Heroin is quietly wreaking havoc on your body, and it shows in both the short-…
Why Can’t Heroin Be Used Responsibly
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There has been considerable debate regarding the “responsible use” of heroin. However, there are compelling reasons why heroin cannot be used in a responsible manner. First and foremost, heroin is one of the most addictive drugs on the planet. Users who take heroin “just to experiment” often find themselves becoming addicted the first time they use the drug.
Whether it is injected, smoked or snorted, heroin releases extremely large quantities of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is the brain’s “feel-good” chemical that promotes feelings of euphoria and calm. Heroin overloads dopamine receptors and the reward centers in the brain. In a short period of time, heroin users transition from using heroin for the high to using the drug in order to feel normal and function.
For those who become addicted to heroin, attempts to cut back to “responsible use” or to quit entirely can be dangerous and even life-threatening. Even with a decrease in dosage, those who use heroin experience physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms that can be extremely uncomfortable and painful to endure. The withdrawal symptoms associated with heroin can include the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Profound Anxiety
- Muscle aches
While these symptoms are not necessarily dangerous in of themselves, they can become dangerous or even life-threatening if an individual has underlying health issues or is abusing other drugs in addition to heroin. If this occurs, it is vital that users seek professional help in order to address their addiction issues.
Despite the severity of heroin addiction, there are people who may think they can curtail their heroin use to “responsible” levels. It may be surprising to some there are studies that suggest not all heroin users succumb to the drug. These studies suggest those key factors that determine whether a person becomes addicted to heroin or other drugs are the set (the individual’s mindset—their rituals surrounding use and “norms”) and the setting (the physical and social setting where substances are used).
From these studies, it is posited that if a heroin user can change the set and setting away from the destructive rituals, settings, and people that contribute to heroin addiction, people are more likely to be able to use heroin in a way that it won’t disrupt their daily lives. You may have heard of some people who were able to curtail their heroin use. While this may be true, it does not mean by any means you or a loved one who abuses heroin will have the same result. While the philosophy of harm reduction has been gaining popularity, you or your loved one must understand that heroin is a dangerous drug and requires professional intervention in order to break the vicious cycle of addiction.