Everything You Didn’t Know About Heroin Addiction

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According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), heroin addiction is most abused by users aged 18-25, with approximately 948,000 Americans reporting using in a 2016 national survey. Heroin often gives individuals a brief escape from pain, depression, or anxiety by altering a person’s thoughts, feelings, and sensations. For example, many people report a euphoric high in which they feel intense pleasure; sensations of warmth, safety, calmness, less tension, less pain, and less loneliness are also reported through use of the drug.

Despite the so-called “benefits” of the drug, the dangers outweigh the positives. Users who share needles are at risk for contracting HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, and more. Abuse of heroin can very easily turn to addiction, which can lead to a slew of other problematic outcomes. Lastly, heroin overdose can be incredibly dangerous for the body, even causing death. Despite what you know about heroin so far, see if you were aware of these unknown facts:

  • Products containing heroin were once sold over the counter. In 1895, a chemist at Bayer was attempting to create a pain reliever than was not as strong as morphine. He accidentally created a diluted version of morphine, which he then called “heroin”. It was placed in many cough syrups in the 1900s and was said to help people sleep, until it was discovered that the drug was two to three times more potent than morphine.


  1. The “heroin look” used to be considered a fashion statement. In the 1990s, fashion designers were calling the look “heroin chic”. Models were very thin, with dark circles under their eyes and blank stares. Bill Clinton later rejected this movement as he said that fashion was “glamorizing” addiction to sell clothes.
  2. Heroin is sold in three different colors. White powder, brown powder, or a sticky black substance known as “black tar heroin”.
  3. There are many nicknames used for the drug. “Horse”, “thunder”, and “smack” are a few names commonly used.
  4. Withdrawal from heroin is said to be very painful. One person explained their experience with heroin withdrawal on CNN. He stated, “It’s like the worst flu you’ve ever had in your life – then multiply that by 1,000. There’s a scraping inside your brain. You’re willing to do anything to feel better.”

If you’re struggling with heroin addiction, seek help today. Recovery is possible.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.