What Is Heroin?

Heroin is an opioid drug created from morphine, a narcotic painkiller that might be prescribed to a person with a permanent pain disorder or who’s just undergone major surgery. It’s a natural substance taken from the seed capsules of opium poppy plants.

Heroin comes in several forms: a white powder, a brown powder or a sticky black substance known as black tar heroin. It is usually injected into the veins but may also be snorted. If mixed with certain other drugs, it can be smoked. There are several street names for heroin, the most common of which are:

  • Dope
  • Smack
  • Skag
  • H
  • China white
  • Beast
  • Junk
  • Horse
  • Snow
  • Hero
  • Brown

Heroin isn’t usually the first drug a person tries. Often, a person experiments with other painkillers and takes heroin alongside other opioids. Unfortunately, since heroin is so addictive, it doesn’t take long for users to develop a substance abuse problem.

Besides an intense craving for the drug, other signs that a person may have a heroin use disorder include:

  • Euphoric feelings, including the sense of being immortal or unstoppable
  • Depression, lethargy and thoughts of self-harm or suicide
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety, restlessness, paranoia and irritability
  • Hostility towards others, which may include picking physical or verbal fights with loved ones
  • Lying about their drug abuse
  • The presence of an apparent mental illness
  • Decreased attention to personal hygiene or eating
  • Hallucinations
  • Sleeping more or less than usual

If you or a loved one is battling addiction and needs help, you aren’t alone. More than five million people reported using heroin in 2015 alone. With heroin, even the first use can lead to addiction. Recovery is hard, but you don’t have to start your journey to sobriety alone. Our heroin rehab in Phoenix, Arizona is available and can help you overcome your substance abuse and live a healthier, more fulfilling life.


We can help you achieve permanent sobriety that gives you your life back. Call to learn more about our therapy options in Phoenix, AZ.

Why Is Heroin Addictive?

Heroin addiction can happen surprisingly fast because the drug stimulates intense effects on the brain’s reward system. These effects influence the production of feel-good chemicals, which the brain is already wired to crave. Among the chemicals heroin helps produce more of are dopamine and endorphins.

Some experts suggest as many as one in four people who use heroin will develop an addiction. Heroin addiction has a high potential to lead to other drug or alcohol abuse. When heroin isn’t readily available, many people will turn to other addictive drugs to chase that “high” or euphoric feeling.

What Are the Dangers of Heroin Addiction?

Many of the dangers of heroin addiction may seem innocuous at first. The first problem may be financial because heroin is expensive. An inability to feel pleasure without the drug may follow as someone becomes more addicted. This can affect your job, relationships and self-esteem.

However, the real danger of heroin is its potency. As strong as the drug is, users will eventually build up a tolerance. This will cause you to require more heroin to achieve the same feel-good effects you’ve come to rely on. The more heroin taken, the higher the risk of an overdose and even death. Between the potency of heroin and the way many dealers mix the drug with other substances, every injection has the risk of becoming life-threatening which is why heroin rehab in Phoenix is so important.

Treatment Options for Heroin Addiction in Phoenix

The first step towards recovery is heroin detox. Detox should be done in a rehab center because the symptoms can be severe and even life-threatening. The potential for drug overdose deaths during relapse after detox is high. This is why a medical detox with professional help is the best option.

During detox, you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms. The type, length and severity of these symptoms will vary from one person to the next. However, withdrawal symptoms might include:

  • Nausea, with or without vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Sweating, including cold sweats
  • Uncontrollable shaking, muscle spasms and body tremors
  • Nervousness, paranoia or anxiety
  • Agitation and irritability
  • Depression, including thoughts of self-harm or suicide
  • Severe drug cravings

What Happens After Heroin Detox?

Detox is only the first step towards long-term sobriety. To remain free of substance use disorders, you need to complete inpatient heroin rehab. Inpatient addiction treatment options are the most effective treatment because they allow you to focus entirely on your recovery without external stressors. During your temporary stay at our heroin addiction treatment center, you’ll have constant access to resources like:

  • Mental health treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Dual diagnosis treatment program, if necessary
  • Support groups
  • A range of evidence-based therapies, including behavioral therapies

Our rehab facilities in Phoenix, Arizona are designed to be relaxing centers that increase the chances of lasting sobriety. For most heroin treatment, an inpatient program isn’t the last step. Instead, substance abuse treatment will continue for the foreseeable future, as addiction recovery isn’t a one-time thing. Recovery requires ongoing dedication, and our treatment facility provides the tools needed to stay sober through our outpatient treatment programs.

Outpatient programs facilitate long-term recovery by providing ongoing support and ensuring any underlying issues continue being treated effectively. An outpatient treatment plan often includes attending behavioral therapy and support groups. Your program will be personalized to fit your unique needs.