Everyone has their own unique addiction story. However, getting the best heroin addiction treatment is the ideal path for anyone to get sober and regain control over their life. The short-term effects of heroin use may be manageable for you, but if not treated, addiction, overdose, and death could be in the near future. Therefore, contact our medical professionals online or call us at 855.478.3650 today to learn how our heroin addiction treatment in Washington can help.
The Dangerous Side Effects Of Heroin Use
The initial side effects of heroin use include a surge of pleasurable sensations. 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 tired. 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. Without another heroin hit, you will begin to experience withdrawal, the symptoms of which include:
- Extreme physical pain
- Mental suffering
- Severe discomfort
After the effects of heroin use decrease, your body will start craving more.
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 complete list of short-term effects of heroin use includes:
- Slowed breathing
- Clouded mental functioning
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sedation and drowsiness
- Coma or death
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. Once the chemical interaction has occurred, the affected nerve cells are prompted to release a dopamine neurotransmitter.
Maybe you’ve heard of a dopamine hit. Dopamine is a molecule that is important in mediating 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 horror that follows. You will only feel high for a few minutes, but sedation may persist for a few hours afterward. The duration of all effects of heroin use will ultimately depend on the purity, dose, and how the heroin was administered. Throughout the heroin high, you may move between awake and asleep periods. 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, which increases the chances of overdose and death.
Heroin Dependence and Tolerance
One of the most dangerous side effects of heroin use is its ability to elicit tolerance and physiologic dependence in a relatively short time. Dependence is a physical phenomenon that makes people feel uncomfortable or sick without heroin in their system. This occurs because the body has become so accustomed to 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 Issues as Another Side Effect of Heroin Use
One of the short-term effects of heroin use—because it impacts the physical structures of the brain—is the occurrence of mental health concerns. These mental health struggles may include:
- Memory problems
In other words, you don’t have to have a years-long addiction to drugs to develop mental health disorders.