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Heroin is an illicit, highly addictive drug. It is either the most abused or the most rapidly acting member of opioids. Abusers describe a feeling of a surge of pleasurable sensation, named as "rush" or "high". Repeated administration of high doses of heroin in the induction of physical dependence. Physical dependence refers to an altered physiological state produced by chronic administration of heroin which necessitates the continued administration of the drug to prevent the appearance of a characteristic syndrome, the opioid withdrawal or abstinence syndrome.
Withdrawal symptoms may occur within a few hours after the last administration of heroin. Symptoms of the withdrawal include restlessness, insomnia, drug craving, diarrhea, muscle and bone pain, cold flashes with goose bumps, and leg movements.
Major withdrawal symptoms peak between 48 and 72 hours after the last dose of heroin and subside after about a week. At this time, weakness and depression are pronounced and nausea and vomiting are common. Nevertheless, some chronic addicts have shown persistent withdrawal s for many months or even years.
Heroin addiction is considered as a behavioural state of compulsive drug use and a high tendency to relapse after periods of abstinence. It is generally accepted that compulsive use and relapse are typically associated with the status of heroin craving or heroin hunger that are difficult to define but appear to be powerful motivational ificance in the addiction process.
The route of administering heroin varies largely and may indicate the degree of seriousness of the individual's addiction. Intravenous administration seems to be the predominant method of heroin use, but recently a shift in heroin use pattern has been found, i.
Frequent injections coupled with widespread sharing of syringes increase the risk of contracting HIV, hepatitis B, C and other blood-borne infectious diseases. Long-term use of heroin has also severe medical consequences such as scarred veins, bacterial infections of blood vessels, liver and kidney diseases, and lung complications. Please enable it to take advantage of the complete set of features!
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RSS Link Copy. Cite Display options Display options. Abstract Heroin is an illicit, highly addictive drug. Similar articles Neurobiology of addictive behaviors and its relationship to methadone maintenance. Stimmel B, Kreek MJ. Stimmel B, et al. Mt Sinai J Med. PMID: Review. The influence of heroin dose and route of administration on the severity of the opiate withdrawal syndrome. Smolka M, Schmidt LG. Smolka M, et al. PMID: Long-term methadone maintenance reduces protracted symptoms of heroin abstinence and cue-induced craving in Chinese heroin abusers.
Shi J, et al. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. Epub Apr Ascorbic acid vitamin C effects on withdrawal syndrome of heroin abusers. Evangelou A, et al. In Vivo. Long-acting opioid-agonists in the treatment of heroin addiction: why should we call them "substitution"? Gerra G, et al. Subst Use Misuse. See all similar articles. Liu H, et al. Front Psychiatry. Can inhaled heroin be a cause of bilateral globus pallidus ischemic injury? Iqbal I, et al. Turk J Emerg Med. Dopamine receptor D4 promoter hypermethylation increases the risk of drug addiction.
Ji H, et al. Exp Ther Med. Epub Dec Factors associated with illicit opioid use in methadone maintenance treatment clients in 5 Provinces, China. Li W, et al. Environ Health Prev Med. Epub Oct 3. Li Y, et al. PLoS One. See all "Cited by" articles. Publication types English Abstract Actions. Review Actions.
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Why Is Heroin So Addictive?