man in blue shirt considers the effects of heroin

The Long and Short Term Heroin Effects

What happens when you take heroin? If you’ve ever tried the opioid or have a loved one struggling with heroin addiction, you may be curious about the short- and long-term effects of heroin abuse. However, beyond your curiosity, you need to know that overcoming addiction is possible and that professional help is available.

At Promises Behavioral Health, our compassionate and caring team understands the effects of heroin and is committed to helping people overcome addiction. Our heroin detox center is just one way we provide hope and healing for those struggling with substance abuse. Call us at 844.875.5609 to speak with someone from our team about the effects of heroin abuse and addiction treatment programs and services that can help to overcome heroin addiction.

Short-Term Effects of Heroin Use

Heroin is a semi-synthetic opioid and an illegal drug in the United States. People use it by injecting, smoking, or snorting it. In the past, it had the reputation of being an inner-city drug. Today, people realize that it permeates all segments of society. You find it in the inner city and the suburbs. When you take the drug, the short-term effects of heroin arise quickly, including:

  • A sense of well-being and relaxation
  • Constricted pupils
  • Clouded mental functioning
  • Euphoria
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain relief
  • Slowed breathing

The high from heroin doesn’t last long. You may feel the effects for only a few minutes to an hour.

A sudden sensation of immense well-being floods your body once you take a dose of heroin. Next, you feel tired, and maybe your skin itches. Depending on your dose, you might nod off here and there. In the case of an overdose, your breathing slows until it finally stops.

Long-Term Effects of Heroin Abuse

The feeling of well-being hooks the user. Time and again, heroin addiction treatment center therapists hear about the rush the drug causes. It’s the one aspect that people struggling with heroin addiction can’t shake. They want to experience it over and over.

In the long run, heroin effects include physical and psychological dependence. Initially, you develop a tolerance to the drug. Therefore, you increase the dosage. This vicious cycle repeats itself. Whereas the short-term effects of heroin result in a pleasurable feeling, the long-term effects lead to changes in brain chemistry. Without the drug’s presence, the brain no longer releases dopamine, the body’s feel-good neurotransmitter. People struggling with long-term heroin abuse can suffer from a deepening depression between doses.

Long-term effects of heroin abuse also include changes elsewhere in the nervous system. Because it’s a depressant, it lulls the nervous system into a state of ineffectiveness. Therefore, the brain works harder to keep the body going. However, there’s a price to pay for this change. The body and the brain experience withdrawal symptoms when the nervous system returns online. This situation might lead to chronic heroin abuse and addiction if it hasn’t developed already. Over time, drug abuse might lead to organ system failure, clogged blood vessels, and brain damage.

Why Should You Consider Heroin Detox and Rehab?

You can let the effects of heroin addiction control your life’s trajectory. There’s hope through treatment. Examples of heroin addiction treatment approaches include:

  • Medical detox
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Family therapy

Some heroin addiction treatment programs include experiential therapy as a method for undergoing personal growth through self-esteem building.

Learn More About the Effects of Heroin Abuse at Promises Behavioral Health

Although things look hopeless when you’re in the middle of an addiction, professional help can lead you back to a heroin-free life. It’s possible to reverse the effects of heroin abuse and avoid some of the others if you seek detox and rehab as soon as possible. At Promises Behavioral Health, therapists routinely work with people struggling with heroin abuse. Call 844.875.5609 to start on the path to addiction recovery today.

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