From an outside perspective, it is difficult to understand how someone could become a heroin user. It is not every day we see people wanting to inject themselves with anything, let alone a drug so potent and powerful. That’s just it – the drug is so powerful that it takes control of the body. Individuals dealing with heroin addiction are no longer in control, and that is just what this drug does.
Short-term effects of heroin
Heroin is such a powerful drug that it binds to mu-opioid receptors (MOR) in the brain and activates them. Neurotransmitters in the body bind to the receptors, causing the body to release dopamine and reinforce the use. As a result, the brain’s reward center is constantly looking for the drug and only feels satisfied once it has it.
After taking heroin, users feel relief from pain, anxiety, and a general sense of wellbeing. Additionally, some heroin users often experience negative side effects during use such as:
- Heavy arms and legs
- Dry mouth
- Heightened body temperature leading to warm flushing of the skin
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe itchiness
These feeling can last several minutes followed by an overwhelming sense of drowsiness. Afterward, a user may have a clouded mental state and nod off for several minutes. Users will experience confusion, decreased or irregular heart rates, and suppressed breathing.
Going through the various stages of a heroin high puts users at risk of death. When they slow down breathing, they are limiting the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain, which can lead to a coma or death.
Heroin can lead to death in users by having a drastic impact on four major organs: the lungs, heart, kidneys, and the brain. Each of these vital organs suffers greatly during each use of heroin and individuals often experience long-term side effects from their use. Some long-term effects are:
- Depression, insomnia, and loss of appetite
- Cold sweats, muscular weakness and/or partial paralysis
- Loss of memory
- Problems sleeping and/or interacting with others
Heroin is a powerful drug that can lead to loss of friends, family, jobs, and even life. This drug takes control of a user’s mind and does not let go until they are ready to take back control. At Asana Recovery, we have several programs designed to help addicts get off heroin. Our fully monitored detox program ensures patients are safe and comfortable throughout the process of removing heroin from their system while trying to minimize the side effects they experience.
Our inpatient treatment program is designed for patients to experience several forms of traditional therapy and medication-assisted therapy. Patients benefit from the programs at Asana Recovery as they show them how to be calm and collective in finding healthier alternatives they can enjoy. Heroin addiction is extremely serious and can lead to death. If you or a loved one is suffering from heroin addiction, please contact us at (949) 416 – 3323 to see what options are available for you.