Heroin is among the most addictive substances. If you engage in heroin use for long periods or overdose on it, the drug can wreak havoc on your body. Heroin abusers experience euphoria, but the feeling does not last for long. The user needs to increase the substance’s quantity to achieve the same high in subsequent episodes, leading to dependency and overdose.
If you quit using heroin abruptly without the help of a rehab center like Northern Illinois Recovery, you will experience severe withdrawal symptoms, some of which can turn tragic.
Increased Tolerance and Onset of Severe Withdrawal
Heroin binds to the brain’s opioid receptors. With time, these receptors become less responsive to the substance. At this stage, you will need to keep on increasing the dosage quantity to achieve the same effects as before.
As tolerance increases, dependency sets in, and you will experience a painful withdrawal if you attempt to stop using abruptly. The common heroin withdrawal symptoms include:
- Sporadic leg movements
- Bone and muscle pain
- Cold flashes, often with goosebumps
Suppression of the Central Nervous System (CNS)
Shortly after consuming heroin, you will experience a suppression of your mental function. As such, you will be unable to make decisions, react to signals, and communicate with other people.
The suppression of the CNS is often short-lived. However, because of severe cravings, you may take additional quantities of the substance. Sadly, the suppressed mental function hampers the ability to resist cravings, which is a recipe for overdose.
With time, the effects of heroin use can cause an irreversible alteration to the way your brain functions. It can destroy the white matter. The result is the inability to make proper decisions, regulate behavior, and respond to stress appropriately.
When you take heroin frequently, it can damage the physiological and physical structure of your brain. The result is the creation of a chronic imbalance in the hormonal and neuronal systems. Such changes are often hard to reverse.
Heroin Use Damages the Heart
Most people who use heroin inject it intravenously. The methods of using the drug mean that it has an immediate and direct effect on the heart. Other than scarred or collapsed veins around the injection area, such habits can lead to bacterial infections of blood vessels and heart valve.
Even if you sterilize the needles, the risk of blood vessel and heart damage remains. Heroin often contains additives that block the user’s veins. Therefore, the drug itself is not suitable for the heart and body veins.
Heroin Use Leads to Female Infertility
Heroin abuse can interfere with a woman’s menstrual cycle. Unfortunately, such disruptions can hamper a woman’s ability to conceive, even after quitting use. Moreover, a pregnant woman has an increased risk of miscarriage if she uses heroin. Even if she does not miscarry, the risk of premature delivery is significantly high. In case you suspect a male loved one of substance abuse, low libido is one of the leading signs of heroin use.
Effects of Heroin Use Damage the Liver
Heroin can increase your risk of contracting hepatitis C, which causes liver cirrhosis and cancer. Since most heroin abusers share needles and prepare the drug in unhygienic conditions, the habit exposes them to bodily fluids that might contain the virus.
If you or your family members have liver damage due to heroin abuse, get in touch with a professional for help. Rehabs have the right training necessary to address any form of substance use disorder. Typical evidence-based treatment programs for heroin use disorders include:
- Heroin addiction treatment program
- Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
- Structured sober living program
- Family therapy program
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
Contact Northern Illinois Recovery for Heroin Addiction Treatment
When you see the signs of heroin use in a loved one, do not hesitate to seek professional help. Heroin use can turn tragic if you fail to act immediately. Contact Northern Illinois Recovery at 855.786.1978 to access evidence-based treatment programs for heroin abuse.