Heroin is an addictive opioid that can be smoked, injected, or snorted. It provides relief by numbing physical and emotional pain but also impairs cognition and organ functioning. Long-term heroin use changes people’s brain chemistry, especially when heroin is combined with other drugs. This makes it impossible for people to get pleasure from the things they usually enjoy. As the body’s tolerance increases, people need more dangerous amounts of heroin in order to feel functional. Unfortunately, feeling functional is not the same as being functional. Reach out to our treatment team to learn about how heroin addiction treatment can help you or your loved one.
Some of the Symptoms of Opioid Addiction
Heroin is converted to morphine as it enters the brain and rapidly attaches to opioid receptors. The rush of relief users feel is caused by chemical changes in the brain. It can also cause itchy skin, nausea, and vomiting. Drowsiness, clouded mental functioning, slowed heart rate and slowed breathing occur after the initial symptoms have abated.
Consequences of Opioid Addiction
Reliance on any substance can have devastating consequences for you and your family, heroin particularly so. It is a hard habit to break and nearly impossible to do on your own. Consequences of opioid addiction include the following:
- Open sores and abscesses
- Social destitution
- Disease and infection
- Inability to function
Heroin addiction treatment is available if you are ready to take that step. Heroin affects brain activity by binding to mu-opioid receptors. Neurotransmitters are naturally occurring chemicals that take up the job of controlling the release of hormones and regulating both pain and pleasure. When heroin is introduced to the system, it alters how these mu-opioid receptors regulate the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in how you experience happiness. The longer you use heroin, the harder it is to stop on your own.
Hormonal Changes As a Result of Heroin Addiction
Heroin causes changes in the brain’s physiology and causes people to undergo transformations in hormonal and neuronal symptoms that can cause long-term disparities. These can have a deleterious effect on a person’s behavior regulation, ability to make decisions, take care of responsibilities, and handle stressful situations. These manifestations of physical dependence on the drug are followed by withdrawal symptoms that feel life-threatening. Withdrawal can begin within only a few hours of the drug’s last administration and peak for 24-48 hours. Symptoms eventually subside after a week or so. However, there are exceptions where withdrawal signs may continue for months.
Symptoms of Long-Term Heroin Abuse
Not all of the symptoms of heroin abuse will stand out on their own as a sign that someone has a substance abuse problem, but when examined collectively, they tell a story. The following are some of the symptoms of long-term heroin abuse:
- Cold flashes
- Leg tremors
- Bone pain
- Muscle pain
Opioid Addiction Is Monstrous
One of the byproducts of the opioid epidemic is that when people can no longer get their hands on prescription painkillers, they turn to heroin. The use of heroin has increased right along with the rise of opioid abuse. Heroin withdrawal can be very painful, especially if you attempt it on your own without medical supervision and assistance. Besides the physical side effects of nausea, chills, sweating, and muscle spasms, the wave of depression and anxiety washes over you while you detox.
Oregan Teletherapy for Addiction
For people who have recently finished a treatment program and have moved on to online therapy or virtual mental health treatment, our Bend Oregon teletherapy program offers therapy on a group or individual basis. At Sunstone Recovery in Bend, Oregon, we use a novel approach during the pandemic and treat all our clients through teletherapy. By transitioning to an online method, we can serve the whole state of Oregon. We can be reached online or at 855.833.9199 for you to take the first step on your journey to wellness and recovery.