Heroin is an illicit and highly dangerous drug that has become increasingly popular throughout the U.S., Despite its ability to cause serious harm, this drug is popularly abused for its ability to produce a euphoric high.
A question many people find themselves asking when it comes to this drug is, “How long does heroin last?” Of course, the answer to this question can vary based on the person taking it, how and how much they are taking it, and various other factors.
If you are considering experimenting with this drug, it is important to know exactly what to expect from this drug. Heroin is extremely dangerous and has a high risk for addiction. Royal Life Centers can help you learn about heroin and come to terms with your heroin abuse and achieve long-lasting recovery.
What Is Heroin?
Classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Schedule I substance, heroin is a highly addictive illicit opioid drug and depressant that poses a high risk for abuse and addiction and has no accepted medical applications.
Heroin is mainly produced in illicit laboratories under unsanitary and unregulated conditions. The manufacturing process can involve the use of harmful chemicals which often contaminate the final product with impurities. This can lead to a number of health risks, including overdose, addiction, and death.
Slang terms for heroin include ‘Dope,’ ‘Smack,’ ‘Black Tar,’ ‘Snow,’ and various other terms. Knowing how to recognize the various terms can help you keep yourself and your loved ones safe from accidentally coming into contact with this drug.
What Does Heroin Look Like?
To understand what heroin looks like, it is important to first know that this drug can come in many different forms. The most common appearance of this drug is white heroin, which is a crystalline powder cut with sugar or powdered milk. These cutting agents are dangerous because they can make it difficult to know how much heroin is in a single dose, which can lead to accidental overdose.
In addition to white powder, black tar heroin is also a popular form of this drug. This form usually comes as a black and sticky tar-like substance that is commonly injected. It can also take a solid form that resembles a chunk of coal or comes in a brown or orange color.
Brown heroin is another powder form of this drug that is less refined than its white counterpart. Often, the brown shade is a sign of more impurities. Instead of injecting this form of heroin, people commonly smoke it.
Finally, heroin also comes in capsules ranging in a variety of colors or pressed in white or brown tablets. These pills can be easier to produce and distribute, as they often look like any other medication might.
How Does Heroin Affect the Brain?
Heroin can affect the brain in a number of ways. It mainly acts as a depressant, binding to and activating specific receptors in the brain called mu-opioid receptors (MORs). These receptors are responsible for regulating pain, pleasure, and reward.
When heroin binds to these receptors, it sends a signal to the brain that it is experiencing pleasure. This causes a feeling of euphoria, well-being, and relaxation. It is these side effects that make the substance so addictive, triggering a person to continue using it despite its dangerous side effects.
How Long Does Heroin Last?
When estimating how long the effects of heroin will last, it is important to keep in mind that this timeline can vary based on several factors. In general, the drug has a relatively brief half-life of around 30 minutes.
This means that it will take around 30 minutes for half of the drug to leave your system after taking a single dose of heroin. The effects of the drug only produce a high for 3-10 minutes.
Snorting or injecting heroin can lead to a faster and more intense high while smoking this drug will produce longer but weaker effects. Of course, this does not mean that one method of use is safer or better than the other; heroin is a dangerous drug regardless of its method of administration.
How long the effects of heroin will last can vary based on your height and weight, genetics, body fat content, how much you took, the quality, your metabolism rate, and how well you are staying hydrated.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Heroin Abuse?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 80,411 overdose deaths related to illicit opioids like heroin in 2021. These numbers have been steadily increasing over the past few years and have shown no signs of slowing as heroin continues to become more accessible.
If you or someone you know is struggling with illicit opioids, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms so that you can seek help early on. There are several signs of heroin abuse that you can look out for, including:
- Lying or being deceptive about drug use.
- Neglecting responsibilities at work, home, or school.
- Spending more time alone.
- Becoming withdrawn from friends and family.
- Engaging in risky behaviors, such as driving while under the influence or having unprotected sex.
- Needing to take higher doses to achieve the desired effect.
- Developing withdrawal symptoms when not using.
If you recognize any of these signs in yourself or a loved one, it’s important to seek treatment right away. While heroin addiction is a serious disease, recovery is possible with the help of medical professionals.
Heroin Addiction Treatment at Royal Life Centers
Heroin addiction is a complex condition that requires a comprehensive treatment plan. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment, as the best approach will vary depending on your individual needs and circumstances.
At Royal Life Centers, we offer a full continuum of care to help you overcome your heroin abuse. By entering treatment at our rehab facility, you can gain access to a wide variety of addiction treatment services, including:
- Medically-supervised detox
- Residential treatment
- Partial hospitalization
- Intensive outpatient treatment
- Outpatient care
- Medication-assisted treatment
- Behavioral and holistic therapies
If you or a loved one is addicted to heroin, we’re here to support your healing process every step of the way. Reach out to us today to learn more information about our treatment programs and start living a happier, healthier life