profile of a woman suffering side effects of heroin

Side Effects of Heroin Abuse

Heroin is highly addictive and dangerous drug. Heroin abuse can cause a number of physical as well as psychological side effects. Explore the side effects of heroin to see just how devastating this drug can truly be.

Drowsiness and Nodding

One of the most immediate side effects of heroin use is drowsiness. Just minutes after taking heroin, users feel groggy and tired. They often struggle with nodding, or alternating periods of being awake and being asleep.

Essentially, heroin users are under sedation. It’s normal to feel chronic lethargy while using the drug, and any kind of energy or motivation is incredibly rare.

Nausea and Vomiting

Heroin can also cause several gastrointestinal side effects. Nausea and vomiting are among the most common. Many users experience one or both of these symptoms every time they use the drug.

Since heroin is an opiate, it also causes chronic constipation. In addition to being uncomfortable, this can become severe. It can lead to weight loss, malnutrition and even a perforated bowel in extreme cases.

Depression of the Body’s Vital Systems

Substance abuse often has a negative impact on the body. Heroin is a depressant, meaning that it slows down a lot of the body’s vital functions.

When you use heroin, it can slow down your heart rate. It might also slow down your rate of breathing, and reduce your body temperature.

This can become a severe issue, quickly. Breathing may be difficult, with individuals struggling to take each breath. The heart can stop, and circulation in the body can slow down, causing the skin to turn blue from lack of oxygen.

Dental Health Problems

An unexpected side effect of heroin abuse is dental decay. To start, many heroin users abandon dental hygiene routines once addiction is a factor. Plus, the drug itself can cause the gums to swell. Since this makes brushing painful, heroin users often skip it, leading to rapid decay.

Damaged Immune System

One of the worst effects of heroin use is rapid damage to the immune system. Without a fully functioning immune system, you’ll have a difficult time fighting off disease. Heroin users are more susceptible to everything from the flu to cancer. Liver and kidney problems are also more common for heroin users.

Addressing the Side Effects of Heroin Abuse

Individuals can resolve heroin addiction or abuse effectively through professional addiction treatment. At 1st Step Behavioral Health, patients will have access to the resources, therapies and treatments they need to overcome drug addiction for good. Several recovery programs are available, including inpatient and outpatient options.

Whatever program a person chooses, he or she will be able to target addiction through all the following:

  • Dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders
  • Family therapy
  • Holistic therapy
  • Individual talk therapy
  • Group therapyRelapse prevention and life skills training

The only way to end heroin use is through heroin addiction treatment. At 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida, you’ll be able to end your addiction for good. Call (866) 319-6126 to start planning your route to recovery today.