Is heroin addictive?

YES. Heroin is highly addictive. We review what heroin is made of, and how you get addicted to heroin here.

minute read

YES. Heroin is addictive.

But what makes heroin addictive? How long does heroin stay in your body?  And how do you know when the addictive properties of heroin have taken over? We’ll review these questions here. We even invite your questions about the addictive liability of heroin at the end.

What is heroin used for?

Heroin is an opiate drug that has no legitimate medical uses. In the U.S., it is illegal to own or use heroin. However, heroin is still used to cause a euphoric high in people who abuse this dangerous street drug.

What is heroin made of?

Heroin is a natural substance. It’s derived from morphine, which occurs naturally in the opium poppy. Heroin can be sold as a powder or a solid substance, which may be sticky or hard.

How addictive is heroin?

Heroin is extremely addictive. Its chemical similarity to morphine and other opiate medications means it has a similar abuse liability. Heroin’s strong effects on the central nervous system cause it to be frequently abused, even though it’s only possible to obtain it as an illegal street drug.  Although heroin overdoses occur as tolerance builds,  snorting heroin or mixing alcohol with heroin and other central nervous system depressants often end up in overdose.

How do you get addicted to heroin?

It’s easy to get addicted to heroin. If you’re abusing heroin regularly to get high, you’re very likely to become addicted. Or if you use heroin in very high doses, that also makes it easier to get addicted to heroin. Either way, if you make the conscious choice to abuse this dangerous drug, you may become addicted to heroin.

Signs of heroin addiction

Heroin addiction involves a psychological craving for the drug. You may be addicted to heroin if you need to take heroin to deal with normal stresses in daily life, or feel you can’t function without it. Other signs of heroin addiction include:

1. Continued heroin abuse despite negative life consequences

2. Craving heroin and using it compulsively

3. Seeking heroin in order to stimulate the “reward center” of the brain

Heroin addiction potential questions

Do you still have questions about heroin addiction potential? Please leave them here. We are happy to help answer your questions personally and promptly. If we do not know the answer to your particular question, we will refer you to someone who does.

Reference Sources: Department of Justice: Heroin Fast Facts
NIDA: DrugFacts: Heroin

Veterans Administration Research Report: Heroin Abuse and Addiction
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. My boyfriend is a heroin addict and I want to do an at home drug test on him to see if he’s still lying to me or not about using. How long does it stay in your system for and would urine test work to see if he tested positive or not? Also what are the most common symptoms to heroin that is smoked?

  2. I need yo know hiw quickly can you become addicted to heroin? Lets say a person smoked it for the first time, would they be addicted? Is there a difference in potency between white heroin & black heroine?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Sofia. It depends from various factors such as metabolism, physical as well as mental health, etc. However, heroin is a highly addictive drug that may lead to addiction only after few doses.

  3. Hi Janelle. If you’re thinking about heroin, planning use, or spend a lot of time getting heroin…these are all signs of addiction. While physical dependency may not yet be present, craving it is one major characteristic of its addictive nature. Stop while you’re ahead! Do you know where to get help?

  4. if I used on June18 and then didn’t use until June 21st does that mean I’m addictive and it’s happened several times but the same way

  5. Hello Luis. It depends on what state you live in. Google the telephone number for your State Attorney General’s office and ask if there are laws in your state which mandate treatment when a person has become a hard to themselves or others. Each state differs. My heart goes out to you, Luis. It is very difficult to see those that we love in so much pain and trouble.

  6. Hello my father ended in hospital today for overdose on heroin what can I do to get him some help with out his concent before someone or us finds him dead!!

I am ready to call
i Who Answers?