What Happens To Your Body When You Use Heroin?

by | Jul 20, 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.

What Happens To Your Body When You Use Heroin

Derived from the opium poppy, heroin is made from morphine and is highly addictive due to its effects on the pain and pleasure receptors in our bodies and brains. Although once used as a painkiller, the drug is now an illegal substance due to its highly addictive properties and the effects it can have on the body.

Using heroin can give users a euphoric feeling that lasts several hours. Still, once this wears off, people are left craving that initial high, and over time, our bodies will build up a tolerance. Meaning you need to consume more and more of the drug for the same effects. This can have damaging and far-reaching effects on your physical health and cause severe damage to your body.

Heroin Damage To Your Body

In the short term, users can experience slowed breathing, lower heart rates, and a relaxed and altered mental state, leaving them feeling almost wiped out and in a comatose-like state. Our opioid receptors in our bodies and brains are affected when using heroin, meaning you get the feel-good high which can wear off quite quickly.

At this point, withdrawal symptoms can start leading users to depend on the drug to feel normal and to eliminate the side effects once the initial hit has worn off.

You can expect to experience some of all of the following in the short term;

  • Breathlessness
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Warm flushes to the skin
  • Itchiness
  • Clouded thinking
  • Potential exposure to HIV due to incorrect or dirty needle use

Long-Term Effects of Heroin On The Body

Prolonged use of heroin can be devastating to the body. Those with heroin addiction should seek treatment for their addiction as soon as possible to limit or reduce the long-term physical and mental health effects. Choosing inpatient treatment can assist with immediate withdrawal symptoms and observe and monitor any damage caused by long-term use of the drug for safer and more manageable withdrawals.

Your body will be put under massive pressure not only from the drug but also from the method of ingestion and any other drugs or chemicals used to cut the heroin from its pure state.

Long-term side effects of heroin use include but are not limited to:

  • Liver disease
  • Pulmonary infections
  • Collapsed veins
  • Kidney disease
  • Hepatitis
  • Skin infections
  • Loss of fertility
  • Miscarriage
  • Loss of white brain matter

Heroin Addiction Treatment

However, it isn’t too late to seek treatment regardless of how much or how often you are taking heroin. Health matters can be complicated by existing health conditions or complications arising from damage caused by opioid use.

Treatment options can be massively successful in helping addicts maintain a sober lifestyle with support from the right places. Each person requiring treatment for substance abuse will get assessed on a one-to-one basis to determine the right treatment plan for their recovery.

Impact Outpatient Program is a one-of-a-kind treatment program clinically developed and evidence-based to provide the best results when overcoming addiction. Intensive outpatient treatment programs comprise personal and group therapy sessions as you would if you were an inpatient. Treatment plans can include Telemed services offering ongoing support from a more remote location if you cannot travel to the facility.

Whatever option you choose, getting treatment for your addiction is a big step and the right choice for regaining sobriety and getting your life back on track.

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