Social Question

bippee's avatar

What makes someone want to shoot heroin?

Asked by bippee (868 points ) September 3rd, 2010

You’d think most people are aware of how addictive it is, so what possesses people to try it even once?

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19 Answers

tiny_dancer's avatar

You’d think so wouldn’t you, but people think it will not happen to them, they somehow think they are the exception to it

amazonstorm's avatar

Desperation, maybe. Or maybe they are looking for an escape. watches too much Intervention

bippee's avatar

I guess I just don’t understand why so many seemingly “smart” people take up this habit.

syz's avatar

I wonder the same about meth – why would you inject into your bloodstream something that is made up of diesel fuel, starter fluid, paint thinner, lye, drain cleaner and toluene?

wundayatta's avatar

Pain. Some people are in so much pain—not physical, but mental pain. Psychic pain. Heroin is self-medication. Sometimes it seems like the only thing between the user and death—even thought, ironically, it is more likely to cause the death.

Some pains just seem impossible to deal with on your own, so you turn to chemical means to make you feel better. You may know the long term consequences, but the short term pain is too much.

Many people are not even aware that what they feel psychologically is actually pain. They feel lost or bored or lonely or unconnected. Heroin seems to push these things away. Any feel good drug does that.

I think people use it because they don’t think there are any realistic options. I think they feel bad about themselves—unlovable. These drugs create that temporary sense of positive self-esteem that comes from feeling good. Never mind that it also makes you feel bad. I believe that most people who use are just in too much pain to care about the long term. They need help and they need it now. Thus—a fix. It fixes the pain. For a moment, anyway.

saraaaaaa's avatar

I agree with what everyone else has said but I would also like to add that curiosity maybe a factor, an interest in how it feels to be out of ones mind to such an extent, okay so intelligence informs us of the negativity and foolishness of such an idea, but never underestimate the power of curiosity people. It has led me to do many a strange thing in my life time granted heroin isn’t one of those strange things but you get my drift

jazmina88's avatar

on the positive side, my friend stopped when she had a baby girl.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I think @wundayatta hit the nail on the head.

I never could wrap my mind around snorting or injecting anything. BAH

isuppose's avatar

I agree @saraaaaaa. I know a few people who experiment with many drugs, and have tried heroin just because they are curious. They hear it’s the ultimate high and they want to experience it, and most assume they’ll only do it once. Unfortunately for some, it doesn’t always end up being once.

Randy's avatar

I’ve done my fair share of substances and I can tell you that in my experiences, it was all out of curiosity, boredom and the search for a good time. I’ve never been addicted to anything but I can see how a person would become addicted to some of the “harder” substances. They feel GREAT. They feel so good that it’s hard to remind yourself that they WILL kill you.

I grew up thinking that addiction was a physical problem. I thought that when you were addicted to something, even something like cigarettes, that it physically hurt when you didn’t have it. I know that it sometimes can, but what I mean is that, I thought it wasn’t addiction until it was that serious. It wasn’t until I started experimenting with different drugs that I realized that addiction started out as that little voice in your head that said it was ok to do the drugs (or whatever the addiction maybe) because it feels great and makes you happy, even though it’s obvious that they’re bad for your health.

I only drink these days because I actually started using my brain. But yeah, people try drugs because of curiosity, boredom and because they think they’re invincible. People keep it up because of the reasons @wundayatta mentioned.

Marva's avatar

Unconcious self distruction. In most cases anyway…

Ben_Dover's avatar

It seemed like a good idea at the time…and then you are hooked and looking at ten years before you manage to quit.

Frenchfry's avatar

Well the probably try it. They hate the feeling of coming down off the drug. That keeps the habit going. For the superior high is another reason.

aprilsimnel's avatar

But you’ll never get a high like the first one ever again. There’s a reason why the heroin habit is called “chasing the dragon.” Apparently, the first hit is like every orgasm you’ve ever had rolled into one. I’ve never tried the stuff, but that’s what an ex-user told me.

trailsillustrated's avatar

its not like orgasms but it takes your problems away, it’s fun, it gives you energy (for the first couple years). At first, I figured if I used 2 or 3 days a week I wouldn’t get strung out. It sort of worked, for a while. Then, when you are strung out, you get really really sick if you don’t have it. Then it’s a matter of just staying well, and the on and off methadone programs. I am so glad all that is in the past.

Ben_Dover's avatar

It is exactly like orgasms. Even better to the junkie. but the orgasm effect is generally only experienced when shooting up…It is the shooting up of the smack which causes a rush.

Addiction is why junkies continue to use.

stardust's avatar

@wundayatta summed it up perfectly.
I don’t think anyone who abuses heroin envisioned such a life for themselves. Unfortunately, life can be tremendously painful and sometimes people choose to lose themselves in the fog of addiction. It’s very sad for the person using the drugs – worse for the loved ones. After all, they don’t get to escape like the addict does.

YARNLADY's avatar

In addition to the answers above, it can also start out as peer pressure.

soozaloozakpow's avatar

wundayatta summed it well. People can experience periods in their lives when they are extremely vulnerable to opening the door to destruction. Mental health issues like depression, bi-polar, anxiety, and schizophrenia, pain brought on by various events including a break-up, loss of a loved one, or being the victim of a violent act, severe loneliness, extremely poor self-image, and more can effect and alter a person’s judgment and inhibitions. People may be in a state where they simply don’t think or care about themselves and their lives or even have such self-loathing they consciously or unconsiously feel they deserve to have pain and damaging influences in their lives. I think its important to note that heroin users do not all inject the drug. Many start by smoking or snorting heroin and its not uncommon for some users to never inject. I think people who are not very experienced in drug use or have never tried heroin are at greater risk to try and get hooked on heroin using these methods as they would likely not perceive them as extreme, dangerous, or frightening as it would be to stick a needle into their arms.
It does not take long for heroin to seize power and control over someone’s life. The mental and/or emotional period of turmoil that led them to heroin may be a temporary dip in an otherwise normally positive life, but once dependence on heroin sets in, it is an enormous battle to rid it from one’s life. Numerous heroin addicts continue to use strictly to avoid horrific withdrawl. The effects of the drug, aside from relieving withdrawl symptoms, are not always what some may imagine. Minimal use, particularly when not injecting, to avoid sickness does not bring the user feelings of great euphoria or a strong “buzz”. Rather than acting as a way for the user to escape, it can be a brutal reminder of what their lives have become.
People who led fairly pro-social lives before trying heroin and, outside their own drug use, drugs are not of the various areas of their lives, live with their addiction differently. Some people manage to hide their past and present drug use from friends, family, and employers (it is rare addiction can be hidden forever) and try to continue on normally with life, while others will be pulled completely into the world of addiction, taking on a whole new persona, and will likely go down hard and fast.
The physical addiction to heroin is extreme and a person experiencing withdrawals can behave and act in ways people who know them would not believe possible. While there is an aspect of mental dependence, heroin is unique from drugs like meth, crack, and coke in the physical effects of detox. “Dope sickness” impacts the whole body, causing immense pain felt in bones, joints, muscles, and skin, brings on a feeling of discomfort that is so overwhelming it becomes torturous, can result debilitating reactions including low blood pressure, coughing, diarrhea, shaking, shivering, and vomiting. Detox is not a quick process and the symptoms of withdrawal can stay at peak levels for 3 to 5 days. Factors like background, education, and finances may effect a person’s options for successful lasting recovery, but make no difference to immense influence heroin addiction has on a person’s actions. There is no discrimination amongst those whose addictions have them living as slaves to the drug.

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