Just Plain Hooked

One out of every four people who try heroin becomes hooked. Heroin’s grip is the strongest and is still ranked number one over all other drugs for its addictive qualities. Heroin even leads synthetic opiates in addictive properties. How the drug acts in someone’s system and the effects it produces are some of the reasons why the drug is so alluring.

Bayer Heroin Bottle
Over the counter bottle of heroin

Heroin is the fastest acting of the opiates.

Chemically it’s a derivative of morphine and actually was marketed as a non-addictive alternative to morphine. Heroin was put in cough syrup and sold as a painkiller until the U.S. government banned its sale in 1924. The oral administration of the drug is still common today and in fact, that’s how most people are getting hooked. Heroin users don’t typically begin by abusing the stuff by using a needle.

Most begin by popping pills.

For many, pills like Oxycontin are the starting point and primary gateway to full-blown heroin addiction.  When pills are not available or become too expensive, the real drug is tried and what the user gets is instant relief.  This is the dangerous part about heroin.  The user has the impression they have found a risk-free way to avoid everything and feel good. The high lasts about 4 or 5 hours and the person basically becomes relaxed and numb.

Heroin Molecule
Molecule of heroin


Like all drugs the user begins to build a tolerance. The chemicals start destroying receptors in the brain and the person needs more to feel high. The risk of overdose can happen at this point, but another factor is potency. If a user is used to a product that is 20% pure and then uses one that is 80% pure at the same quantity, that person has quadrupled their dosage. The person then becomes so sedated that their system slows and can eventually just stop altogether.  

Heroin has rituals like no other drug

In order to inject the drug users have to buy it, cook it, prepare the syringe and find a vein. The process involved here can be as addicting as the drug itself. It is not uncommon for someone in recovery to be stimulated at the sight of a needle. Needles evoke all the memories of the process involved to get high. Research has suggested that needle fixation is real for the addict and can elicit a rush of euphoria. The mind of heroin addict upon sight of a needle believes that  high is coming.

“I don’t think anyone can understand heroin unless they live a week in a seasoned heroin addict’s body”-Anonymous 
Group of homeless teens.

Horrific consequences

The depth to which heroin addiction brings people is astounding. The frequency of using may start off slow but quickly builds and will consume every aspect of life. For most using usually becomes less about getting high and more about not getting sick. 

The hook is in.

The result is a raging addiction and all its negative outcomes like lost hope, sickness, despair and eventual death. The life expectancy for a chronic heroin user is significantly lower than the general population, and a recent study of heroin in California found that they lost an average of 18 years of potential life before the age of 65.

Heroin addiction is a killer

If you or a loved one is suffering from heroin addiction, please visit our website or call 1-855-646-8505 and speak to one of our addiction specialists. The Narconon program has been helping heroin addicts recover for over 50 years and our approach is revolutionary in the field of drug treatment. We have helped thousands regain control of their lives and make a 
fresh start.



I am a graduate of the Narconon program currently working for Narconon Arrowhead as Director of Promotion and Marketing.