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Understanding the Effects of Heroin

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Understanding the Effects of Heroin

Unfortunately, there are many effects of heroin that people have to worry about. While some people use heroin for its short-term high, it can cause lasting physical damage. Loved ones may notice different signs and symptoms of addiction. Over time, these symptoms may become more noticeable as the addiction becomes worse. Addiction treatment programs can help your loved one stop using before these effects can take place.

What Are the Effects of Heroin?

While some people focus on the short-term effects of heroin, there are many long-term effects of heroin that are dangerous and potentially fatal. This drug causes changes in the brain. Over time, the individual may engage in drug-seeking behavior to get more heroin. They may face severe consequences because of their addiction, but they are unable to stop using.

The effects of heroin vary slightly from person to person. If someone has a history of using heroin in large doses, they may need more of the drug to reach the same effect. Someone may inject, snort or smoke heroin so that the drug crosses the blood-brain barrier. Once heroin has hit the brain, the effects of heroin begin right away.

The Short-Term Effects of Heroin

As soon as someone uses, the short-term effects of heroin begin. Heroin works on opioid receptors in the brain. Since these receptors control pain perception and rewards, the individual feels less pain and more pleasure.

Depending on the individual, the side effects of heroin may include symptoms like vomiting, nausea and extreme itching. A few hours later, the individual will normally feel extremely drowsy. Their heart and breathing slow down as their thinking becomes cloudy. This change in breathing can even lead to symptoms like permanent brain damage or coma.

The Long-Term Effects of Heroin

Over the long run, heroin can cause tolerance and an addiction to develop. Some of the long-term effects of heroin are difficult to reverse. Individuals may be more likely to contract diseases like HIV, hepatitis B, septicemia, hepatitis C and other blood-borne pathogens.

Many people develop side effects like collapsed veins, chronic pneumonia, skin disease or liver disease. Individuals may also develop a blood clot that causes a pulmonary embolism, stroke or heart attack. Other effects include kidney disease, respiratory depression, seizures, and overdoses. At a heroin addiction treatment center North Carolina, individuals can prevent these complications by quitting heroin and becoming sober.

Addiction Help Is Available

Sometimes, clients want to get help for an addiction and do not know how. They may not know about the kinds of young adult rehab programs that exist or which treatment options will work the best. An intake specialist can help clients learn more about what to expect and how to choose a program. At the treatment center, clients can find support through options such as:

  • Eco-therapy
  • Gender-specific treatment centers
  • Dual diagnosis care
  • Trauma-informed treatment programs
  • Wilderness and adventure therapies
  • Psychiatric and physical assessments

No one has to go through recovery alone. Through Red Oak Recovery®, you can discover the unique, hybrid programs you need to begin your sobriety. Discover more information about how we can help your treatment process by calling us today at 866.457.7590.