Heroin is a type of addictive drug that is made from morphine, which is a natural substance that is extracted from opium poppy plants. It is a very potent drug that comes in many different forms, including powder, granular or solution forms. There are also different kinds of heroin, such as heroin no. 3 that has a slightly yellow tinge and heroin no.4 that is white. Although harmful to the body, many find it difficult to stop consuming heroin once addicted.
What is Heroin?
Heroin can come in different forms. One popular method of heroin consumption is heating up the powder, rolling it up in a note and then sniffing the fumes produced. Other consumption methods include snorting it, smoking it, sniffing it or injecting it into the bloodstream. Once consumed, heroin finds its way to the brain very quickly. Heroin molecules will then bind themselves to opioid receptors that can be found in many places, intensifying feelings of pleasure and dulling feelings of pain. Heroin consumption also affects sleeping and breathing patterns, and also causes changes to the heart rate.
What are the Side Effects of Heroin?
No matter what type of drug, drug consumption is generally dangerous. Reactions to heroin will also differ for each person. Some common side effects include:
- Vomiting and nausea
- Heaviness in the limbs
- Redness and flushing of the skin’s surface
- Feelings of itch all over the body
- Dry mouth
- Reduced cognitive ability
- Going into lapses of semi-consciousness
Depending on the person’s weight and age, and the amount consumed, the side effects may vary.
Understanding Heroin Overdose
Health risks increase when users consume a large amount of heroin, or consume heroin over a prolonged period of time. Long-term effects of heroin-consumption include:
- Disrupted sleep schedule
- Infection of the heart
- Collapsed veins
- Damaged nose tissue
- Swollen tissues that have pus
- Kidney and liver failure
- Sexual dysfunction in men
- Mental disorders, like antisocial personality disorder
- Irregular menstrual cycle
If a user consumes heroin over a prolonged period of time, they are at great risk of long-term health risks such as those mentioned above. However, if a heroin-user stops consumption of the drug, effects such as dry mouth, nausea and hallucinations will gradually disappear over the course of a few weeks.
Overdosing on heroin is also very dangerous- the breathing will slow down or even stop, reducing the amount of oxygen entering the brain. This can have a long-term negative impact on the nervous system, such as causing permanent brain damage.
How to Treat Heroin Addiction
In order to treat heroin addiction, a range of treatments are used. For example, behavioral therapies and medicines may be recommended on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the needs of the patient, different treatment approaches will be recommended to them. Medicines are also in the midst of development to help addicts cope with the withdrawal symptoms they might experience when stopping the use of heroin.
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To begin your recovery process, feel free to approach Spark To Recovery. We have a team of counselors, nurses and medical psychiatrists that can help you and recommend the best treatment approach for you.
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