As with most illegal substances, heroin abuse has both negative long and short-term effects. Whether smoked, snorted or injected, the drug will almost immediately begin to affect the central nervous system of the user. In this entry, we will outline some of the more common effects associated with heroin use along with proven recovery and detox options.
Once heroin enters the body, users begin experiencing an intense feeling of euphoria. Described as a “warm skin flush”, “heavy” limbs and dry mouth, the initial high quickly transitions to a state alternating between drowsy and alert… commonly referred to as “nodding off”. Mental functions become hazy, and a slowed breath rate may even extend to respiratory failure.
Those with prolonged use habits may gradually begin experiencing a number of the effects listed below:
- Liver disease – Studies show that roughly 70-80% of new hepatitis C infections in the United States can be traced back to sharing of drug needles.
- Added risk for heart valve and lining infections due to a disregard for sterile needle practices.
- Kidney disease.
- Abscesses and skin infections – More commonly in users with collapsed or scarred veins.
- Pulmonary issues
Perhaps the most frightening effect associated with prolonged heroin use is the risk of death by overdose.
Because heroin is illegal, it’s cut and mixture with additional ingredients cannot be regulated. As such, users place themselves at great risk by never knowing exactly how pure or potent the drug is until it is used.
Though feared by many, the detoxification process found within heroin rehab centers serves to wean addicts from the drug in a safe and healthy fashion. These programs provide patients with medications and 24-hour supervision to help minimize withdrawal symptoms while ensuring a comfortable transition into sobriety.
Those interested in combating their heroin addiction should seek out a reputable heroin rehab facility. From detox to counseling and therapy, these rehabilitation facilities provide addicts with the knowledge, resources and tools needed to overcome their dependency in a safe, healthy and positive manner.
When it comes to choosing a substance abuse rehabilitation, heroin addicts are encouraged to locate a facility that specializes in heroin addiction treatment and recovery. In this way, patients can rest assured that their needs and goals are address in a specific and personalized fashion.