How Addictive Is Heroin?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D on October 11, 2021

Heroin is among the most addictive illegal drugs. People that abuse heroin and other addictive opioids can find help at quality addiction treatment centers.

How Addictive Is Heroin?

Heroin is considered among the most addictive, fastest-acting, and most commonly abused opioid drugs.

Addiction to any drug occurs as a memory response to positive feelings or dopamine release that happens when the substance is used.

The addiction response is different from dependence, which can cause physical or psychological reactions when the substance is absent from the body.

Heroin is highly addictive because of its fast-acting “rush” due to its highly efficient transport across the blood-brain barrier and metabolism into morphine.

View other frequently asked questions about heroin abuse

Addictive Potential Of Heroin In Comparison To Other Opioids

In one study, heroin, morphine, and oxycodone were considered among the most addictive opioids.

Oxycodone’s strong, powerful high correlates with a powerful potential for addiction. Because heroin metabolizes into morphine, its effects are seen as highly similar in regards to addictive potential.

Fentanyl, while up to 100 times more potent than morphine, was found to have roughly similar measures of potential for addiction and abuse as heroin.

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Getting Help For Heroin Addiction

If you or a loved one abuse opioids, recovery is possible. Call our helpline for more information on the best treatment programs for your needs.

Inpatient and outpatient treatment can provide the necessary structure to safely detox, recover, and develop new methods for living without addiction.

Call our helpline and talk to a treatment specialist today to get started.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D on October 11, 2021
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