What Are the Dangers of Heroin Use?
Because heroin is a substance derived from the opium poppy — a chemical modification of morphine, the drug is one of the most addictive substances you can find. This opioid drug poses a high risk of physical and psychological dependence. It can be smoked, snorted, or injected. No matter how the drug is used, it has a very high risk of being lethal.
Heroin is incredibly dangerous because of its strength and potential for addiction. Furthermore, nowadays, dealers frequently mix heroin with other more potent drugs such as fentanyl, making the possibility of a deadly overdose much higher.
The possibility of overdosing presents itself as a significant risk with the use of any illegal drug, but the potency of heroin, its unknown contents, and direct effects on the central nervous system make heroin especially dangerous.
A Destructive Cycle
Effects and Dangers of Heroin Use
It is incredibly easy to develop heroin dependence, and once that occurs, users often experience devastating withdrawal symptoms any time they try to reduce or stop the use altogether. The effects of a heroin withdrawal are so painful that people go to great lengths to acquire the drug and start using it again.
The fear of suffering through withdrawal and relapsing perpetuates a dangerous cycle. The longer someone uses heroin, the more exposure they have to health risks, mental health issues, and personal ruin.
The Effects of a Heroin High
Most people believe that the euphoric rush of a heroin high is what keeps people addicted. The truth is, most users are seeking a feeling of numbness from their daily struggles, then the high — opioid drugs are used primarily to numb the pain. In addition to their pain relief effects, opioid drugs also lead to a cascade of molecular and chemical events in the brain, which leads to feelings of intense pleasure.
Although the description above might sound somewhat intriguing, heroin use also has uncomfortable and dangerous short and long-term effects. Some of these effects may be reversible with treatment, but many are permanent or even lethal.
Here Are Some Negative Consequences of Heroin Use:
- Severe itching
- Dry mouth
- Involuntary muscle movements
- Elevated body temperature
- Drowsiness leading to falls and injury
- Clouded mental functioning
- Irregular heartbeat
- Slowed breathing – which may result in death
- Lung problems (tuberculosis, pneumonia)
- Suppressed immune system
- Liver disease
- Blood diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B, or C
- Abscess of cellulitis of the veins
- Chronic insomnia
- Permanent damage to soft nasal tissue
- Collapsed veins
- Cardiac valve infection
- Chronic constipation
- Intestinal obstruction
- Sexual dysfunction
Additionally, the intense preoccupation with getting and using the drug leads users to neglect essential nutrition, health care, and basic hygiene, consequently leading to many other health concerns.
Heroin Invasion. How Did We Get Here?
To know how we got here, we need to understand where people are coming from and what they are searching for. People seek the effects of opioids for several reasons. First and foremost, they want to feel good or a better description, they just want to stop feeling bad. A common reason for teens or young adults is curiosity- others are doing it and want to fit in.
At first, the drug is a way to escape reality — a short vacation from unwanted feelings. But soon, what once made you feel well, now makes you horribly sick. It robs you of your family, health, and often your life. As you continue to use drugs, self-control becomes harder. Considering the physical changes heroin has to specific parts of the brain allows you to understand why users often behave in such a destructive manner.
Heroin affects your judgment, which directly interferes with your decisions. It also reduces your learning and memory abilities, and but most of all, it controls your emotional responses and behavior. That is why the harmful behaviors of that suffering from addiction are so hard to control.
Save Your Life, Get Help!
Getting treatment for heroin addiction is literally saving your own life and the quality of life of those you love. Although giving up heroin is a significant challenge, it is well worth it. The good news is that several treatment options can make the process much more comfortable.
Heroin Treatment Options
Matching the treatment program to each person’s unique health needs is key to ultimate success in returning to a healthy and productive life.
The treatment approach needs to be broad in scope, considering a person’s age, physical health, and mental health needs. Of course, the severity of addiction also influences the chosen heroin treatment approach.
The best drug treatment programs provide a combination of medically assisted detoxification protocols, emotional evaluation, and recovery therapies. For that reason, Waismann Method® Opioid Detoxification Treatment starts in a private room of an accredited hospital. Even though Waismann Method® is world-renowned as the premier rapid detox center globally, they offer numerous opioid treatment programs.
Individual heroin treatment and protocols should adapt and be modified as needed to meet patients’ specific needs. Although there are no miracle cures, and people should not be sold or convinced of such, there are great effective programs available – treatments that use the best available medical protocols for opioid detoxification, followed by individualized recovery support and emotional management.
As seen throughout history, science and medicine are essential parts of resolving public health crises such as the opioid epidemic.
Heroin addiction should not define your destiny. It is not who you are, but rather a condition you are suffering from. Get help now!
Links and Resources
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
- NIDA for Teens
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
- National Institute of Mental Health
- The Partnership at DrugFree.org