The Effects of Heroin on the Body

Nov 2019 The Effects of Heroin on the Body

The effects of heroin on the body can be dangerous and shocking. Heroin has a tremendously powerful effect on the brain of each user, triggering feelings of immense pleasure and relaxation. If you have a heroin addiction, Phoenix Rising Recovery’s heroin addiction rehab center in Palm Springs, CA, can help you.

According to the CDC, heroin is responsible for over 20 percent of all overdose deaths in the country. Overall, opioids — the class of drugs heroin belongs to — claim tens of thousands of lives each year.

How Does Heroin Affect the Body?

The immediate psychological and physiological effects of heroin on the body are what capture the attention of heroin abusers. Heroin acts on the brain by immediately binding to specific receptors. These receptors control feelings of pleasure, pain, heart rate, breathing, and sleep.

Once bound to these receptors, heroin stimulates the body’s release of the neurotransmitter, dopamine. Because dopamine exhibits strong effects on the human body, it physically and psychologically reinforces the use of heroin.

When individuals use heroin, they feel overwhelming, immediate pleasure. Users return to the drug as they chase the high.  Heroin initially causes feelings of pleasure. Those feelings quickly give way to less pleasurable sensations that can be fatal.

Short-Term Effects of Heroin on the Body

How does heroin affect the body? Whether smoked, snorted, or injected, heroin elicits the same effects; however, injection of the drug triggers the most intense reactions. The following are the immediate, more pleasurable effects of the drug:

  • Pain reduction
  • An intense rush of pleasure and euphoria
  • Warming sensation throughout the body
  • Feelings of heaviness and relaxation in the limbs
  • Sedation
  • Drowsiness
  • Lethargy

Upon administration of heroin, many users nod in and out of consciousness due to the drug’s powerful effects. Users desire the potent immediate effects of heroin on the body, which do not last long. Within minutes, these desirable feelings can give way to the dangerous side effects of heroin on the body, including:

  • Severe nausea and vomiting
  • Unrelenting itching of the skin
  • Brain fog, confusion, and grogginess
  • Slowed mental and physical functioning
  • Decreased heart rate and body temperature
  • Slowed breathing rate
  • Coma and death

In some cases, these adverse effects of heroin on the body become severe enough to be life-threatening. Users nod in and out of consciousness while under the effects of the drug. Heroin users have no awareness of their declining state. In some cases, breathing slows to the point of inducing coma and even death.

Long Term Effects of Heroin on the Body

Due to its potent effects on the body, heroin draws users back to the drug again and again. While the short-term effects gradually subside between uses, the long-term effects slowly build over time. The following long-term side effects of heroin use can significantly impact a person’s enjoyment and quality of life:

  • Memory impairment
  • Depression
  • Social disorders
  • Long-term addictive behaviors
  • Poor sleep quality

Many of heroin’s long-term repercussions are psychological. How does heroin affect the body? Heroin damages teeth, the liver, the brain, and the heart valves in the long term. Bacterial infections at the injection site and reduced kidney function are also common to long-time heroin users. Considering the severity of the effects of heroin on the body, we recommend a substance abuse treatment program.

Recovering From The Effects of Heroin on the Body

When long-term heroin users attempt to cease using the drug, severe, and possibly life-threatening withdrawal symptoms ensue. How does heroin affect the body during withdrawal? Symptoms include:

  • body aches
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • mood disturbances
  • anxiety
  • diarrhea
  • insomnia
  • panic attacks
  • memory loss
  • fatigue 

Heroin withdrawal symptoms can be fatal unless appropriately treated. Supervision and medical treatment at an addiction rehab center is critical.  At Phoenix Rising, our compassionate and inclusive heroin detox center can help you take back your life.

Healing From Heroin Addiction Begins at Phoenix Rising Recovery

If you are ready to conquer your heroin addiction, our team is here to help. We’ll provide the support, guidance, education, and tools you need to overcome heroin addiction and reclaim your enjoyment of life. Don’t let heroin steal another minute of your precious time. Experience healing and renewal at Phoenix Rising. Contact us online or give us a call at 855-232-8211 to learn more about your treatment options.