Heroin addiction is a personal struggle that many describe as the biggest monster they ever have had to deal with. Heroin is like most drugs in that it starts off just being something that the user does from time to time. They start off by just doing it in private or the company of peers and don't realizing that they are about to change their life for the worse. Once a Heroin addiction has taken hold there are very harsh consequences to the body and mind. Heroin is an opiate drug that first reared its ugly head in 1874. It is a crystallized white powder that steams from morphine and has an extreme addiction rate. This addiction becomes so overpowering that people who become dependent on heroin are willing to do whatever it takes to obtain it. The strong addiction to heroin does not only hurt the addict but also their family and friends. Someone who is addicted to heroin is not in their right mind when consuming this life threatening drug, and their actions can easily break up families.

The number of reported heroin overdoses each year is very high - being a factor in 164,000 emergency room visits across the US in 2006 - because of the drug's high toxicity. Even though this drug has such obvious debilitating effects, like other opiates, once addicted it is hard for an individual to stop using it. One of the reasons for this is because the effects of withdrawal are so intense that many would rather stay using this dangerous drug then to feel the withdraw pains that come with trying to detox from it. The discomfort and anxiety of withdrawal can set in as little as 6 hours after discontinuation of the drug, contributing to the vicious cycle of dependency.

The rest of us can only wonder how family and loved ones feel when they see someone they love losing a battle to a drug that is taking over their life. Heroin is so harmful that it can effect many different parts of a person's body. The heart, lungs and brain can very much be damaged permanently and given that these are such vital organs, if there is too much heroin in a person's system it can easily prove fatal. A narcotic like heroin does not just take over the body but it also does terrible psychological damage and that is where people choose their addiction over there family, friends, job and life in general.

Ironically heroin is a pain medicine derived from morphine but the problem is that it ultimately brings the user more pain than it relieves. No one wants to see someone that they love throw away their life over a drug. It's even worse knowing that this drug can potentially kill them on any given day without warning. The sad thing is that without proper help, heroin addicts have a very slim chance of ever kicking their addiction. If family or friends cannot get a heroin addict into some form of rehabilitation center then an addict may not ever shake their problem. That is why loving someone with a heroin addiction can be painful because you usually cannot help them if they are not willing to help themselves.

Author's Bio: 

Dulwich Hill in Sydney, Australia used to have the unenviable distinction of being the "Heroin Capital" of Sydney's inner-west. Father Dave has been a parish priest there since 1990. Best known for his work with at-risk teenagers - for which he has twice been named 'Citizen of the Year' (and twice nominated for Australian of the Year), Father Dave has helped many young people struggling with alcohol and drug addictions. For more information on battling heroin addiction, please visit our site http://www.addictiontodrugs.org/