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What is Heroin?

Heroin is an opiate drug derived from morphine, which takes the seeds from the opium poppy plant.

Heroin is a dangerous and frightening drug.

Drug overdose deaths involving heroin rose from 1,960 in 1999 to 15,469 in 2016 but has held steady at roughly 15,000 deaths a year.

Understanding Heroin Addiction

At one time, heroin was used in medical applications. However, it is rarely used in modern medicine due to its dangerously addictive nature.

However, heroin is now a street drug, known for creating euphoric sensations.Once stereotyped as a drug for rock stars, everyday Americans use it more commonly as a substitute for prescribed opiate drugs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that heroin abuse has doubled for Americans aged 18-25 in the past decade. Since heroin binds to opiate receptors, increasing the brain’s chemicals responsible for feelings of pleasure, the drug stimulates the body’s “reward” response.

This incentivizes use and temporarily dulls sensations of physical and emotional pain. However, soon, the euphoric and pain-numbing effect of heroin dissipates, leading the user to experience a physical and emotional crash, followed by powerful cravings for more of the drug.

For many, this is the start of a physical and emotional cycle, accompanied by signs and symptoms of heroin addiction.

Effects and Abuse of Heroin

The experience of drug addiction is different for everyone, and the signs of withdrawal can vary.

Understanding these indicators can help those struggling with addiction and those supporting their recovery to understand their experience. Factors that influence the severity of addiction and withdrawal include:

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Metabolism
  • Body mass
  • Overall health
  • Water consumption
  • Usage
  • The potency of the drug
  • The manner of consumption (i.e., injecting, snorting, or smoking)

How to Tell if Someone is on Heroin

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Anger or agitation
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Excessive sweating
  • Muscle aches
  • Runny nose
  • Tremors
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness

Mental Illness and Heroin Addiction

Opiates, like heroin, are known sedatives that can relieve anxiety and physical pain while creating a strong sense of well-being.

And while grave physical and emotional dangers accompany these sensations, they can still provide a lure to those whose mental health needs have gone unaddressed during their lifetimes.Research indicates that nearly 48% of opiate users have experienced depression at some point in their lives.

Furthermore, a recent study revealed that 25% of users in a research group were currently experiencing major depression, while 26% of the individuals in heroin treatment had a lifetime history of depression.


Supervised medical detoxification is one of the safest and most effective ways to withdraw from this drug.

In a medical detoxification program, you will be supervised throughout the process. Your psychological state, vital signs, temperature, and other health indicators will be monitored to help keep you safe.

Payment Information

Do you want treatment but are worried about how you can pay for it?

We have a team of financial professionals who provide free insurance verification.

We will work with you to determine how to move forward with the treatment that works for you and your financial situation.

How to Get Help

At BriteLife Recovery, located in beautiful Hilton Head, S.C., you will be welcomed by our team of professionals dedicated to helping you recover and heal from your addiction.

BriteLife Recovery is a place of peace, a place of support, and a place of recovery.

You will receive supervised drug detoxification, medication therapy, residential, outpatient, and partial hospitalization programs, progressive therapies, peer support, and one-on-one counseling for your addiction in our care.

Call BriteLife Recovery today to schedule your consultation.

Let BriteLife Recovery light your way to recovery.

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