Heroin Drug Rehab Help-Line

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Ways Heroin is Used

The ways heroin is used, can include injection, snorting the drug, or smoking the powerful opiate. Typically, a heroin user may inject up to four to five times a day. Intravenous injection provides the greatest intensity and most rapid onset, while intramuscular injection has a relatively slow onset period. When heroin is sniffed or smoked, peak effects are usually felt within 15 minutes. Although smoking and sniffing heroin does not produce an euphoric "rush" as quickly or as intensely as intravenous injection, a large body of research has confirmed that all three forms of heroin administration are highly addictive.

Injecting heroin is a method of introducing the powerful opiate into the body through a needle and a syringe with is pierced through the skin, and can be done through the vein or through the muscle. Using heroin in this way is often referred to as shooting or banging: additionally, the reason that injection is favored by the majority of heroin users, is because the effects of the drug are felt immediately. Injecting heroin offers the user a shorter, but much more intense high, which can quickly lead to a dependency to the highly addictive drug.

Viruses such as HIV and hepatitis C are reported to be prevalent among heroin addicts who administer the drug by way of injection; this is mostly due to sharing injection equipment. Other health problems that are commonly related to injecting heroin may include phlebitis, skin abscesses, vein collapse, ulcers, and tetanus, just to name a select few. Hitting arteries and nerves when injecting heroin is not only dangerous and painful, but it can present its own similar spectrum of problems.

Heroin can also be also be ingested by snorting it through the nose, although this method of administration is sometimes less popular because it is has been reported to be much more painful. The act of snorting heroin into a person's sinuses and nasal passages is reported to be significantly more uncomfortable than injecting the drug. Snorting heroin results in an onset of desired effects within 10-15 minutes, which is a substantially longer period of time as compared to injecting or smoking the drug. When a person snorts heroin, they may have severe stomach cramps, nausea and a chronically runny nose; additionally, snorting heroin has the potential to create a variety of other adverse effects.

Heroin can also be smoked, which refers to the ingestion of the drug by way of inhaling the vapors that result upon heating heroin; this method of use is most commonly referred to as "chasing the dragon." Some of the latest government research has indicated that smoking heroin offers it own potential hazards. The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services has alerted health agencies and drug rehab programs to the link between heroin smoking and an incurable neurological condition that can rob a person of muscle coordination and speech; additionally, when this condition is left untreated, it could lead to paralysis and death.