Heroin Addiction

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), nearly 80% of heroin addicts began by misusing and abusing prescription opioids. Furthermore, a 2018 National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) report states that nearly one million Americans reported using heroin over the previous year.

NIDA’s report didn’t dare estimate how many unreported there were across the country. Then again, with almost 50,000 opioid overdose deaths over the period of study, it didn’t have to. The alarming numbers speak for themselves.

In other words, heroin addiction is the scourge of America. It affects every race, creed, color and income bracket, from all corners of the country. Absolutely no one is immune.

Fortunately, absolutely no one is immune to recovery either. Methadone is the most commonly prescribed medication used to fight heroin addiction. And Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) has been effectively battling the disease since the 1950s. More recently buprenorphine and Suboxone have been added to the heroin addiction treatment equation. And the three represent the most effective, evidence- based Medication Addiction Treatment (MAT) options out there.

Heroin addiction has been around for over one hundred years, yet it can be beaten.
And ALEF knows how.


Suffer no more.
Call us right now.

What is Heroin?


Heroin’s scientific name is diamorphine, because the compound is derived from morphine, a natural product of the opium poppy. Heroin is also known as dope, smack, Mexican Brown or China White. It is illegal to make, possess or sell without a license nearly everywhere in the world. It is also illegal to use without strict physician supervision. Though heroin does have some (limited) medicinal value, the drug is generally used recreationally because of its euphoric high.

Heroin can be injected, snorted, sniffed or smoked. Taken intravenously, its high is immediate and often induces a state of semi-consciousness (the nod). Other methods don’t provide an effect for some minutes and rarely induce nodding. Whatever the ingestion method, heroin’s consequent high lasts from two-five hours.

Heroin is highly addictive. In fact, heroin addiction can begin within a matter of days of continual use. The user quickly develops a tolerance, requiring more and more of the drug to achieve the same high and the higher doses quickly lead to addiction. Higher doses of course also significantly raise the risk of overdose.

Long-term heroin use affects the brain’s decision-making process. It also causes erratic behavior and hampers the user’s ability to handle stressful situations. This is why addicts often continue heroin use despite negative consequences.

Heroin withdrawal can begin within hours of the last use. And it can induce restlessness, severe muscle and bone pain, sleep problems, cold flashes, diarrhea and vomiting. Withdrawal also causes intense heroin cravings. The extreme discomfort is another reason why heroin addicts will often irrationally seek yet another dose of the drug, regardless of the harm it has caused.

History of Heroin


Heroin made its first public appearance in 1895 after a scientist at Bayer Pharmaceuticals discovered a quick and efficient way to synthesize and manufacture the drug. Trademarked by Bayer as “Heroin” (German for “heroic, strong”), it was marketed as an over-the-counter cough suppressant. The company claimed its Heroin was safer than morphine, to which many people had then become addicted. It didn’t take long before the heroin addiction rate surpassed that of morphine.

The 1914 Harrison Narcotics Act took heroin off the shelves and put it into the hands of doctors and druggists. Ten years later, Congress placed an outright ban on the drug. Heroin is now strictly regulated under the Controlled Substance Act.

Heroin has played a significant role in jazz, metal, punk, grunge and other forms of popular music and culture, including art and literature. It should be noted however, that fatal heroin overdose has played an equally significant role. In fact, many of America’s most talented and gifted creatives have lost their lives to heroin addiction and overdose.

Heroin currently kills more Americans than car crashes. Consequently, if you or your loved one is suffering from heroin addiction, it is imperative that you seek immediate help.

ALEF and Heroin Addiction


ALEF fully recognizes the exorbitant toll heroin addiction has taken on America. And we’re fully committed to fighting the disease with the most advanced, evidence-based treatment available. We also know that not every heroin user is the same. That’s why we employ Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT), as well as Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) that includes buprenorphine or Suboxone. It’s also why all of our addiction treatment methods incorporate comprehensive, individualized behavioral therapy and counseling.

ALEF is a fully-licensed, certified and regulated Opioid Treatment Provider (OTP). That means you can be assured we provide only the safest and most effective heroin addiction treatment.

Heroin Addiction Ends Here.
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ALEF is proud to be among the advances in effective heroin addiction treatment. And we're committed to leading the fight against this scourge of a disease.

Heroin - Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Centers