NAD Blog

Dealing with Heroin Side Effects

A man experiencing heroin side effects

Heroin side effects have a devastating impact on the human body. In addition, there are wide-reaching medical and social impacts. The use of heroin rose in the United States over the past decade, coinciding with an increase in people abusing prescription opioid drugs like Vicodin and OxyContin. Because it is easier to acquire and lower cost, some switch to heroin.

Call 844.334.4727 to speak with someone from Springfield Wellness Center’s experienced team about dealing with heroin side effects and how NAD for heroin addiction treatment can help.

What Are the Short-Term Side Effects of Heroin?

Heroin converts to morphine once it enters the human body. The drug immediately binds to opioid receptors, causing users to feel what is typically described as a pleasant rush. However, the pleasure the drug elicits varies depending on the amount taken and the pace it reaches the brain.

For example, the following heroin side effects usually accompany the initial rush:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Dry skin
  • Severe itching
  • Slowing heart functions and breathing

Also, breathing and heart rhythms can slow to the point of sending a user into a coma. This causes brain damage and can happen from just one use. Heroin’s dangers come from the havoc it wreaks on the brain and nervous system. Thus, it’s clear opioids drive drug addiction by altering a person’s emotions.

What Are the Long-Term Side Effects of Heroin?

Ongoing heroin abuse alters the brain’s physical structure and physiology. People experience imbalances in their hormonal and neurological systems that may not be reversible. Further, white brain matter deteriorates from prolonged heroin usage. This deterioration can lead to cognitive impairments, affecting memory and decision-making abilities. People struggling with heroin addiction cannot keep their emotions in check.

Thus, they respond unpredictably during stressful events. This emotional instability can strain relationships and make daily functioning challenging. But one of the harshest side effects of heroin is how quickly users build up a tolerance. This results in them requiring more and more opioids to experience the same effect. This escalating need for higher doses increases the risk of overdose. Therefore, it makes treating heroin addiction much more difficult.

What Happens to the Body During Heroin Withdrawal?

Heroin withdrawal usually starts within a few hours of an individual’s last use, as the body begins to crave the substance it has become dependent on. People going through withdrawal typically experience a range of symptoms that can vary in intensity. Common symptoms include:

  • Bone and muscle pain, which can be severe and debilitating
  • Insomnia, making it difficult to get adequate rest
  • Restlessness, leading to an inability to stay still
  • Cold flashes, often accompanied by goosebumps
  • Involuntary leg movements, sometimes referred to as “kicking the habit”

More severe side effects tend to occur 24 to 48 hours after the most recent dose and can include intense cravings and emotional distress. These symptoms usually subside after about a week, although the exact duration can differ from person to person.

However, some individuals continue experiencing heroin withdrawal symptoms for months after their last heroin use, a condition sometimes referred to as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). This can include prolonged anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances, making the recovery process challenging and necessitating ongoing support.

Heroin Risk Disorder

Unfortunately, the most devastating heroin side effect is how it drives some repeat users through chronic relapsing, known as heroin risk disorder. They continue seeking out the drug, experiencing something beyond mere dependency.

Heroin risk disorder has deadly consequences, increasing the individual’s risk of experiencing a fatal overdose. Also, individuals may put themselves in risky situations driven by their uncontrollable desire for heroin, such as:

  • Risky sexual behavior
  • Sharing needles or other drug paraphernalia
  • Stealing money to finance a heroin habit
  • Engaging in criminal activity

The best way to deal with heroin side effects is to get help sooner rather than later. Springfield Wellness Center can provide the support and guidance you need. Our experienced team will work with you to identify the best approach for treating heroin dependence.

Heroin Abuse and Pregnancy

Pregnant women pass on heroin side effects to their fetuses. Babies develop the same dependency as their mothers. Infants born addicted to heroin go through neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), causing them to cry excessively, have fevers, and show extreme irritability. The more severe effects of heroin addiction on babies include:

  • Slow weight gain
  • Diarrhea
  • Constant vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Seizures

The babies typically receive treatment with medication, like morphine, to relieve their symptoms and are gradually weaned off once the drugs are out of their system.

Find Heroin Addiction Treatment in Louisiana at Springfield Wellness Center

Springfield Wellness Center offers a natural opioid detox to those looking to recover from heroin side effects. The BR+ NAD compound works by helping reduce withdrawal symptoms and encouraging the restoration of brain and body cells. The treatment also promotes a return to a natural sleep cycle and works to support more energy production from cells, which can aid in relieving stress that can cause a heroin relapse. Learn more about dealing with heroin side effects and our heroin detox program. Call us today at 844.334.4727 or use our convenient online contact form.