Effects Of Heroin Addiction On The Body
Heroin addiction takes a heavy toll on users. From the social, psychological, and mental consequences of addiction to the physical penalties of long-term use, the effects of heroin addiction wreaks havoc on a person’s entire life. Understanding the cost of addiction on a person’s physical and mental health will help you get the help you or a loved one needs.
What Is Heroin?
Heroin is a substance that comes from certain varieties of seed pods of poppy plants. It is made by processing morphine, also made from poppy plants, and turning it into a powder or a black tar-like substance. effects of heroin addiction
Most people are familiar with white powder heroin that can be snorted or smoked. It can also be heated and diluted with water so that it can be injected into the body. The black tar-like substance has to be diluted and injected. However, most people who start using heroin prefer to snort or smoke the powder because it is less scary than the stigma of injecting drugs into a vein.
Short-Term Effects of Heroin Addiction
Heroin is a highly addictive substance that affects brain receptors and how neurotransmitters bind to these receptors. For example, when heroin first enters the body, it stimulates an increase in the release of dopamine – a natural chemical in the body that makes us feel good.
With the increase in dopamine levels, heroin use is reinforced as a reward from the rush experienced. As a result, many people are hooked on heroin after using it just once or twice. The “high” experience makes it hard to want to stop using heroin.
Other short-term effects of using heroin can include:
- heaviness in the Extremities
- wry Mouth
- warm Sensations
- slowed Cognitive Functioning
- slowed Respiratory Rate
- slowed Heart Rate
- pain Relief
If someone accidentally overdoses when using heroin, there are serious short-term side effects of heroin addiction, as follows:
- slowed breathing and heart rates can cause a person to fall asleep and slip into a coma.
- breathing can stop, and the person suffocates.
- the heart stops beating, and the person dies.
Yet, even with these short-term side effects, the addictiveness of heroin can be too strong for a person to stop.
Long-Term Effects of Heroin Addiction
The short-term effects of heroin addiction start to decrease as the body develops a tolerance for the drug. After that, the body will attempt to compensate for the presence of the drug.
As a result, the sensations and “highs” felt while using heroin start to dissipate and become less noticeable. Therefore, a person has to take a larger amount of heroin to feel the same effects as they did when they first got hooked on the drug.
- other long-term effects of heroin addiction include:
- changes in the physiological structure of the brain.
- changes to the physical structure of the brain.
- permanent brain damage to the structures in the brain.
- the brain’s white matter starts to deteriorate.
- impaired decision-making abilities.
- engaging in risky and promiscuous behaviors.
- developing a physical dependence on heroin.
Once the body develops a physical dependence on the drug, the effects do not last as long. So, another long-term effect is that withdrawal symptoms can start to occur in as little as a few hours. The withdrawal symptoms also become more severe and intense, such as:
- uncontrolled Sweating
- uncontrolled Shakes
- cold Flashes
- muscle Pain
- bone Pain
To avoid withdrawal, heroin addicts will use heroin as soon as they start experiencing withdrawal. Additionally, with higher doses of heroin required to achieve the desired sensations, the risks of accidentally overdosing and dying increase significantly.
Mental Health Effects of Heroin
The mental health effects of heroin start the moment the drug is taken. In the short-term, decision-making and thinking, abilities are impaired. Since the brain is not able to process information correctly, it can lead to making poor decisions and engaging in risky behaviors.
The long-term mental health effects of heroin often result in the individual developing heroin use disorder. This condition is where the person is not able to stop their heroin usage, no matter how hard they try.
Rather, the brain and body have grown so accustomed to having heroin. So, it causes the person to engage in drug-seeking behaviors without regard for the consequences. Once someone reaches this point, they are addicted to heroin. Their drug use is no longer to get “high,” but simply to be able to function and avoid undesirable withdrawal symptoms.
In addition, the brain will stop producing natural chemicals and hormones because it has adjusted to the presence of heroin. Furthermore, the risks for developing mental health disorders increase the longer heroin is abused, such as antisocial disorder, anxiety disorder, and depression.
Heroin Addiction Treatment in Beverly Hills, CA
Fortunately, there is hope for heroin addicts with heroin addiction treatment from MD Home Detox in Beverly Hills, CA, and the surrounding areas. Treatment starts with supervised detox that could involve using MAT (medication-assisted treatment) to offset severe withdrawal symptoms.
Best of all, with our heroin addiction treatment program, you can safely detox in the comfort of your home. Our concierge-level treatment plan gradually weans you off of heroin. Once you complete detox, we can continue to assist you with your rehab using our extensive professional network to refer you to more intensive treatment programs when necessary.