Heroin is a dangerous and highly addictive drug, so it should come as no surprise that it can negatively impact your life. Heroin can cause short-term physical side effects, pose severe long-term health risks, and destroy social relationships. While heroin effects are devastating, recovery is possible with a residential treatment center like Crestview Recovery. Explore the scope of heroin effects to truly understand the need for heroin addiction treatment.
The Immediate Effects of Heroin Use
Whether users inject, smoke, or snort it, heroin immediately impacts the brain and the body. Thanks to the fact that it’s an opioid, heroin can immediately create a feeling of pleasure, or numbness, in the body. Essentially, heroin is a depressant for the entire nervous system.
A common effect of heroin consumption is a condition called nodding. This is when users fall into a state that’s not quite sleeping and yet not quite waking. Drowsiness and lethargy are common. Worse, some users experience a significant drop in heart rate or respiration, causing a coma.
Over time, heroin users may begin to notice that the number of the drug’s side effects increases. Even minutes after use, these side effects are noticeable. They can include nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, blue lips and hands, confusion, and dry mouth. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek help from a drug addiction rehab program.
Long-Term Symptoms of Heroin Consumption
If the short-term effects of heroin are bad, then the long-term effects are even worse. Heroin use impacts the way that the brain responds to stimuli. This can lead to an increase in pain sensitivity and may also raise mental health concerns. Conditions like depression, paranoia, anxiety, and suicidal tendencies all increase in likelihood after prolonged heroin use.
Heroin use can also lead to severe physiological problems. The drug affects decision-making, digestion, and emotion regulation. This can be very uncomfortable and can lead to major issues over time. Heroin use also weakens the immune system. This makes heroin users more likely to catch colds and struggle with other infectious diseases. Individuals who use heroin regularly may suffer from skin conditions. The drug can also cause insomnia, dental problems, and malnutrition.
Heroin Use Can Become an Addiction
Particularly worrying is the fact that heroin is so incredibly addictive. There’s no safe way to try heroin just once. In fact, many people who use heroin only do so because they already have an addiction to prescription opioid medication. The only truly effective way to avoid developing a heroin addiction is to never use this drug at all.
If you or someone you know is struggling with heroin addiction, it’s important to seek professional help as soon as possible. There are many effective treatment options available, but the sooner you get started on the road to recovery, the better.
Heroin Effects Can Include Financial and Career Problems
While heroin can clearly impact health, it can also create problems in other areas of life. Using heroin means that other things become less important. This includes family, relationships, and career. In addition, heroin use is expensive. Combine the cost with reduced performance at work, or even losing a job, and financial problems are very likely.
Many heroin users also develop legal problems. These can include charges for possession or theft, as well as charges related to any accidents or violence that occurred while under the influence. A criminal record can make it difficult to find work, housing, and financial assistance in the future.
A heroin addiction can quickly take over every aspect of a person’s life. It’s important to get help as soon as possible to avoid further damage.
If you or someone you know is struggling with heroin addiction, please reach out for help. There are many resources available to assist you in finding treatment and recovery options. Don’t wait to get help, as the consequences of delay can be significant.
Breaking Free From a Heroin Dependence
Once an individual develops a chemical dependence on heroin, solo recovery is unlikely and extremely difficult. That’s why the best course of action is to seek out a heroin addiction treatment program. Addiction treatment comes in many varieties, so patients can always find a program that suits their needs and lifestyle.
When selecting a recovery program, look for:
- A range of behavioral therapies
- Individual counseling, group therapy, and family therapy
- Partial hospitalization programs and outpatient rehab options
- An emphasis on relapse prevention
- Fitness and art therapies
Heroin effects impact all areas of life. To rid yourself of these effects once and for all, get to know Crestview Recovery in Portland, Oregon. Call 866.262.0531 and start imagining your future of sobriety.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.