What You Should Know About Smoking Heroin

Raleigh, NC drug rehabDid you know that emergency room visits related to the use of heroin have increased 65% over the last five years? With more and more communities across the United States battling increasing heroin use and skyrocketing overdose rates, understanding what the drug is and why it is so addictive can help you identify signs of heroin use and addiction in someone you love. While breaking the addiction to heroin is tough, it is possible to quit using heroin and work towards living a sober and purpose-filled life. If you need Raleigh, NC drug rehab for a heroin problem, call Legacy Raleigh today.

There are multiple ways that the drug can be used. Among the most popular methods of heroin use are snorting the crushed up powder, smoking by applying heat to the crystals and inhaling the vapor that is released, or injecting the drug directly into the bloodstream. Most users prefer to smoke heroin rather than inject it. Studies have shown that heroin users perceive injecting themselves as more painful than smoking the drug. Additionally, those users who inject themselves with heroin are at a higher risk for added complications of their drug use like hepatitis, HIV, or AIDS.

Though smoking and snorting heroin do not produce the same powerful rush experienced by intravenous heroin users, there is no safe way to take heroin. Users who smoke heroin may use a glass pipe or inhale the vapors off a piece of tin foil. One of the most popular trends among heroin users is to get marijuana that has been laced with heroin crystals. When combined, these drugs have complementary effects that many users enjoy. The heroin increases the depressant effects of the pot. Dealers use the drug as a way to get customers hooked.

First-time heroin users are more likely to begin using by snorting or smoking the drug rather than injecting it. One of the most common myths on the street is that smoking heroin won't lead to addiction. While smoking heroin makes it more difficult to detect in the bloodstream, the reality is that users who smoke the drug are just as likely to become addicted as someone who snorts or injects the drug. Kick your heroin addiction with Legacy Freedom. Our holistic approach to Raleigh, NC drug rehab is nothing like you've ever seen.

How Do I Know If Someone Is Smoking Heroin?

While your loved one may think they are hiding the signs of their heroin usage well, there are some indicators that can help you know whether you need to be concerned.

Chronic Cough and Hoarseness
A hoarse, raspy voice or chronic, violent coughing fits can be indicators that someone has smoked heroin. A hacking cough can often lead to asthma and other lung diseases that are so severe the user may require nebulizer treatments to help them breathe. Powdered heroin is frequently rolled into cigarettes and smoked. The tar and nicotine from the cigarettes can aggravate the lung tissues further and make coughing and other breathing symptoms worse. It is not uncommon for heroin users to cough up blood, have difficulty speaking in their normal voice, or increase their use of throat sprays and cough medications.

Nodding
The immediate rush of heroin leaves the user feeling energetic and euphoric. That rush quickly fades into a patter of extreme lethargy. Nodding refers to the user's alternating pattern of alertness and sleepiness where their head will fall, and then they catch it with a jerk. The user's legs and arms feel heavy, and their eyes may roll back in their head. Due to the drug's impact on the central nervous system, shallow breathing is common after someone has used. Nodding will last for several hours and may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. When combined with the inability to stay alert or awake, nausea and vomiting can cause the user to aspirate on their vomit and stop breathing.

Paraphernalia
Sheets of tin foil with burn marks on the bottom and black lines on top, and empty ballpoint pen stems or straws can all be signs of heroin use. When heroin is smoked, the user holds the straw or pen stem in their mouth and then uses a lighter to heat the heroin on the foil. As the heroin liquifies, smoke is emitted, and the user inhales the smoke through the straw or the pen stem.

Initially users of the drug like the euphoria and pleasurable effects of the drug. However, over time the less desirable side effects of the drug begin to show themselves. Side effects include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Low body temperature
  • Dry mouth
  • Confusion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Slow respiratory rates
  • Itchy skin
  • Bluish tint on lips, hands, and feet
  • Dilated pupils
  • Vital organ shutdown

Best Raleigh, NC Drug Rehab

Getting help for someone who is addicted to heroin is crucial. The drug is so powerful that very few people are able to break their addiction without professional help. At Legacy Freedom, our staff is dedicated to helping you overcome your heroin addiction or helping your loved one learn to live a sober life. Admitting addiction and asking for help are the hardest things to do. Our compassionate and skilled treatment team are committed to helping you overcome your addiction and rediscover your passions and purpose in life.

Each client is assigned a Life-Purpose Coach to help guide them through the holistic addiction treatment process. When you use drugs or alcohol to excess, your addiction overshadows the things that are important to you. Your health suffers, your relationships suffer and the hobbies, interests and drive you once had take a back seat to scoring your next high. Together with your therapist, you'll learn why you use and get to the root of your addiction. By learning what triggers you to use, our team can help you find positive and healthy ways to cope with the negative thoughts, feelings, and urges that make you want to get high or drink.

By combining traditional talk therapy with alternative treatment methods, we have helped thousands of clients learn to live a sober life. We don't utilize a 12 step program. Instead, we focus on changing your behaviors through alternative therapies like tai chi, equine-assisted therapy, EMDR, inner child work and more. When combined with talk, nutritional and physical therapies, our clients are able to heal from their addiction. We treat the whole person not just the chemical dependency.

Call or click today to get started with quality, compassionate care from Legacy Freedom.

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