Heroin is a street drug that is produced from morphine, which is extracted from Asian poppy seed pods. Whether you buy it as a white powder, a brown powder or a sticky tar-like substance, the high associated with heroin is what drives heroin use, abuse and ultimately, addiction.
How People Get Heroin Highs
It is possible to get high off of heroin by a few different methods. It can be smoked, snorted (inhaled through the nose) or injected with a needle either intravenously (into a vein) or intramuscularly (into a muscle). All of these produce a high in less than 15 minutes, with different avenues of ingestion more quickly delivering the drug to the bloodstream than others. All of these methods bring with them their own set of health risks, including heroin addiction.
How Getting High on Heroin Affects the Brain
Whether you smoke, snort or inject heroin, your body responds to the drug in the same basic way. First, the drug binds to the receptors in the brain called opioid receptors. These receptors communicate the experience of pain and reward and when heroin binds to them, they block all pain and trigger your pleasure pathway system. Chemicals are released that make you feel euphoric as a result, which describes the heroin high that so many seek through heroin use.
Heroin Doesn’t Just Get You High
There are other effects of snorting, smoking or shooting heroin above and beyond the heroin high. For example, the respiratory system is suppressed when you use heroin. Many people have issues breathing or breathing deeply as a result.
After the initial euphoric effect, users experience a “nodding” effect in which they slip in and out of a sleepy state. It’s difficult to remain focused and aware during this period and users often appear to be asleep when they aren’t.
Addiction to heroin is another result of using heroin and getting high. The more often you use the drug, the more likely you will be to develop a heroin physical addiction. Many report a psychological addiction after the first use, especially when a needle is used in injecting heroin.
The Heroin High: Is It Worth It?
A large percentage of those who try heroin feel that they are addicted to the drug after experiencing the pleasurable sensation of their first use, even though they considered their first time nothing more than experimentation. With regular use, few escape heroin addiction, but no one has to remain shackled to the drug. Heroin addiction treatment and heroin detox are available in many forms and mean that a new life without using heroin is available to anyone.