The opioid crisis reached critical proportions in the 1990s with the extensive distribution of Oxy by physicians misled by false claims that it was non-addictive. The prevalence of synthetic opioids such as oxycodone or fentanyl has not pushed out the high incidence of heroin and morphine use. These drugs are opiates derived from the opium poppy. All opioids and opiates fall under one category: addictive opioids. They affect the lives of millions of Americans a year. In fact, heroin alone is responsible for over half a million people in the US being at risk of severe outcomes, including overdose. Overdose results in 15,000 deaths annually. Heroin addiction destroys families, careers, and lives. The long- and short-term effects of heroin abuse are serious and best addressed in professional rehab.
If you or someone you know is addicted to heroin, consider heroin detox in Pennsylvania. Medically supervised detox allows those struggling with heroin dependence and addiction to withdraw safely and with minimal discomfort. Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge (PAATC) offers inpatient heroin detox and a full menu of rehab treatment options, including evidence-based therapies and the option to participate in a faith-based program as you begin recovery. Want to know more about the short-term effects of heroin, the long-term risks of heroin addiction, and how to leave heroin use behind and find sobriety and wellness? Reach out today by calling 844.442.8673 or using this online form.
How Heroin Addiction Develops
Drugs like heroin are called psychoactive because they are active within the brain and create actual changes to the way the brain operates by interfering directly with its chemistry and the hypothalamus’s production of critical hormones. The brain is an organ of the body, as well as the seat of the mind, emotions, and personality. The physical effects of addiction are matched by the psychological effects, as the user begins to crave the euphoria associated with heroin use while also physically depending on the drug to do the job of the hypothalamus.
Once addiction has taken over, any time the drug is withheld, intense cravings and withdrawal are inevitable without either re-introducing the drug or being carefully guided through withdrawal in a medical setting.
Short-Term Effects of Heroin Abuse
Heroin use is heroin abuse because there is no approved reason or legal access to this drug. In fact, heroin abuse can create immediate effects after just one experience, and chronic use leads to numerous long-term physical, psychological, and quality-of-life repercussions and symptoms.
Whether it is injected, snorted, or smoked, the following are common short-term effects of heroin:
- Slowed breathing
- Dry mouth
- Pinpoint pupils
- Flushed skin
- Nausea and vomiting
- Episodes of sudden, unexpected sleep
- Disorientation and confusion
- Problems with decision making
- Heaviness in the limbs
- Loss of sex drive
Over time, with continued use, such highly dangerous effects as strokes, heart attacks, kidney damage, liver and heart disease, arthritis-like symptoms, and lung damage are increasingly possible.
Are You Addicted to Heroin?
There are warning signs of addiction. In addition to the short-term effects listed above, consider whether you:
- Spend most of your time planning when you’ll use next or using
- Are having serious financial problems directly due to heroin use
- Are failing to meet basic responsibilities at home, school, or work
- Struggle with basic tasks or cannot remember simple things
- Are not interested in the things and people you once cared about
The single most definitive sign of addiction is when you know that your use of heroin is derailing your life. At that point, you wish you could stop, but you can’t seem to. If this or the other signs above seem to apply to you or to someone you are close to, it’s time to seek heroin addiction treatment.
Detox and Treatment for Heroin Addiction at PAATC
Reach out to PAATC today to learn about the short-term effects of heroin use, how you can return to wellness, and the first steps on your recovery journey. We can help you at every stage of your contemplation with compassionate input, answers to questions, and guidance. Therefore, call us today at 844.442.8673 or simply fill out this online form to connect today.