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Heroin is a highly addictive drug that is derived from morphine. Heroin comes in the form of a powder that is usually white or brown in color. In the past it was more common for heroin users to inject the drug intravenously however recently more and more users smoke and snort heroin because of the high risk of disease transmission and also because they believe they will not become addicted. No matter how heroin is used, it is addictive. There are serious health risks associated with the use of heroin but because of its euphoric, irresistible high, many people are unable to "kick" the habit even after they have experienced the consequences. Heroin effects include cloudiness as well as possible depression and long-term use can lead to heart problems abscesses, and liver disease. People who use heroin habitually usually lose
relationships, friends and any activities that were once important to them because heroin takes over their lives. Dreams and goals that were once at the
forefront of people's minds are clouded over by the necessity of getting high.

Dependence on heroin occurs very quickly, even after only using the drug a few times. People who use heroin develop a tolerance to the drug, meaning they
need more and more of it to achieve the same feeling. Once a person has become addicted to heroin, the chances of stopping without outside help are slim. Among heroin addicts overdose, institutionalization and death are all common. People who are addicted to heroin are often afraid to quit because the withdrawal symptoms are too severe. These symptoms include craving, restlessness, insomnia, vomiting and pain. Heroin symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, in some cases longer, and are usually very painful. Heroin withdrawal is not usually fatal however people undergoing withdrawal symptoms often believe them to be because they are so painful. Many of these users opt to continue the detrimental cycle of heroin addiction because they do not want to experience the pain.

There are many different programs and treatments for heroin addiction including medications as well as behavioral and therapeutic models. Heroin addiction is treatable and usually begins with a medical detoxification program. In a treatment center there is constant supervision so if something goes wrong a medical professional can take care of it. Treatment provides an outlet that heroin addicts on the street do not have. Treatment for heroin addiction is quite
common and very effective.

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