Why Heroin Is So Addictive

Heroin is well known for being among one of the most addictive drugs . The only way to ensure that you will never develop an addiction to this drug is to never try heroin at all. Once a heroin addiction develops, it is difficult to overcome without medical help. Drug treatment centers in West Palm Beach urge users to get help for heroin addiction. Going through opiate detox and the accompanying withdrawal symptoms is made easier with the use of certain prescription medications such as Suboxone to ease the effects of withdrawal. During treatment, our drug treatment center can refer the recovering addict to other essential community services such as counseling and support groups.

Addiction to Heroin How Heroin Is Administered

The method of administration plays a role in its addictive nature. While administering heroin in any manner can lead to addiction, some methods result in a faster entry of the drug into the bloodstream and subsequently into the brain. Heroin users may smoke or snort the drug and they may even use it as a suppository. Injecting heroin is the fastest way to introduce the drug to the bloodstream and it results in a rapid, intense sense of euphoria. Injecting the drug is also the quickest path to heroin addiction.

How Heroin Releases Dopamine

Heroin, which is a semi-synthetic opioid drug, triggers the brain to release a flood of dopamine when the drug binds to the opioid receptors in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter. The rush of dopamine is responsible for the intense feeling of euphoria that heroin users experience. These opioid receptors are located in the regions of the brain that are associated with pain perception and the feeling of reward. As a result, users remember the experience of taking heroin to be extremely pleasurable, which contributes to drug cravings.

How the Brain Changes

The nucleus accumbens is a grouping of nerve cells in the central part of the brain. This region is particularly susceptible to being flooded with dopamine when the brain receives heroin. When the nucleus accumbens is repeatedly flooded with dopamine, the nerve cells essentially become worn out and exhausted due to over-stimulation. In response, the brain inhibits the release of dopamine, which means the heroin user has trouble experiencing pleasure from any sort of behavior, including heroin use. Over time, the opioid receptors in the brain also begin to die off. These changes in the brain cause intense cravings for the drug as heroin addicts desperately try to feel euphoric again.