroin abuse treatment program delivers all-encompassing methodologies of medical and physical treatment, psychology, holistic and experiential therapies, and preparation to forge the drug free future you desire.

Learn more about our heroin addiction treatment program.

Have questions? We’re here to help. Contact us today.

CALL NOW: (877) 293-8607


National Institute on Drug Abuse. Opioids. Accessed November 5, 2018. https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Today’s Heroin Epidemic. Accessed November 5, 2018. https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/heroin/index.html.