When you have a heroin addiction, the drug can take over your entire life. Days and even weeks can pass with you in a haze of doing nothing other than trying to get high. The effects of heroin can leave you feeling like a shell of your former self. Friends and family may have a hard time recognizing the person you were. Heroin addiction treatment may not only save your life but improve the quality of your life by helping you avoid serious long-term heroin effects.
How Can You Recognize the Signs of Heroin Addiction?
Heroin is an opioid, a class of drugs that work by binding to receptors in your brain called opioids. They’re responsible for controlling how your body processes feelings of happiness and pain. What happens when you take heroin is that it breaks down into a form of opioid called morphine. The moment the opioids hit your body, they head directly to your brain to interact with those opioid receptors.
The euphoria felt by heroin users is due to the rush of dopamine produced. Heroin influences the response of opioid receptors. That starts a cycle of your brain needing larger quantities of heroin to give you the same rush. That causes you to build a tolerance to the drug.
People with a heroin addiction start showing changes in behavior that often alarm their loved ones. You may start losing interest in activities you once enjoyed. Personal relationships may end up broken because of the actions you take while under the influence. Many people turn to illegal activities to fund their drug habit.
Five Long-Term Effects of Heroin
Heroin exacts a physical and emotional toll on users that gets worse the longer you are addicted to heroin. Below are five long-term heroin effects that can impact your life permanently.
- Fertility or virility issues — Heroin can affect a woman’s hormone levels, keeping you from getting pregnant. If you do end up conceiving, the pregnancy might end in a miscarriage. Men may have trouble getting aroused because of fluctuations in testosterone levels.
- Organ damage — The toxins left behind by heroin addiction can damage organs like your liver. You can also end up with issues like heart or kidney disease because of your heroin use.
- Immune system — You may have trouble fighting off infections because of the damage heroin does to your immunity system. A bout of bronchitis can end up putting you in the hospital because your body isn’t strong enough to fight off the illness.
- Stroke — The ingredients used to cook heroin can clog your arteries and veins, causing you to have a stroke and end up with permanent organ damage.
- Neurological issues — Heroin changes your brain to where cognitive issues like memory problems may develop.
What Are Some Short-Term Heroin Effects?
Euphoria and happiness aren’t the only heroin effects you experience, especially if you inject it. Heroin can cause you to start feeling physical symptoms from the first time you start using, including:
- Dry mouth
- Itchy skin
- Flushed skin
- Constriction in pupils
Heroin can slow your heart rate and breathing to the point where you slip into a coma. You may end up with brain damage or even die if you don’t get timely medical attention. If you or a loved one find yourself dealing with short-term heroin effects, consider enrolling in a heroin addiction treatment program.
Seek Help for Heroin Addiction
Midwest Detox Center in Ohio helps individuals struggling with substance abuse. We offer personalized treatment for those who are ready to break free of addiction. Call us today at 833.647.0392 or reach out online if you need help with the short and long-term effects of heroin addiction.