Heroin is a white or brown powder or a dark paste made from the juice of Opium Poppy seedpods. Users inject, smoke or sniff Heroin to get it into their bloodstream. Once in their bloodstream Heroin is carried to their Brain and Spinal Chord where it lodges in their Opiate Receptors. Receptors are like microscopic nests where minute specks of chemicals lodge and send messages and commands to other parts of the Brain and Body. We have many different types of receptors in our Brain – Opiate Receptors, Alcohol Receptors, Serotonin Receptors, Noradrenalin Receptors, Dopamine Receptors etc.
Heroin sends messages from the Opiate Receptors to other parts of the Brain and Body to produce the Opiate Effects. The Opiate Effects that Heroin produces in most people include relaxation, deep relief, peace, rest, sleep, pain relief. For many hours after a hit of heroin everything stressful, worrying, painful or dangerous that is troubling a Heroin addict fades, becomes unreal, like a small cloud on a distant horizon; but then comes addiction and the nightmare of hanging out and craving. Heroin has an opposite effect on a few people, making them more energized, focused and able to get things done. This upper effect seems most likely to occur in people with ADD and they may get a similar effect with Alcohol and Diazepam.
2. The HEROIN ADDICTION CYCLE Goes Like This
A person is Suffering, sometimes from physical pain, relationship or peer pressures, but most often from strong Internal Mental Health Distresses and Malfunctions due to Brain Chemistry Disturbances –> they inject or smoke heroin which flows in their bloodstream and lodges in their Opiate Receptors and produces the Heroin Feel Good Effects for up to 24 hours –> their kidneys and liver then gradually drain that Heroin from their body and Brain –> the Feel Good Opiate Effects fade away and the Mental Health Distress Suffering is no longer suppressed or numbed by the Heroin and reemerges, comes back to bite them.
Each time the Mental Suffering becomes severe enough again, if they can get it, the User takes another hit of Heroin –> the User’s Brain starts to get used to Heroin, adapts to it, develops an increasing Tolerance to it –> the Heroin then gives them less relief than it did at first –> the User then takes greater amounts of Heroin to get the original stronger relief back again.
When the User’s Brain starts to receive and has to accommodate greater amounts of Heroin it grows greater numbers of Opiate Receptors –> then as the kidneys and liver steadily drain the Heroin away after each shot there is a greater number of Receptors that become empty –> which causes greater Hanging Out and Craving –> which causes the addict to take bigger hits of Heroin –> more Receptors grow –> greater Hanging Out and Craving occurs usually approximately every 24 hours.
The Mental Health Distresses and Malfunctions that the Heroin was originally taken to suppress become distressing again every time the Heroin levels fall too low.
Soon every day the User has to take a substantial and costly amount of Heroin to relieve:
- the Hanging Out and Craving and
- the Original Mental Health Distresses they took Heroin to relieve.
- the nightmare that has developed of financial and social problems, chaotic diet and sleep –> missed work –> perhaps unemployment –> accommodation problems, perhaps lying and cheating, fraud or stealing and problems with the Law –> sometimes Overdoses, Hospitalization, Marriage Breakdown, losing contact with Children, Living on the Streets, going to Prison, even Death.
3. Everyone Gets Far Too Focused On Heroin and The Detox but the Mental Health Problems are what should be focussed on most.
If an addict is to get permanently better a large part of the focus must be “What first caused this person to start to use Street Chemicals and then Heroin? What kept this person using Heroin long enough to become addicted to it? Apart from the addiction, what did/does Heroin do for this person that causes them to continue using it?”
I have come to the conclusion that the high failure and death rates with Heroin Addicts are mostly caused by failing to find answers to these questions and therefore not fixing the basic causes.
If whatever first caused substance abuse and then heroin addiction is still there, undiagnosed and untreated, isn’t Relapse fairly inevitable? If you have a heart attack because your Blood Pressure and your Cholesterol are high and you Smoke, and after you get out of hospital you still Smoke and you don’t do anything to lower your Blood Pressure or Cholesterol, why won’t you have another heart attack?
