What is heroin and what does it look like?
Heroin is a powerful opioid drug. It is processed from morphine and an extract of the opium poppy plant; heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that in 2011, more than 4 million Americans had used heroin at least once in their lives. About 23% of people who use heroin become physically dependent on the drug.
What does Heroin make you feel like?
While snorting and smoking gets the user high, only injection causes a sudden heroin rush.
After administration, users report a sense of pleasant euphoria frequently accompanied by a dry mouth, a warm flushing of the skin, a heavy feeling in the arms and legs, and clouded thinking. Following this initial euphoria, heroin consumers will go “on the nod,” flowing back and forth between being awake and asleep.
Harmful Effects of Heroin on the Body
Heroin binds to molecules on special cells, known as opioid receptors, located throughout the body. The brain contains a large number of opioid receptors, so heroin has a profound effect on the brain – especially in the areas of the brain responsible for perceiving pleasure and pain. Heroin and other opioids stimulate pleasure centers of the brain and suppress activity in the brain’s pain centers.
Heroin also affects the brain stem, responsible for automatic critical processes such as breathing and blood pressure, because of the large number of opioid receptors found there. Large doses of heroin can suppress breathing and cause a serious drop in blood pressure. Heroin overdose frequently involves respiratory depression, which can be fatal.
Regular heroin use changes brain function to cause unwanted effects. One such effect is increased tolerance, where a user must take stronger doses of heroin to achieve the same intensity of effects.
Heroin use has other side effects, including increased risk for contracting and spreading infectious diseases through the practice of sharing needles. People who inject drugs are at high risk for HIV and Hepatitis C, which is the most common blood-borne infection in the United States.
Additionally, chronic users may experience collapsed veins from injecting heroin, infection of heart valves or in the lining of the heart, abscesses, digestive problems, liver disease, or kidney disease. Furthermore, street drugs frequently contain additives that can permanently damage the blood vessels serving vital organs.
Heroin Tolerance and Physical Dependence
Physical dependence and addiction are common side effects of regular heroin use. Physical dependence causes severe, flu-like withdrawal symptoms when the individual stops using heroin. In cases of addiction, the individual craves heroin and seeks out opioids even though he knows the negative consequences associated with drug use.
Fortunately, treatment is available for addiction to or physical dependence on heroin. Rapid medical heroin detox administered by a detoxification professional alleviates withdrawal symptoms to help dependent individuals endure withdrawal symptoms. Behavior modification and other forms of rehabilitation after the detoxification helps heroin users overcome their addiction.
If you or someone you know is suffering from heroin addiction and experiencing heroin side effects, contact Waismann Method rapid opiate detoxification. We offer a heroin withdrawal treatment that can get help the patient through the withdrawal process safely and comfortably, without the unnecessary suffering usually involved with other medical detox methods.