Author: John Carter

Heroin: Effects, Addiction, Withdrawal Symptoms, and Treatment

herion addiction

People who use heroin can become tolerant of the drug. This means they will need larger or more frequent doses to achieve the desired effects. As you wait for an ambulance to arrive, use any naloxone (Narcan) you have on hand. This emergency medication can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. If you or someone you know shows these signs, call 911 immediately.

This results in the person taking higher or more frequent doses of the opioid in order to achieve the same level of good feeling. Heroin addiction, also called opioid use disorder, is a disorder that involves changes in the brain and behavior as a result of heroin use. A person should speak with a healthcare professional if they are thinking of stopping using heroin. They can help arrange a safe and effective treatment plan that minimizes health risks. Heroin works similarly to other opioids by binding to the opioid receptors in the central nervous system (CNS), which consists of the brain and spinal cord.

herion addiction

People with OUDs often require treatment to recover from heroin addiction. Treatment can include a combination of medication, therapy, and support groups. If someone continually misuses heroin, they may develop an opioid use disorder (OUD). One sign of an OUD includes increased tolerance to heroin, meaning that a person has to take larger amounts to get the same effect. Some people also develop a tolerance to heroin, meaning they must take increasingly stronger doses to get the same effect.

With its powerful effects, heroin can be a challenge to quit once you’ve started using. You’re chasing the siren of the first high by taking more. But even a thousand more doses will never bring back the experience of that first time. It’s often off-white, but its color can range from white to dark brown or black. Learning to recognize the devices used with heroin and what the drug actually looks like may help you identify heroin use in someone you care about.

What are the Symptoms of Heroin Addiction?

As a result, heroin can cause what people describe as a rush or state of euphoria. Heroin is a type of opioid made for recreational drug use. It can lead to addiction and misuse and has associations with several potentially severe side effects.

herion addiction

Healthline does not endorse the use of any illegal substances, and we recognize abstaining from them is always the safest approach. However, we believe in providing accessible and accurate information to reduce the harm that can occur when using. Naltrexone may be used after the detox process as a maintenance medication.

This helps them inject heroin into veins that have been damaged by regular heroin use. While not everyone who takes legal painkillers or recreational substances becomes addicted, some people won’t be able to stop taking them. People who take heroin often describe feelings of euphoria, although this is often short lived.

Heroin Overdose

Babies born to people who use heroin are often underweight. If a mother uses heroin while she’s pregnant, the baby may be born physically addicted to heroin too. If this happens, the baby may experience neonatal abstinence syndrome. They will need to detox and go through withdrawal after birth. People with a history of heroin addiction may develop kidney, liver, or heart disease because of their drug use.

  1. Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.
  2. That said, these numbers do suggest a significant percentage of people who use heroin may live with heroin use disorder.
  3. Over time, you may need more and more of it to experience the same effects.
  4. You hit rock bottom, perhaps after a run-in with the law.
  5. If you have a substance use disorder, your symptoms can range from mild (two or three symptoms) to severe (six or more symptoms).

After injecting it, someone will experience drug-induced euphoria quickly, often within seconds. Other means of using heroin don’t produce a reaction as quickly, but users show signs of being high when the drug reaches their brain. If you suspect that someone you care about is addicted to heroin, pay attention to their home, physical characteristics, and lifestyle habits. This may help you discover the truth and learn the depth of the problem. Identifying the signs of heroin addiction is an important first step toward supporting your loved one’s recovery. To stay off heroin, you must be vigilant in maintaining your physical and mental health after leaving a treatment program.

Other side effects of using heroin

Faster acting than morphine and highly addictive, heroin can result in physical dependence after a single use for some people. As the drug begins to wear off, the user may immediately feel a range of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that typically lead to subsequent use. Heroin is an illegal drug that people use for its euphoric effects. However, it can lead to addiction and cause severe side effects and withdrawal symptoms. Treatment for heroin addiction involves medication and behavioral therapy.

Our experts continually monitor the health and wellness space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available. Heroin (opioid) use disorder is a mental health condition. Having this condition means heroin use has disrupted your life, and you have trouble controlling how much you use. Depending on how you use it, heroin can go into effect immediately or within half an hour.

If you suspect that you or someone you care about has a heroin addiction, talk with a professional. This can include a mental health professional like a licensed drug or alcohol counselor or a social worker, physician, or psychiatrist. Additionally, a person can unintentionally overdose on heroin. The half-life of a drug is the time it takes for the amount of a drug’s active substance in your body to reduce by half. This means that heroin’s effects wear off quickly, and people must take it several times a day to maintain its effect. Healthcare experts may also refer to heroin misuse as a substance use disorder (SUD).

A Visual Journey Through Addiction

This means it causes health problems, disabilities, and trouble at home, work, or school. Heroin is a drug that comes from a flower, the opium poppy, which usually grows in Mexico, Asia, and South America. It’s very addictive and has been illegal in the United States since 1924.

To an outsider, it looks as though you have passed out. But on the inside you feel like a master of the universe, like you’re being “hugged by Jesus,” as one user said; there’s peace in your skin and not a single feeling of pain. The first step to getting better is admitting you have a problem.

Heroin use disorder is often marked by the need to take more heroin as your body develops a tolerance. Eventually, this could cause a potentially fatal overdose. Your susceptibility to substance use disorder can depend on your individual biochemistry, genetics, and any underlying health conditions. Long-term use of heroin can create potentially permanent changes to the structure of your brain.