Heroin Effects

What are They?

Heroin is a highly addictive, extremely strong painkiller. The sheer strength of heroin can have lots of effects on its users. Once heroin enters the body it binds with natural occurring endorphin receptors in the brain that alleviate pain; heroin effects magnify and extend this pain-free feeling. When taking heroin, this opioid drug can block pain receptors that travel through the spinal cord from the body. It can also increase feelings of pleasure once heroin alters the limbic system that controls emotions.

So… What does heroin do?

Heroin effects depend on how it is taken, either ingested, smoked, or used intravenously, the heroin effects can occur immediately or after a few minutes. Mentally, users will experience a blinding sense of euphoria and pleasure; almost as if all of life’s worries fade away. Heroin gives users a feeling of warmness and sense of a well-being. Physically, users can experience a flushed feeling in their face, a heavy sensation in the legs and arms, reduced feelings of pain, drowsiness and can become lethargic. It is common for those using heroin to have periods of alertness and then periods of being asleep. This is known as “nodding”.

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Heroin comes with what some describe as ‘euphoria’, but this short-lived feeling comes at a very high price. The effects that heroin have on the body, both short term effects of heroin and long-term effects of heroin, are staggering. Those who use heroin, even for a short amount of time, can experience many of the same effects that those have who have been using heroin for many years’ experience.

Physical Effects of Heroin

Some heroin effects on the body can be seen almost immediately after use. Just a few of the short-term heroin effects include nausea/vomiting, dry mouth, itchy skin, lower body temperature, light sensitivity and slowed breathing and heart rate. Because heroin is a painkilling sedative, functions of the body can become depressed which affects the body’s ability to perform basic, necessary things. These effects can be very dangerous, even fatal. With a slowed breathing and heart rate, heroin users are at greater risk for respiratory arrest, heart problems, lack of oxygen to the brain which could result in coma, and even death. Heroin overdose over the last few years has quintupled. Those that use the drug are at risk each time they use it for a potentially fatal outcome.
The long-term physical effects of heroin use include damaged dental health, severe constipation, diminished immune system, weakness/sedation, malnutrition due to a decreased appetite, sleeping problems, liver and heart disease, collapsed veins, and addiction. Once the user becomes addicted to the drug, the body can no longer function without it. To perform daily tasks and even have a sense of feeling ‘normal’, heroin addicts will not only need to continue their use but use more and more as their body builds a tolerance to the drug.

Mental Effects of Heroin heroin effects heroin withdrawal

Heroin doesn’t only come with physical effects, but also comes with mental and emotional effects as well. Heroin use changes the physiology of the brain which creates long-term imbalances. Damage and deterioration to the white matter in the brain can affect behaviour including decision-making abilities. Heroin addicts have trouble concentrating, learning new things, and even have trouble organizing their thoughts. On an emotional level, heroin can completely change who a person is. Once they become addicted to the drug, they will say and do almost anything to get more. Self, friends, family, and loved ones all take the back-burner in an addict’s life. Heroin addicts often cannot see the destruction that comes with their addictions and the people who are close to the addict are the ones that suffer. When using heroin, a person can have trouble acting in an acceptable manner in front of other people in social situations. Holding down a job, making doctor appointments, showing up for responsibilities; these are all things that a person using heroin will have a great amount of trouble with.

What is Heroin Withdrawal and What Exactly Does It Do?

One of the greatest side effects of heroin use is heroin withdrawal. If a person using heroin abruptly stops their use, they will then go through withdrawal. The withdrawal comes with its own unique version of physical and mental ailments. After a person uses heroin for an extended period, weeks or even days, their body and their mind become dependent on the drug and needs it to function. Withdrawal can occur within hours from the last use. Withdrawal symptoms include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, inability to sleep, diarrhoea and vomiting, cold flashes and more. The first 48 hours after the last use are when the withdrawal symptoms are at a peak and can last for up to a week. The longer a person uses heroin the longer the withdrawal phase can take and the more dangerous it can be. To have less painful heroin withdrawals consider going to a professional heroin detox.

The Effects of Heroin

Heroin is a drug that can make the user feel euphoric and pain-free, however, the side effects of heroin use are deadly and devastating. Physical, mental and emotional aspects of life can be completely changed from heroin use. Heroin is a deadly drug that continues to affect the lives of people using, even after they decide to stop. Long-term physical and psychological function will remain a constant battle for those who have used or continue to use heroin. The best chance someone has of breaking free from all heroin effects is to go to a heroin rehab and receive heroin addiction treatment.