Heroin is a dangerous, illicit drug. It creates a number of high-risk occurrences within the brain and body, putting you at risk. Heroin side effects can impact your ability to function normally but also makes it difficult for you to stop using. That is why you need help from resources like Santé Center for Healing. Allow our team to help you to break your addiction.
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is a type of opioid. This is an illicit drug, meaning it is not prescribed by a doctor. However, some people use it when they can no longer obtain prescription pain killers from their doctors. In all cases, the National Institutes on Drug Abuse notes that the number of people using heroin has steadily increased since 2007, and overdoses of it are growing as well.
Because it is highly addictive and difficult just to stop using, it’s important to recognize what it can do to your body and brain.
Short-Term Heroin Side Effects
The short-term or immediate effects of heroin are what many people use it for. When heroin enters the brain tissue, it begins to work to bind to the opioid receptors in the brain. This is the center of your brain that controls pleasure, addiction, and other feelings. A heroin user initially feels a rush or high. This often creates a dry mouth, flushing of the skin, and a heavyweight in the arms.
This can last for a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the amount of the drug consumed. Then, a person may become very tired. Their brain activity slows down their heart rate, making them very tired. Mental function is clouded, and breathing slows. In some cases, enough of the drug can slow the heart and breathing down so much a person may experience a loss of consciousness, coma, or brain damage.
Long-Term Heroin Side Effects
The more the person uses the drug, the more common side effects are. Over time, the drug changes the physical structure of the brain itself. The opioid receptors begin to change physically and to become dependent on the drug. This creases neuronal imbalances, hormonal imbalances, and physical complications. A person may:
- Make poor decisions
- Have trouble self-regulating behavior
- Have a profound degree of physical dependence
- Withdrawal symptoms occur if the drug is stopped
- Heroin use disorder may occur
In a person with a drug addiction, withdrawal symptoms are common if the user does not get enough of the drug in their body. This can include shaking, nausea, vomiting, restlessness, insomnia, and pain. The condition can develop further into heroin use disorder. In this situation, the person’s sole purpose in daily life is to seek out the drug and use it. Without it, their brain cannot work properly.
What Can You Do if You Have a Heroin Addiction?
Because of the intensity of heroin side effects and addiction, those who are using should seek out a heroin detox treatment program. During this process, the chemical is removed from the body. Heroin detox treatment is specialized to minimize withdrawal symptoms.
Most people also benefit from residential drug treatment, where they will spend several months working with counselors to see improvement. Long-term aftercare is also necessary for many men and women with heroin addiction.
If you are experiencing this addiction, Santé Center for Healing offers the type of care you need in a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere. You can stop these long-term effects from impacting your health and life.
Finding Treatment for Heroin Addiction
If you are like many people struggling with heroin addiction, there is help available to you. This is very important if you have heroin side effects that are creating life-threatening risks to you and your family. To learn more about how we can help you, call Santé Center for Healing at 866.238.3154.