Heroin addictions will have a negative impact on your life. If its not financial, it could be to your career, family, relationships and certainly health. Long term use will change the way your brain works, and it can take months or longer for you brain to come close to how it was before you started using heroin. Quitting heroin is most easily achieved with medical help. The withdrawal symptoms are strong and in the form of physical addiction as well as psychological addiction. Read on to find out more about heroin, how it can affect you or someone you know.
WHAT IS HEROIN?
Heroin is an opioid made by a crude preparation of diamorphine from morphine which, in turn, comes from the latex of a certain poppy plant.
The poppy plant where heroin is derived is normally found in Asia – most commonly in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and in South America in Columbia and Mexico.
Heroin from Asia can be ‘smoked’ by heating the solid on a metal foil, or spoon above a small flame and inhaling the vapour. Those intending to inject this form of heroin must first dissolve it with, for example, citric acid or ascorbic acid.
Heroin from Asia is suitable for direct injection of a solution. A typical dose is 100 mg at normal level purity.
Heroin is, in essence a powerful painkiller which is why it is so addictive and also why peoples use of heroin tends to follow an upwardly trend, needing more and more to get an equivalent “high”.
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF HEROIN?
Like most drugs, the effects of heroin use and abuse are subcategorised into its short-term effect and long-term effects.
Long term effects will be the symptoms and effects the drug has on your mind and body over a long stretch of continuous use, whereas short-term effects are what you can expect after having just used heroin.
SHORT TERM EFFECTS
Injecting or inhaling the vapours of heroin will induce almost immediate effects. Snorting it will delay the effects up to a few minutes.
Like other powerful painkillers, heroin will give you a sense of euphoria, happiness, relaxation and sometimes sleepy.
Other short-term effects can also include, nausea, overwhelming tiredness, dry-mouth, and the slowing down of your heart rate and breathing.
These effects can last a short while depending on a few factors. These factors include your tolerance, weight, metabolism, and gender.
Inhalation tends to cause the effects to last up to about an hour whereas injecting or snorting can make them last much longer and more intensely.
LONG TERM EFFECTS
The long-term effects of heroin use can cause strong physical as well as psychological damage.
Long-term use can damage the actual structure of your brain which, in turn, can alter your hormonal and neurological processes.
Long-term of using needles can cause collapsed veins. Needle use, especially the sharing of needles can also lead to many infections and STDs.
Arthritis, tuberculosis, AIDS, and hepatitis C2 and hepatitis B can also be contracted through sharing needles. Heroin use has also been linked to kidney disease.
Continued use of heroin can also lead to mouth issues like bad teeth and inflammation of the gums, appetite loss, menstrual, breathing problems, memory loss, severe itching, and a weakened immune system. In some cases, heroin use can lead to a coma
Heroin is extremely addictive, and people do get hooked after 1 or 2 uses.
Repeated use of heroin can lead to heroin/opioid use disorder which is classed as a chronic disease.
But it can be treated successfully with the right care. Contact us at Findrehab today to discuss options for yourself or a loved one. You are not alone, many people abuse heroin but we have helped many people overcome their addictions and are here and ready to help you.
Every year over 150,000 people die from drug overdoses around the world. Many of these can be attributed to heroin.
Do you know the signs to look for if you suspect someone is suffering from a heroin overdose?
The most common symptoms are:
· Shortness of breath (or gasping)
· Pale appearance to the skin
· Blue fingertips or lips
But the symptoms could also include:
· Unresponsiveness (not waking after being shaken or shouted at)
· Falling asleep in the middle of a sentence whilst speaking
· A “lolling” head whilst sitting upright
· Mental status changes such as not making sense, stumbling, slurring, or becoming angry having been asked a simple question.
Its important to remember, whilst you may think you have seen an accurate portrayal of an overdose in movies or TV shows, an overdose isn’t necessarily immediate but can take hours, never leave someone on their own you suspect may have started an overdose – its not something they can “sleep off”
PLEASE GET IN TOUCH NOW IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS SUFFERING WITH HEROIN ADDICTION.
Frequently asked questions
- What are some signs and symptoms of heroin addiction?
The signs and symptoms of heroin addiction include, but are not restricted to: needle marks on the skin, constipation, slowed breathing, drowsiness, small pupils, sudden changes in behaviour and weight, social withdrawal, neglecting responsibilities, financial and legal issues.
- How does heroin affect the brain and body?
Heroin affects the brain by binding itself to opioid receptors, which are located in areas of the brain that control pleasure and pain. This leads to a rush of euphoria, followed by feelings of lethargy, slowed breathing, and a decreased heart rate. Long-term use of heroin can cause changes in the brain that lead to severe addiction, as well as other health problems such as infections, liver and kidney disease, and breathing problems.
- Can heroin addiction be treated?
Yes, heroin addiction can be treated with a combination of behavioural therapy, medication, and support from family and loved ones. Treatment can help individuals overcome addiction, manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms, and learn coping skills to maintain their sobriety.
- What are some of the medications used to treat heroin addiction?
Some of the medications used to treat heroin addiction include: methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. These medications reduce cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and can be used in combination with behavioural therapy to improve treatment outcomes and longer term recovery.