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How Heroin Addiction Develops

Person curls up into ball, wondering how heroin addiction develops

Heroin addiction is a serious and life-threatening health issue that can devastate individuals, families, and communities. But why does heroin addiction occur? It’s important to understand how heroin addiction develops. A deeper understanding of why people become addicted to heroin can help prevent and treat it more effectively.

To learn about Northpoint Omaha’s heroin rehab and how we can help, call 888.687.8014 today. We offer a comprehensive outpatient heroin rehab program designed to help people experiencing the challenges of heroin addiction. The program utilizes evidence-based treatment methods to address the physical and psychological causes of addiction.

The Dangers of Heroin

Heroin is an illegal opioid that is highly addictive and carries a high risk of overdose. It’s also a dangerous drug that can cause serious health risks, including:

  • Damage to the brain and nervous system
  • Respiratory problems such as pneumonia or pulmonary edema
  • Cardiovascular issues such as heart attack or stroke
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Death, if too much is consumed

It is vital to seek help as soon as possible if you or someone you know is struggling with heroin addiction.

How Heroin Addiction Develops

So, why does heroin addiction occur? Some of the most prominent causes of heroin addiction development may include:


Genetics can play a role in why some people are more prone to addiction than others. Research has suggested that genetics can play a significant role in increasing an individual’s risk of developing heroin addiction. Genetic factors may also be responsible for up to half of the vulnerability to heroin use. This is because certain genetic markers can increase the likelihood of drug abuse or dependence as well as other related mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.


The addictive quality of heroin is another factor that contributes to its widespread use and misuse. Heroin is one of the most potent opioid drugs available, creating a powerful sense of euphoria when taken. This intense feeling can cause users to become hooked quickly and lead them down the dangerous path of addiction. Heroin also has physical effects that make it attractive to certain users, like pain relief, relaxation, and elevated moods.

Mental Health

One of the most prominent contributing factors to heroin use and addiction is mental health issues. Mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can lead to substance abuse as a means of self-medication or escaping reality. Many individuals with mental health issues may initially turn to substances as an escape from their emotional distress and negative thoughts. Unfortunately, this behavior can lead to physical dependence on the drug, causing the individual to develop an addiction.

In addition to self-medicating, many people with mental health problems are also more likely to engage in risky behaviors. This risk-taking behavior increases the likelihood of developing an addiction. Those with pre-existing mental health issues are also more likely to have difficulty managing their cravings and triggers once they become addicted since their psychological state may already be altered.

Addressing the Causes of Heroin Addiction at Northpoint Omaha

Heroin addiction has the potential to devastate individuals, families, and communities. This is why, at Northpoint Omaha, we designed our heroin rehab program to provide the tools necessary to help break the cycle of addiction and begin living a healthier life.

We are committed to ensuring that those struggling with opioid use disorder get the care they need to achieve lasting recovery. From individual to family therapy to evidence-based treatment methods, we are here to help. At Northpoint Omaha, we understand that every person’s story is unique and requires personalized care.

Call Northpoint Omaha Today

At Northpoint Omaha, we provide compassionate and comprehensive care to help those struggling with heroin addiction move forward in their recovery journey. For more information on our heroin rehab program, call 888.687.8014 or complete our online form. There is a brighter, healthier future possible. If you or someone you know is struggling with heroin addiction, don’t wait any longer—seek help today.