Everyone has their own unique addiction story. And yet, no matter how you arrived in that dangerous place, getting the best heroin addiction treatment can be where you get clean, sober and regain control over your life. The short-term effects of heroin use may start out manageable for you but if not treated, addiction, overdose, and death could be in your near future. Therefore, contact our medical professionals online or call us at 855.478.3650 today to discover how the side effects of heroin use can pull you under quickly.
The Dangerous Side Effects Of Heroin Use
The initial side effects of heroin use include a surge of pleasurable sensation. This rush often comes complete with a warm feeling of the skin and a dry mouth. Sometimes, the immediate short-term effects of heroin use also include vomiting or severe itching.
After these effects of heroin use fade away, you will be sleepy and drowsy. This lasts for hours as your basic functions, like your heartbeat and breathing, slow down. You may be calm and feel good but this feeling is a dangerous lie. Within hours after the effects of heroin use have decreased, your body will start to crave more. Without another heroin hit, you will begin to experience withdrawal, the symptoms of which include:
- Extreme physical pain
- Mental suffering
- Severe discomfort
The Short Term Effects of Heroin Use
The short-term effects of heroin use, that coveted high, lasts only a few minutes. The withdrawal, however, lasts longer, and the addiction that can form when chasing the next high to feel normal, to avoid coming down, unfortunately can last a lifetime without professional medical care. You may hear about the glorious short term high but the full list of short-term effects of heroin use include:
- Slowed breathing
- Clouded mental functioning
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sedation and drowsiness
- Coma or death (due to overdose)
The addictive nature of this harmful illicit substance is reinforced by its ability to create intensely pleasurable feelings. Heroin accomplishes this by binding to opioid receptors in the body and once the chemical interaction has taken place, the affected nerve cells are prompted to release a neurotransmitter called dopamine.
Maybe you’ve heard of a dopamine hit. Dopamine is a molecule that is important to mediate feelings of pleasure. These are the pleasurable sensations that can start and then reinforce a growing heroin addiction. Remember that once you start using heroin, you will continually seek to repeat the few minutes of feeling good while staving off the withdrawal and the ugliness that follows.
Chasing the High Gets Harder as Addiction Sets In
The high will only be felt for a few minutes but sedation may persist for a few hours afterward. The duration of all effects of heroin use will ultimately be dependent on the purity, dose, and how the heroin was administered (snorted, smoked, or injected). Throughout the heroin high, you may move between periods of being awake and asleep. This is referred to as “nodding.”
The high you get from using heroin will ultimately decrease with continued use as you become tolerant of the drug. This tolerance then promotes taking higher and higher amounts of heroin, and this is when the chances of overdose and death are increased.
Heroin Dependence and Tolerance
One of the most dangerous side effects of heroin use is its ability to elicit both tolerance and physiologic dependence in a relatively short amount of time. Dependence is a physical phenomenon that leads users to feel uncomfortable or sick without heroin in their system. This occurs because the body has become so accustomed to the heroin. In fact, it is one of the most dangerous short-term effects of heroin use because it does not take long to develop this kind of tolerance and dependency on the drug.
Mental Health Concerns are Another Side Effect of Heroin Use
You don’t have to have a years-long addiction to drugs to develop mental health disorders. One of the short-term effects of heroin use—because it impacts the physical structures of the brain—are mental health concerns that can be encountered with heroin use. These mental health struggles may include:
- Memory problems
Learn More at Bayview Recovery
Learn how the heroin addiction treatment program at Bayview Recovery can be the starting point for the reshaping of the rest of your life. Contact us using our secure online form or call us confidentially at 855.478.3650 today.