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How Does Heroin Abuse Effect The Body?

Heroin abuse is a national epidemic, and part of the global opioid problem. Heroin is not only dangerous, but the effects of heroin on the body are shocking— heroin wreaks havoc on your health. It’s a powerful drug, that once addicted to almost always has a deadly outcome. Most street level heroin nowadays is laced with other substances, but the latest cause for concern is fentanyl. Fentanyl can be up to 100 times more powerful than morphine and its addition to heroin only makes matters worse for those addicted. The likelihood of overdose and death skyrocket.

Heroin alone is an extremely destructive and deadly substance. It has the power to drastically change everything from your emotions to your physical appearance. There is no way of escaping the devastating effects of heroin on your physical health and well being. Below we will examine what heroin does to the body and how it affects your health.

How does heroin effect the body?

The long-term effects of heroin addiction on your brain can have a serious impact. Each time you do heroin, it attaches to your brain’s opioid receptors. Someone who uses heroin regularly will create more opioid receptors in the brain to accommodate constant use. What then occurs is a user’s tolerance will increase and they require larger doses of heroin each time to achieve the desired high.

A complication of chronic heroin use is that it affects the dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a large role in how your brain controls movement. Heroin rapidly increases dopamine production and triggers the brain to stop producing it and to rely on heroin use as the primary source of production. When unable to get the heroin the body has become accustomed to, withdrawal symptoms begin. Heroin releases a dopamine in the brain, so the brain begins to only release dopamine when heroin is present in the body— instead of releasing it naturally. Eventually, the brain is unable to regulate its own production of dopamine and long term damage is done.

Along with the potential brain damage, there are several immediate effects on the body. Some of these include:

  • Pain and anxiety relief
  • Flushing of the skin
  • Increased body temperature
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Itching
  • Going in and out of consciousness (Nodding)
  • Slowed heart or irregular heart rate
  • Slowed breathing
  • Euphoria

Heroin abuse causes a range of physical consequences. If you inject heroin, complications can include scarred and collapsed veins, blood infections, and abscesses of the skin. Those who use in intranasally often have problems with tissue degeneration as well as their sinuses.

Some of the more long term effects on the body include

  • Inflammation of the gums
  • Constipation
  • Cold sweats
  • Itching
  • Weakened immune system
  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Muscular weakness
  • Reduced sexual capacity and long-term impotence in men
  • Menstrual disturbance in women
  • Inability to achieve orgasm (women and men)
  • Loss of memory and intellectual performance
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia

If heroin has made its way into the life of you or a loved one, it’s time to break free from the addiction. Royal Life Centers is here to help make the transition to a drug-free life as easy as possible. Don’t wait any longer, make the call today. We are available to chat 24/7 at (888) 534-9140 or (877)-RECOVERY

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