In recent years, a heroin addiction epidemic has been raging in the United States. In April 2016, 60 Minutes reported that in Ohio alone, 23 Americans die each month from heroin overdoses. The epidemic does not discriminate, affecting men and women, most age groups, and both the rich and poor. Consequently, the need for heroin addiction treatment is greater than ever.
About Heroin Abuse
Heroin is an opioid derived from morphine, a naturally occurring substance found in the opium poppy plant. Opioids work by binding to opioid receptors which are located throughout the body. This has the effect of both blocking pain and stimulating the brain’s reward center which can create a sense of euphoria.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies heroin as a Schedule I substance meaning it has a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
Heroin is generally sold as a whitish or brown powder or as a sticky substance known as black tar heroin. It can be injected, smoked, or snorted. It is frequently used in combination with other drugs or alcohol. Some opt to take it along with cocaine in a particularly dangerous concoction known as a “speedball.” Speedballs gained national attention when the comedian John Belushi died from a fatal overdose in 1982. They again made headlines when the actor River Phoenix was killed by a speedball overdose in 1993.