How Addictive Is Heroin: Impacts On Your Brain & Body

by | Jul 30, 2022

Addiction can be a challenging and isolating struggle, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. If you are seeking addiction treatment in Louisville, Kentucky, there is hope.

Heroin is a highly addictive substance derived from the opium poppy. It is made from morphine which is a psychoactive and highly addictive substance.

Heroin use has increased dramatically in recent years, and helping to tackle heroin addiction and substance abuse can help users overcome their addiction to facilitate a sober lifestyle.

Users of heroin administer the substance in various ways, including ingesting, injecting, and snorting it. However, there are massive mental and physical health complications associated with heroin use, and the impacts on your brain and body can be severe.

How Heroin Impacts The Brain

When heroin enters the brain, it attaches itself to the opioid receptors. These receptors can be found in various brain and body parts and are associated with pain and pleasure. 

In the short term, heroin produces good feelings and clouded thinking giving users an altered state of mind. This can last for a few hours giving users a sense of drowsiness, a lowered heart rate, and slower breathing, leaving them in a relaxed or near-comatose state depending on the dosage.

However, once this wears off, users can be left in a bad mood, leaving them craving the effects of heroin and leading to prolonged and sustained use. 

Over time, the brain will build up a tolerance for the substance meaning users need to increase the volume and frequency of heroin they consume. This leads people into a downward spiral of addiction and dependency where they need the drug to be able to function, and all they can think about is obtaining their next dose.

What Happens To The Body When Using Heroin?

Our bodies’ opioid receptors are located in the brain, spinal column intestines, lungs, and brain stem. When taking heroin, there are numerous effects your body can experience, ranging from relatively mild to life-threatening and even lethal. The chances of suffering severe physical bodily effects increase depending on your body, your medical conditions, and the quantity consumed.

These can include but are not limited to;

  • Dry mouth
  • Warm flushes
  • Nausea
  • “Nodding Off” – going in and out of an unconscious state
  • Itching
  • Slowed breathing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sleep interruptions or disturbances
  • Stomach issues
  • Tissue damage related to how you take heroin and much more

As you continue to use this opioid, the more damage it will do to your body and the more harm you will be doing to your mental and physical health.

Heroin is a highly addictive substance that can have widespread detrimental effects on your brain and body. Prolonged use can worsen the symptoms of taking heroin and the withdrawals experienced between hits.

Other complications arise when heroin is cut or mixed with other substances, further damaging the body and causing untold consequences.

If you are struggling with a heroin addiction, you should seek help to overcome your addiction and substance abuse as soon as possible. Focused inpatient treatment can allow you to withdraw safely in a controlled environment while medical professionals monitor you. Alternative methods include an intensive outpatient program that can support you in regaining control of your life and Telemed services to keep your addiction recovery and maintain sobriety.
Choosing a rehab facility that offers a one-of-a-kind outpatient alcohol and drug rehab program can give you the best chances of success for withdrawing from heroin and maintaining ongoing sobriety in the future.

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