Over the last several decades, heroin use, addiction, and opiate-related deaths have been prevalent across the United States. The country continues to experience an opiate and opioid epidemic, including heroin use and addiction. While many people worry about the increase in OxyContin and fentanyl-related deaths, heroin is still a popular and dangerous opioid. In contrast to popular belief, heroin users lead relatively normal lives, including school, employment, and family life. Like other opiates, without heroin addiction treatment, heroin is extremely difficult to stop taking.
If you or someone you love is struggling with heroin, don’t quit at home. Stopping heroin cold turkey can lead to relapse and opioid-related death. Instead, call an addiction treatment center to learn more about the benefits of a medication-assisted treatment program for heroin recovery. Treatment is more accessible than you may think.
Getting to Know the Dangers of Heroin
Heroin is a semi-synthetic opiate derived from the opium poppy. Similar to opium, it provides quick and effective pain relief and euphoria. Now illegal, other opioids like fentanyl have replaced heroin in hospitals. Now, heroin is only made illegally, primarily in other countries, before reaching customers in the United States. While heroin is highly addictive and dangerous, it isn’t as strong as OxyContin or fentanyl. Unfortunately, today heroin is often cut or mixed with stronger opioids, which increases the risk of addiction, overdose, and death.
Common Side Effects of Heroin Addiction
Heroin converts into morphine, stopping pain and releasing dopamine for an intense euphoria. The “dopamine reward effect” happens when someone ingests a large amount of dopamine. This can cause a dopamine craving and lead to people craving more dopamine and more heroin.
Common side effects of heroin use include:
- Trouble making decisions
- Memory problems
- Flu-like symptoms
- Mood swings
- Intense cravings
- Slow heart rate
- Drug and alcohol cravings
- Self-harming behavior
- Trouble breathing
- Aggressive behavior
- Changes in sleep
- Changes in hygiene
- Organ damage
- Brain damage
Over time, heroin changes a person’s brain chemistry, making it difficult to quit without medically assisted treatment and therapy. This is a normal adaptation of the brain. Unfortunately, heroin is a depressive drug that slows the body and brain’s response time. This can slow breathing, heart rate, and response time and cause someone to injure themselves if they drive or operate machinery while high.
Smoking and injecting heroin can have irreversible physical effects like collapsed veins, tooth decay, and lung damage. The more often someone uses heroin, the higher their tolerance will become. This means someone will need more heroin to achieve the same pain relief and euphoria. This easily leads to mixing medications, higher doses, and overdose. During an overdose, someone may lose consciousness, and their heart or lungs may stop working. Without immediate medical attention, an overdose often leads to death.
Learn More About the Dangers of Heroin in a Heroin Rehab Program
Whether someone is struggling with chronic pain, opioid addiction from prescription drugs, co-occurring disorders, or unprocessed trauma, heroin addiction happens. Many people self-medicate and self-soothe with heroin, especially after they are prescribed opioids for pain relief. Opiates like heroin provide a physical and mental escape from various kinds of pain. Heroin addiction treatment provides accessible treatment for heroin and other opioid use. With a combination of evidence-based and alternative therapies, reputable programs can help you stop using heroin and avoid dangerous side effects with heroin addiction treatment.
Find the Right Heroin Addiction Treatment Program in New Hampshire
There are many dangers of heroin. Don’t wait to get the help you or someone you know needs. Heroin addiction is treatable. Find a heroin treatment program near you today to reduce side effects and prevent heroin-related death.