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Heroin is a highly addictive, synthesized opioid analgesic drug that is derived from the opium plant, poppy. Prior to 1920, heroin was considered a legal medication prescribed for both children and adults by doctors in America as pain management treatment and even as cold medicine. Due to its addictive qualities, in 1924, the U.S. government passed the Anti-Heroin Act and illegalized heroin. While still illegal, meaning its manufacturing process is completely unregulated, heroin remains to be a present illicit substance that is abused by individuals across the country. Upon ingestion, heroin converts to morphine in one’s body that results in a rush of feelings of euphoria. By binding to one’s opioid receptors, heroin alters the way an individual perceives pain, and increases pleasurable feelings. These euphoric feeling perpetuate one’s cravings for continued use, increase one’s tolerance, which can rapidly lead to dependence and addiction. Heroin is considered one of the most addictive substances available, as nearly 23 percent of people who use it will develop an addiction to it. As far back as 1988, the surgeon general compared the addictive quality of nicotine to heroin. 


Nicotine is a toxic, oily liquid. It is the psychoactive substance that accounts for the addictive properties of tobacco, such as chewing tobacco, cigarettes, and e-cigarettes. Inhaled smoke delivers nicotine to the brain within 20 seconds. Nicotine works by activating the reward pathways in the brain. More specifically, when nicotine is absorbed and subsequently metabolized into one’s body, it produces a release of adrenaline (epinephrine) from the adrenal glands. The release of adrenaline stimulates the body and causes an increase in blood pressure, respiration, and heart rate, eliciting feelings of pleasure and a surge of energy. Cigarette smoking accounts for nearly one of every five deaths in the United States each year, and there are over 480,000 deaths each year from cigarette smoking, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yes, nicotine is often considered to be the most addictive of the well-known and commonly studied drugs, outpacing heroin.

For Information and Support 

If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcomed to contact anytime us via email at admissions@hhtxc.com.

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