One man who I treated successfully by diagnosing and treating his ADHD as well as detoxing him, had previously been detoxed 13 times elsewhere. He relapsed every time because his ADHD had not been diagnosed or treated. Excessive focus on Heroin and Detox had diverted attention from what had to be done to stop him Relapsing. .
4. WHEN 100 PEOPLE TRY HEROIN WHAT ARE THE FACTORS THAT CAUSE approximately 25 of them to BECOME ADDICTS?
Why do around 25 of them trash their lives and communities, suffer horribly and often die young and in misery and degradation, while around 75 walk away from Heroin with little difficulty or damage?
Research shows that only approximately 1 out of 4 people who try Heroin become Addicts. If you met and talked, drank and laughed, worked, fought and cried with 100 people who were dabbling with Heroin, what differences might you find between the 25 who were going to become Heroin Addicts, trash their lives, live in misery, and perhaps die young, and the 75 who were going to walk away from Heroin without much difficulty help or damage?
As I carefully looked at, questioned, listened to and Mentally “felt” my Heroin patients my finding was that they almost all had severe Mental Health Disorders. These Mental Health Disorders were the difference that drove them to Addiction and destruction. Almost every one had features of Disorders such as PANIC ATTACKS, SOCIAL PHOBIA, DEPRESSION, MANIC DEPRESSIVE (BIPOLAR) DISORDER, ADD/ADHD, SEVERE SLEEP DISORDERS, OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER, POST TRAUMA DISORDERS, PARANOIA and VOICES. The only Heroin users I found who didn’t have severe Mental Health Disorders had severe physical pain that wasn’t being treated correctly, or had an addicted partner they didn’t want to lose and with whom they shared everything.
So even if Addicts do get off Heroin why won’t most of them turn back to it again and relapse if the Distresses, Malfunctions and Circumstances that drove them to it in the first place are still there, undiagnosed and untreated? In my experience a heroin addict’s treatment is not complete until all of their Mental Health problems have been diagnosed and successfully treated. That used to be too difficult but now, with excellent online checklists, addicts can even do it themselves without assistance in less than half an hour.
5. GO TO www.MentalHealthAssessment.org, DO THE MINI CHECKLIST AND YOU WILL SEE ALL OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH DISTRESSES & MALFUNCTIONS CLEARLY LISTED IN YOUR CHECKLIST REPORT, WHICH YOU CAN IMMEDIATELY READ or DOWNLOAD.
You can do a Mental Health Assessment day or night, 365 days of the year, wherever you are, as often as you like – and it’s a free service. It takes 20 to 30 minutes, is strictly confidential, and your Report tells you most of what you need to know. Your Report shows you simply and clearly each of your Mental Health Distresses and Malfunctions, scored and printed out in order of importance. Your Report also gives you a full Holistic range of treatment options for each of your significant Distresses and Malfunctions, including the types of medications likely to give you the fastest relief and the best long-term results.
Then read about the particular Mental Health Distresses and Malfunctions that show up in your Checklist Report, at The “Big 7” Mental Health Disorders. You will soon start to understand those Distresses and Malfunctions, which will help you to get them fixed. Then the whole of your life will be very much easier and better.
It is a great help to go to www.MentalHealthAssessment.org and repeat the Mental Health Assessments weekly so you can see what is happening to your Total Score and which of your Distresses and Malfunctions are improving. You will be able to see clearly which problems aren’t any better, and which if any have got worse and have scored higher. That helps to clarify where changes to your treatment are needed so you get better more quickly and completely. The faster you become Mentally Healthy and Stronger the sooner you become happier, function/perform better and become safe from addictions.
Doing a series of Mental Health Assessments now will give you knowledge and understanding that will save you suffering and cost for the whole of the rest of your life, and will make life better for those who are near and dear to you.