Can Smoking Heroin Get You Addicted?
Heroin is an illegal and highly addictive chemical substance, one that can be ingested in some different ways. While heroin users are notorious for using the drug intravenously (through injection), heroin can also be snorted or smoked. Over the past several years, heroin use has become a major public health crisis throughout the country. States along the east coast – including New Jersey – have been extremely hard hit. The National Institute on Drug Abuse recently reported that roughly 948,000 Americans admitted to using heroin at least once during the year 2016 alone.
The number of heroin addiction cases has been on a steady incline since 2007. The number of first-time users has also been on the rise, with a reported 170,000 Americans beginning heroin use in 2016. It is a common misconception among first-time users that snorting or smoking heroin is less dangerous than injecting heroin. While this specific chemical substance (and most other chemical substances) is slightly more addictive when it is being injected directly into the bloodstream, there is no “safe method” of heroin use.
Many New Jersey drug rehabs opened in response to the statewide heroin epidemic that New Jersey has been – and is currently – facing. If you live in New Jersey or anywhere else on the east coast and you have been struggling with a heroin abuse disorder of any severity, we are available to help.
How Addictive is Smoking Heroin?
It is essential to acknowledge that the idea that smoking heroin is not addictive is a complete myth – heroin is always extremely habit-forming, regardless of how it is ingested. There is a euphoric rush that occurs whenever an individual consumes heroin despite how the chemical substance is used. When heroin is injected the rush takes hold rather quickly – when it is smoked, it takes place within the first 5 or 10 minutes. After this initial euphoria begins to wear off, the overall high typically lasts for several hours. During this high, the user will feel relaxed and calm (if too much is taken, of course, more unpleasant side effects will occur). The user will appear uncoordinated and might drift in and out of consciousness.
They might appear to be excessively drowsy and unable to stay awake or stand upright. These very same effects occur regardless of how heroin is used. Individuals who smoke heroin are just as likely to develop a substance abuse disorder as those that inhale it or inject it.
How is Heroin Smoked?
In some cases, the individual will combine powdered heroin with a smokable substance, like marijuana or tobacco. It is also a common misconception that the more unpleasant symptoms associated with heroin abuse can be avoided entirely when the substance is smoked. Again, this is far from the truth. Individuals who smoke heroin are likely to experience a wide range of uncomfortable physical and psychological symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, extreme confusion and a lack of coordination, an inability to make rational decisions, shallow breathing, and a dangerously slow heartbeat.