What Is Heroin?
Heroin comes from morphine, a highly addictive substance that developers extract from the poppy plant. It is in a class of drugs known as opioids. As such, it is similar to drugs such as hydromorphone and oxycodone. Heroin has made a significant comeback over the last decade, contributing to the opioid epidemic that continues to grow each year. The effects of heroin use can come in the form of overdose or terminal health problems.
Like most drugs, heroin addiction can slowly develop over time. The body builds a tolerance to heroin, causing the user to increase the dosage to continue feeling the drug’s euphoric effects. The steady increase in use leads to chronic addiction, psychological problems, physical conditions, and issues with finances & relationships.
Psychological Effects of Heroin Use
When you take heroin for the first time, the substance attaches to your brain’s opioid receptors. This stimulates pleasure in the brain and the body, leading to euphoria and a feeling of fogginess. Heroin slows down your overall brain function, which can make you feel depressed once the initial effects of heroin use wear off.
Long term psychological effects may include:
- Building up a tolerance to the drug
- Developing a dependence on the drug
- Creating an addiction to the drug
- Withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to quit
These psychological effects occur over a period of several months or years, turning into a vicious cycle of cravings and rewards.
Physical Effects of Heroin Use
Heroin use can be so addictive that a user will ignore the physical effects and continue using the drug. Eventually, the body starts to wear down. Both system and organ function can steadily decline, leading to long-term or terminal health conditions. Some of the physical effects of using heroin include:
- Tissue damage
- Chronic pain and discomfort
- Heart infection
- Liver or kidney disease
- Respiratory problems
In addition, a user may suffer from sexual problems, menstrual problems, mental health issues, and stomach problems. At its worst, prolonged heroin use can lead to a fatal overdose.
Social Effects of Heroin Use
In addition to psychological and physical problems, the effects of heroin use can also impact other areas of a user’s life. An addiction can cause a strain in relationships with family, friends, or coworkers. Eventually, other people are affected by the addiction, as the user exhibits bizarre, irresponsible, or dangerous behavior.
Maintaining a heroin addiction can be expensive. Regardless of the financial risks, however, a user will spend every dime they have to purchase the drug. Once they have depleted their own funds, they may steal from others or take drastic measures to fuel the addiction.
A person who continues using heroin may experience changes in sleep, appetite, or routine. They may neglect responsibilities at home, work, or school. Eventually, they may isolate themselves from the rest of the world, as they become more obsessed with the drug.
Get Help for Heroin Addiction at Northern Illinois Recovery Center
You don’t have to let the effects of heroin use ruin your life. You can get help at Northern Illinois Recovery Center. We offer detox, rehab, and aftercare to help you get off of heroin and stay clean for life. To find out more about our treatment services, contact us online or call 855.786.1978. We can help you get on the road to recovery.