There is a difference between mental and physical dependence.
means that the body will protest when use of the substance is stopped
(withdrawal symptoms). Compared to other substances this easily happens
with heroin. It doesn't mean that somebody is addicted after using heroin
only once, but if the use becomes more frequent, physical dependence
easily grows because of the development of tolerance.
means that the body easily gets used to the heroin and that the body
requires steadily larger doses to achieve the same effects.
When the heroin has lost its effect the withdrawal symptoms show up: the
user feels sick, sweaty and cold, has goose bumps, a running nose, stomach
ache, and pain in arms and legs. Possible symptoms are vomiting and
diarrhea. These symptoms disappear as soon as heroin is used again. That
is how the user easily ends up in a vicious circle. Mental dependence
means that the user anxiously wants to use the substance and doesn't feel
comfortable without it anymore.
Heroin causes mental dependence: it sedates everything, both physical and
mental pain, which makes people with serious problems (homeless,
unemployed, abused) susceptible to heroin. But also other people can
easily become dependent. That is why experimenting with heroin is
Heroin and its metabolites can be detected in urine for 24 hours, in hair samples for as long as the hair has been growing.