Heroin addiction and what it does to the body

Heroin addiction and what it does to the body

Heroin is a highly addictive, dangerous and potentially deadly drug. It is an opioid, like morphine and codeine, and is made from the sap of the opium poppy. Heroin can appear as a white or brown powder or as a black tar and is commonly known as smack, brown sugar, horse and junk. Millions of people around the world are addicted to using heroin with many unable to face the nightmare of withdrawal that they can experience when they stop. Many users inject heroin causing an additional set of risks such as AIDS and infection, in addition to the pain and trauma of active addiction.

If you or a loved one are struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel of heroin addiction, let our highly skilled team at Calm Rehab in Bali guide you through it. Substance abuse rehabilitation is a major decision to make but the benefits of rehab in Bali are numerous and can prove to be life changing.

Short term effects of heroin

Heroin gets to the brain very quickly whether it is smoked, snorted or injected. Most users inject it directly into their veins to get the quickest and most intense high. The initial effect is a surge or rush of positive feelings and happiness, then for several hours the world seems to slow down and the user becomes drowsy, experiencing slowed breathing and reduced heart rate. Heroin is a central nervous system depressant, meaning it slows down a person’s brain function. An overdose on heroin can prove fatal. With continued use, increased amounts of the drug are needed to get the same feeling of high.

The short term effects of using heroin include:

  • A rush of pleasurable feelings
  • Relief from physical pain
  • Slowed breathing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shallow breathing and drowsiness
  • Narrowing of the pupils
  • A drop in body temperature
  • Loss of sex drive

Long term effects of heroin

As with most drugs, a person can build up a tolerance to heroin. Very quickly the user will need to take larger doses to have the same effect and feel the same amount of pleasure as before. The body will start to depend on the drug to function normally. The effects on the body from repeated use are destructive. Frequent injections cause collapsed veins and infections of blood vessels. Arthritis and tuberculosis are both common results of heroin addiction, while sharing needles can lead to hepatitis, AIDs and other infectious diseases.

Regular use of heroin can cause massive health and lifestyle problems such as:

  • Constipation
  • Itching
  • Loss of memory and intellectual ability
  • Depression and insomnia
  • No sex drive and fertility problems
  • Damaged brain, heart, lungs and liver
  • Muscle weakness and partial paralysis
  • Impaired immune system and poor nutrition
  • Poor dental health

Withdrawal from heroin

In just a matter of hours withdrawal symptoms can start while the chemicals are leaving the body. Symptoms usually peak anywhere between 24-48 hours after the last hit and subside after about a week.

Withdrawal symptoms can be painful, which is why many addicts continue to use. They can include:

  • Mood swings and crying
  • Stomach cramps
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Extreme cravings
  • Muscle, joint and bone pain and twitching
  • Cold flashes and goose bumps
  • Sweats and racing heart

Most heroin addicts need help and guidance to make it through the withdrawal stage and into early recovery. The experienced team at Calm, our drug rehab in Bali, will give you the support and guidance you need to take these first steps on your recovery journey. There are many avenues for the treatment of heroin addiction and they will help you find the right path to suit your personal needs.

Treatment for heroin addiction

There are both effective behavioral and pharmacological treatment options for heroin addicts. Both approaches attempt to restore normal brain function and behavior. Research shows that for many a combination of the two is the best option to get clean and sober.

Treatment components for heroin addiction include:

  • Detoxification
  • Group therapy
  • Individual counseling
  • Medication programs such as methadone, suboxone, naltrexone and buprenorphine

Get in touch with us at Calm Rehab in Bali and we will find the right treatment plan to suit your needs and give you the best chance to get and stay clean while our team supports you every step of the way.

This blog is part of a series of content written by Calm Rehab, a specialist drug and alcohol treatment center located in Bali. Calm Rehab offers a range of professional and effective services to help individuals reclaim their lives and build a brighter future. If you, or a loved one, are struggling with drugs or alcohol, please contact Calm for advice.

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