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How Long Does It Take to Get Addicted to Heroin?

While the feelings of euphoria that initially come with heroin abuse will create a desire for another “hit” soon afterward, physical dependence usually takes several doses to become established. If you have not yet taken the drug, you should know that first-time use of certain drugs including heroin will not necessarily lead to the reported feelings of euphoria. Heroin can create unpleasant feelings, nausea and vomiting.

Heroin Abuse Leads to Continued Abuse

Heroin abuse will lead to further abuse. Frequent repeated use will lead to addiction, and, once you are addicted, permanent physical and mental damage can occur. Getting addicted to heroin does not take long. If you have a history of addiction or drug abuse, or if there are underlying psychological/social issues that drive your behavior, heroin addiction can occur even faster. Heroin provides a temporary escape from reality can compound and hasten physical and psychological dependence. Method of use also affects the time involved in heroin addiction development. If you inject heroin, the drug directly enters your bloodstream, and the effects are quicker and more powerful. Injecting heroin makes the time to addiction much less just as the serious and life-threatening risks are much greater.

Why Heroin Addiction Occurs

The brain has receptors for certain chemicals and signals. These receptors will only accept certain drugs, and the body naturally produces a class of chemicals called endorphins that matches these receptors. Heroin mimics endorphins but has a much stronger effect. This strong impact on the brain is one reason heroin is so addictive.

The Social Forces and Psychological Environment of Addiction

The time it takes to get addicted to heroin often depends on the situation and environment a user is in. If the drug is easily available and within reach, it will be easier to use the drug frequently and become addicted faster. The source of the drug is often a dealer who will work hard to make sure heroin is available early on. If your social group uses heroin or other drugs, addiction rate may be affected. Acceptance or encouragement of drug use makes frequent use easier.

Identify Heroin Addiction and Get Help

Whether or not you are addicted, if you are using heroin you should take immediate steps to get clean. Call our toll-free 24 hour helpline to learn more about identifying heroin addiction or ending heroin abuse. Don’t wait for addiction to occur or get worse. Call now.