According to A Forever Recovery, heroin is an opiate that is developed from the drug morphine, which is extracted from poppy plants. Individuals may shoot up, snort, or smoke the drug; the way in which the drug is created and consumed determines how quickly the effects enter the body. Many people use heroin to achieve a “high”; the drug directly impacts endorphins in the brain because the genetic makeup of heroin is like that of neurotransmitters. The endorphins produced from heroin are much more intense than those naturally in the brain – this high is what many people strive for, which leads them to addiction.
Heroin enters the brain quickly and binds to opioid receptors on cells located in many areas, especially those involved in feelings of pain, pleasure, and in controlling heart rate, sleeping, and breathing. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) notes that many people who take heroin feel an immediate “rush” of pleasure or euphoria, but once the “high” is gone, the person may consume higher doses of the drug, and more frequently. Common side effects associated with heroin are dry mouth, warm flushing of the skin, heavy feeling, nausea, severe itching, clouded mental functioning, and “nodding” between consciousness and unconsciousness.
Despite the risk of overdose, many people abuse heroin because they are trying to “numb” their feelings or avoid their problems. Some people come to believe they are only happy when they are taking the drug, and this is a sign of addiction. Because the dopamine levels are so high when heroin is taken, the brain eventually comes to believe that is needs more of the drug order to achieve the same “happy” state of being. Dependency then ensues, and the cycle continues until a person becomes so attached they are addicted.
Narconon, a website aimed at providing addiction information, has provided a list of several unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal for heroin addiction: drug craving, restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea and vomiting, cold sweats with goose bumps, kicking movements, and more. Major withdrawal symptoms typically only last between 48 and 72 hours, but withdrawal should be done in the presence of a health care professional.
If you are addicted to heroin, call us at New Vista Behavioral Health today. Our dedicated, licensed health care professionals are ready to help you get back the life you deserve. We believe in holistic, integrated care, meaning that we will work with you to optimize your overall health and wellbeing. Make that choice today. Call us at 844-406-1239.