There are few drugs in the world as potentially deadly as heroin. Just the sheer number of ways that this drug can kill you alone should be enough to scare most people from ever experimenting with heroin. Yet every year, thousands of people die heroin-related deaths, and countless more use the drug for the first time.
This article examines the different ways that heroin addiction and overdose can cause death.
Different ways Addiction to Heroin can Kill You
Heroin abuse and addiction presents a number of serious risks for the user, especially those who inject heroin into their arm using a needle.
- Overdose. Heroin overdose is a fairly common site in hospital emergency rooms around the country. When an individual inadvertently takes a dose of heroin that is more than their body can handle, vital organs will stop functioning – including the heart.
- A bad dose of heroin. Sometimes, heroin is cut with foreign substances such as household cleaners in order to increase its potency. This dangerous practice can lead to heroin deaths, as the individual is literally poisoned by their own drug.
- HIV/AIDS. IV users of heroin who share needles with one another are running the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. Blood and bodily fluids exchanged when injecting heroin are a common source of virus transmission.
- Hepatitis. The media attention usually focuses on HIV/AIDS, but Hepatitis B and C strands may actually prove to be more deadly when all is said and done. This debilitating disease is spreading fast in urban areas where heroin use and prostitution are commonplace.
This list does not include the long-term heroin effects – include heart disease, liver disease, kidney problems and other issues that can begin to really take hold as an individual gets older.
Heroin Rehab and Avoiding Addiction
Addiction to heroin does not have to be a death sentence. If an individual is ready to admit that they need help, they can break the cycle of heroin addiction before it is too late. If you, or someone you love is exhibiting the signs and symptoms of heroin addiction, contact a professional drug rehab center in your area. These centers can be found all over the United States, from big cities to small communities.
Heroin rehab treats both the psychological and physical effects of heroin. This is accomplished through a three-tiered approach that includes heroin detox (to address physical addiction), heroin counseling (the psychological addiction to heroin) and aftercare (preparing the individual for life after heroin rehab).