As one of the most dangerous and addictive drugs on the planet, heroin causes all kinds of side effects. These side effects can become apparent just minutes after heroin consumption, but they can also appear after years of use. The only way to avoid these short and long-term effects of heroin is through professional addiction treatment.
Short-Term Effects of Heroin
Heroin can be consumed in several different ways. Whether individuals smoke, snort, or inject the drug, heroin will begin to immediately impact the way a user feels. Most people who use heroin claim that they experience brief euphoria.
Heroin is a central nervous system depressant, meaning it slows down the certain bodily functions. Lethargy, fatigue, and a lack of motivation are common short-term effects of heroin. That depressant quality can also cause the heart to slow down, and it can also impact the respiratory system.
In the short term, heroin abuse can also lead to gastrointestinal distress. Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramping can happen right away. The drug causes constipation, and that can have immediate as well as lasting effects. Many users also report itchy skin, dry mouth, and difficulty breathing.
Long-Term Psychological Effects of Heroin
Long-term heroin use can also lead to a number of unpleasant psychological symptoms. While heroin use undoubtedly brings about various dangerous physical symptoms, the psychological symptoms can be just as problematic. Most importantly, they can drastically reduce the user’s quality of life.
Many heroin users will experience depression as well as anxiety. This can cause social isolation, which only intensifies these mental health conditions. In some cases, users experience paranoia or suicidal thoughts. Many individuals withdraw from social activities, avoid family events, or limit interaction.
Prolonged heroin use can also lead to memory loss. It can impact the sleep cycle, causing users to feel exhausted while also struggling with insomnia. Heroin use also tends to reduce sexual libido and pleasure.
Long-Term Physical Effects
Prolonged heroin use can lead to countless physical problems. Since heroin is an opiate, use can cause severe constipation. A reduction in appetite can lead to dramatic weight loss and even malnutrition in some cases.
Dental health often suffers because of heroin use. A lack of hygiene, as well as gum swelling, can cause pain and decay. Bacterial infections, abscesses, and heart valve infections are also common problems. Reproductive health can also decline as a direct result of heroin use.
Heroin use also damages the immune system. Without the strength to fight off common colds and infections, heroin users are sick more often. They’re also more prone to serious illnesses.
Risk of Overdose and Addiction
One of the most serious effects of heroin use is the potential for developing an addiction. Heroin is highly addictive, with one in four people becoming addicted to the drug after a single use.
Heroin addiction can not only lead to various health problems, but it can also impact life in other ways. A heroin addiction often means financial problems, a lack of career choices and broken relationships with friends and family.
Every time a person uses heroin, there’s also a risk of an overdose, which can cause permanent damage and even be fatal.
A Treatment Solution for Lasting Recovery
The only way to eliminate the symptoms of heroin use is to tackle the addiction in a medically supervised environment. At Ashley Addiction Treatment, clients can receive the quality care they deserve and start fighting back against the root cause of their substance abuse.
Some of our addiction treatment methods include:
- Yoga, acupuncture, and massage
- Fitness and dietary support
- Individual talk and trauma therapy
- Group counseling
- Onsite detox facilities
At Ashley Addiction Treatment in Havre de Grace, Maryland, you can begin your journey to recovery. With access to high-quality tools, support, and resources, you’ll be ready to make positive changes. Call us today at 866-313-6307 and start regaining control of your life.