Most people in the United States have heard of heroin and the damage it causes to millions of lives each year. This illegal drug derived from opium of the poppy plant has long been known as deadly. Sadly, this reputation does not keep people from falling into heroin abuse.
There are several types of heroin. These include white powder, brown powder, black chunks like coal, and a sticky black type known as black tar. People using the drug, smoke, snort or inject it.
However heroin abuse takes place, the drug is quick acting and produces a euphoric high of intense relaxation. But each dose includes many unknowns, such as potency and dangerous chemical additives. This is why so many people overdose on heroin and suffer deadly consequences.
Symptoms of Heroin Abuse
Heroin abuse begins because it creates an intense, euphoric high. People enjoy its warmth, calming and soothing feelings of well-being. This is the rush of heroin. It is also why people start abusing the drug and fall into its clutches.
How much heroin you use per dose, how long you use the drug, and frequency of use are all factors in what symptoms appear. There are some immediate side effects of using heroin. These include nausea, vomiting, itching and dry mouth.
After these symptoms come slowed movements, decreased activity and “nodding off.” Mental fogginess, slow breathing, slow heart rate, sleepiness and other side effects also occur.
Over the long term, heroin abuse leads to skin marks like needle tracks, bruising and other injection area sores. Abscesses and infections are also common. Heart problems, kidney disease, liver disease and collapsed veins also occur.
Outcomes of Abusing Heroin
There are many problems created by using heroin. Three take place on the road to heroin addiction. These include tolerance, dependence and addiction, itself.
Tolerance is your body’s adjustment to having heroin in its system, making it necessary to take larger doses or use more frequently to feel its same effects. Dependence is the state where your body needs heroin to feel normal. Your brain chemistry and structures have changed at this point, to work with heroin instead of against it. A combination of physical and psychological dependence is addiction.
Abusing heroin leads to social problems, relationship problems, lost work, financial struggles and legal consequences. It also causes health problems, many of which remain long after the drug use has stopped. Such health complications include:
- High risk of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis
- Mental health problems like depression and personality disorders
- Reproductive problems and sexual dysfunction
- Septum damage
- Miscarriages, neonatal abstinence syndrome, and low birth weight
Of course, one of the major risks of heroin use is an overdose. Overdose effects include slow breathing, slow heartbeat, loss of consciousness, brain damage, coma, and death. If you overdose, emergency responders or people in your household can use Narcan, the brand name of naloxone, to reverse the overdose effects and save your life. But don’t let heroin abuse lead to that.
Help for Your Heroin Addiction
Santé Center for Healing in Argyle, Texas provides addiction treatment for people just like you. Treatment at Santé Center is highly individualized, including dual diagnosis and poly-addiction treatment. Santé Center for healing has changed lives for over 20 years through the 12-step program and research-based programs that get to the core of your addiction for lasting recovery from trauma, addiction, and other conditions.
Programs of Santé Center for Healing include:
- Drug Detox and alcohol detox
- Residential treatment
- Intensive Outpatient
- Transitional living
Healing at Santé Center isn’t a “quick fix.” Instead, recovery takes place over the time period you need for lasting wellness. For some, this recovery occurs in only a few months. Others take advantage of programs for a few years.
Individuals gaining recovery at Santé Center for Healing include young adults aged 18 or older, professionals maintaining a career and others seeking the help they need for addiction and co-occurring conditions.
If you or someone you love are ready to end addiction to heroin or other substances while also treating the underlying causes of substance abuse, call Santé Center for Healing now at 866-238-3154. Heroin abuse ends with the right treatment. Santé Center provides that help, so call now.