Numerous substances can have detrimental effects on people. While many individuals choose to stay away from hazardous chemicals that can cause harm, some substances can prove addictive to people who use them even once. As a result, many laws are in place that work toward curbing the use of illicit drugs and other controlled substances.

In particular, heroin can prove immensely addictive and cause users to act in ways they might not have normally. If a loved one has used this drug and developed an abuse problem, you may witness them on a difficult path involving health problems and potential criminal issues, especially if police find them in possession of the substance.

Heroin use

Heroin is a versatile substance that individuals can use in multiple ways. It can be snorted, smoked or injected into the body in hopes of obtaining the desired “high” feeling that often comes along with heroin use. Additionally, this substance can sometimes go into mixtures with other drugs, which can have other effects than those associated with the use of one substance.

How does it start?

In many cases, individuals do not simply jump right in with heroin use. Often, parties will have started out with a different substance and progressed to the stronger drug. Reports indicate that 80 percent of individuals who went on to use heroin first began experiencing drug issues when they started misusing prescription pills, such as OxyContin or Vicodin. However, misuse of such drugs does not necessarily indicate that a person will begin using heroin.

If a prescription drug problem did lead to a loved one experimenting with heroin, they may quickly have found themselves addicted. As a result, they may have experienced changes in their body, health and behavior.

Side effects

Numerous side effects could come about due to heroin use. Some of the short-term impacts may include dry mouth, itching, vomiting and going in and out of consciousness. With prolonged use of the substance, they may experience insomnia, tissue damage inside the nose, kidney disease, lung problems, depression and other serious problems.

They could also experience permanent damage if the drug contains additives such as sugar or starch that can clog blood vessels that lead to vital organs. Of course, overdosing is a substantial risk that could lead to fatal outcomes. Unfortunately, the latter possibility becomes more likely when individuals with a heroin addiction need larger amounts of the substance to achieve the desired feeling.

Criminal charges

As someone struggling with a drug addiction, they may find themselves in a difficult legal position is authorities suspect that they are in possession of heroin. Though this type of situation can be frightening, understanding legal options may help you determine the best way to handle the predicament. You may be able to help them with their addiction and with their legal issue. Speaking with a North Carolina defense attorney may help you and your loved one during this difficult time.