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Craving Heroin: How Does It Feel?

Posted on :  January 27th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

An addiction to heroin is no joke. The problem with heroin addiction is that the brain and body crave the drug. These cravings can be painful, especially when an addict is working through withdrawal.

Craving is a Vicious Circle

For an addict, the craving comes from the body wanting two complete opposites. Of course, the mind knows that it needs to stop taking the drug, but the body and mind want to enjoy the experience of the drug, especially because it is a pleasurable experience. The body also wants the discomfort that comes from withdrawal to stop and in reality, the only way to stop the pain is to take the drug again. This is why heroin addiction is so dangerous, because the body craves it so severely which makes it so difficult to stop taking it.

When a heroin addict experiences the cravings, the body absolutely must have the substance. Without it, the addict feels like death is the only other option. An addict will say or do anything to get the substance because it will bring immediate relief from any discomfort. It will also satisfy the craving like nothing else will. Once the craving is satisfied, the satisfaction does not last. Eventually, the drug will wear off and the cravings will start all over again.

When the brain craves an opioid, the cravings are connected to memories. Research has shown that when opioid addicts are shown pictures of drugs, the cravings can begin. This makes sense because of the way the brain is wired to connect sensations and perceptions. The images like pipes, powders, or other drug paraphernalia that are shown to addicts will change the brain chemistry of the addict, triggering the need to obtain and ingest the drug.

Most addicts will also experience a sense of joy prior to taking the drug. Once the substance has been obtained, the body enjoys the experience of anticipation. The sense of immediate gratification is like nothing else that an addict experiences. They want to take the drug because they know how good it will feel and how much relief the drug will bring. The vicious circle of need and fulfillment is what keeps addicts coming back for so much more.

Heroin is a dangerous substance for addicts because it affects the chemistry of the brain by thinking it is experiencing pleasure. Heroin connects to receptors in the brain, causing an illusion of pleasure. This illusion is what creates the physical dependence, because the brain needs to keep those receptors filled so it does not make the body feel pain.

Because of the physical cause of addiction, many addicts will use medication-assisted treatment, like what we use at Towards Recovery Clinics. With methadone, education, and counseling, we are able to help addicts fight their addictions and those cravings. With methadone, addicts are able to live life without the pain and discomfort that comes with complete withdrawal of heroin.

It is best to think of a methadone treatment not as a replacement drug, but as a treatment for an illness. People wear glasses so they can see better than they can without them. They take medication for asthma. They take medication for depression and anxiety. Methadone does the same thing. It helps people live their lives in a healthy way that they would not be able to do without it. Since the brain cannot function properly without the help of methadone, it is a necessary treatment option for people who are fighting heroin addiction.

Our treatment centers will help addicts find the proper dosage, so they can avoid the cravings for heroin. We want them to get to a point where they are simply maintaining their life without heroin. Eventually, we want to help former addicts detoxify from methadone, too. However, this can take months or years before an addict is ready to come off of it. For many people, methadone simply becomes a part of their lives.

Contact Towards Recovery Clinics at 905-527-2042 or email at

Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
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