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Is Smoking Heroin Safer Than Intravenous Use?

Heroin is a highly addictive and potent opiate drug that can be used in various ways, and all of them are dangerous.

Heroin is a highly addictive and potent opiate drug that can be used in various ways. Some individuals who abuse this drug snort it or smoke it, while others use the drug intravenously (inject it directly into the bloodstream). Unfortunately, there is no safe way to use heroin. This specific opioid narcotic is highly addictive and can quickly result in serious interpersonal and health-related complications. In many cases, individuals who begin smoking this chemical substance eventually move on to intravenous use, seeing as the effects of the drug take hold more quickly when it is injected.

Addiction Treatment for Smoking and Injecting Heroin

If you have been suffering at the hands of a substance use disorder of any type or severity, inpatient addiction treatment will always be necessary. Absolute Awakenings specializes in the treatment of heroin abuse and addiction disorders – for more information on our program of recovery, please reach out to us at any point in time.

What Are the Dangers of Smoking versus Injecting Heroin?

When it comes to the method of using heroin, intravenous use is the most common. However, heroin can also be smoked, usually combined with another chemical substance like cannabis. People tend to assume that the method of ingestion affects the danger involved with the drug use itself; however, the truth is that using heroin is never safe in the slightest, regardless of how it is used. In short, smoking heroin is not safer than injecting heroin.

Smoking heroin – Individuals who choose to smoke heroin will typically add the drug to a marijuana cigarette or a normal, tobacco-filled cigarette. They might also smoke heroin out of a pipe. When an individual smokes heroin, the drug’s effects will not occur as quickly as they do when the drug is injected. There is also a slightly lower risk of heroin-related overdose. However, this does not mean that smoking heroin is safer. There is no safe way to use this potent opiate narcotic.

Intravenous heroin use – Individuals who use heroin intravenously by injecting it directly into their veins will feel an intense euphoric rush the quickest. This method of heroin use can be addictive in and of itself; some people become psychologically dependent on injecting a substance. Doing so can become almost ritualistic for some. The risk of overdose-related death also increases when the drug is used intravenously.

Absolute Awakenings – Heroin Addiction Recovery

Absolute Awakenings offers a comprehensive continuum of heroin abuse and addiction recovery for men and women of all ages. Heroin abuse of any severity must be treated with a multi-phased clinical care program, beginning with medical detox and concluding with a personalized and thorough aftercare program. Our recovery program touches upon each phase of recovery, ensuring that each client has access to the long-term care needed to stay sober for years to come.

If you have been suffering at the hands of heroin addiction – regardless of how you have been taking the drug – reaching out for professional help will be necessary. Give us a call, and our admissions counselors will conduct an over-the-phone assessment to help us determine how life-threatening the heroin abuse disorder is and what the first necessary step will be. When it comes to intravenous heroin use, an extended stay at an inpatient detox center is always crucial. Individuals smoking heroin might benefit from a shorter-term stay in an inpatient medical detox. However, long-term inpatient treatment is always a logical next step regarding heroin abuse and dependence.

If you or someone you know has been struggling with heroin abuse, please feel free to reach out to Absolute Awakenings today. We will gladly answer any additional questions and get you started on your healing journey as quickly as possible. When treating any heroin addiction, time is true of the essence.


  1. Huecker MR, Koutsothanasis GA, Abbasy MSU, Marraffa J. Heroin. In: StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing; 2022. Accessed January 16, 2023.
  2. Jahan AR, Burgess DM. Substance Use Disorder. In: StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing; 2022. Accessed January 16, 2023.
  3. Mathers BM, Degenhardt L, Bucello C, Lemon J, Wiessing L, Hickman M. Mortality among people who inject drugs: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Bull World Health Organ. 2013;91(2):102-123. doi:10.2471/BLT.12.108282

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