Heroin, an opiate derived from the opium poppy, is still widely abused in the U.S., with about one million people self-reporting taking heroin in the past year and an estimated half a million who are chronic heroin users with an addiction. Heroin is relatively easy to acquire on the street, unlike black-market prescription opioids. It is also cheaper. As a result, many people who become addicted to opioid painkillers will turn to heroin in time. If you or someone you care about is hooked on heroin, learn as much as you can about the physical signs of heroin use and how heroin addiction treatment programs can help.
At Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge (PAATC), our heroin rehab offers medical detox, evidence-based therapies, and comprehensive access to addiction specialists, doctors, and support staff as you begin recovery. If you want to understand the side effects of heroin, learn about opiate treatment, or ask any questions about drug abuse or recovery, reach out today. You can reach out online or call 844.442.8673 to speak to one of our staff.
Heroin – A Highly Addictive Opioid
Heroin is technically an opiate, meaning it is sourced from a plant rather than being synthetic. However, it falls under the opioid umbrella, which includes other opiates such as opium and morphine, as well as synthetic opioids like fentanyl and oxycodone.
Heroin is responsible for about 15,000 deaths annually, and use among young people is on the rise, which means addiction rates are also rising in this demographic. Heroin puts all users at risk for addiction because:
- Over time tolerance develops, which means larger doses are needed to achieve the same effects.
- Users need to continue taking the drug simply to feel normal and avoid withdrawal.
- The brain becomes physically dependent on heroin to do some of its work, mainly because the production of neurotransmitters in the brain has shut down due to constant floods of heroin.
- Heroin is often sold containing undisclosed amounts of even stronger opioids, such as fentanyl, increasing addictiveness even more.
Withdrawal symptoms are a definitive sign that you are addicted to heroin. If you reduce the amount you take or stop taking it, either on purpose or because you have run out, and begin to experience withdrawal, look for a heroin addiction treatment center to get professional support and help for your heroin use disorder.
Physical Signs of Heroin Use
Because heroin cannot be sold legally and no longer has any medical applications, all use of this opiate is considered abuse. People who use heroin chronically will develop symptoms that indicate their growing tolerance, dependence, and addiction.
Some of the physical signs of regular heroin use include:
- Dry mouth
- Flushed skin
- Abnormal somnolence
- Suppressed breathing
- Loss of self-control
- Feelings of heaviness
- Needle tracks
- Pinpoint pupils
Other physical side effects of heroin include medical complications such as:
- Blood clots
- Heart attack and strokes
- Breathing difficulties
- Organ damage and kidney, heart, and liver disease
- Frequent infections due to suppressed immune system
- Arthritic, rheumatologic issues and other auto-immune responses
- Sexual dysfunction
Don’t let your physical signs of heroin use become severe health issues. Seek addiction treatment.
Heroin Addiction Treatment at PAATC
The physical signs of heroin use are not the only concern when someone is chronically abusing this potent drug. Heroin addiction affects the brain, bringing about changes in moods, cognition, and even personality. Any concerns you have about your abuse of heroin or that of someone you care about can be addressed by one of our staff.
Reach out today to ask questions and gather information about heroin addiction, the side effects of heroin, and what heroin addiction treatment is like. Our phone number is 844.442.8673, and you can also simply complete this online form.