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What Is Heroin?

Heroin is a drug that falls under the class of opiates.

This drug has been negatively affecting the lives of millions of Americans, especially within the last 10 years with the opiate crisis and heroin addiction.

Heroin is known for making individuals have a feeling of no pain and euphoria.

Unfortunately, heroin use comes with a price which in many cases ends up in addiction.

What is Heroin Addiction

The use of heroin is considered heroin abuse due to the fact that heroin is an illegal substance.

This abuse becomes an addiction when an individual is unable to stop its use, their lives have been negatively affected by the habit and or they experience withdrawals when they try to stop using the drug.

In many cases individuals may ask “how does someone become addicted to heroin?” or “what leads to heroin addiction?”.

The unfortunate fact is that these questions are not easily answered. Heroin addiction occurs for a wide range of reasons. Each individual is unique and therefore the cause of their addiction will vary.

Where one individual may become addicted to heroin due to depression and self-medicating, others may become addicted to heroin as a result of being addicted to prescription opiates initially.

The good thing is that whatever your situation is, heroin addiction is treatable, and you can definitely overcome your struggle with the substance.

At Resurgence behavioral health we offer a comprehensive heroin addiction treatment program designed for each person’s specific addiction needs.

Heroin Detox

How long will heroin stay in my body?

There are many variables that will decide the timeline of a heroin detox.

In many cases when an individual stops their heroin use it is recommended for them to enroll in a heroin detox center. While in a professional environment drug tests are often used to detect the presence of heroin or other opiates in their system.

In most cases when the individual knows that they are actively being tested and monitored there is a higher chance of them remaining abstinent. Heroin detox also allows for individuals to remain safe and comfortable while coming off the drug.

Heroin Detox Timeline

When we speak about how long heroin takes to come out of someone’s system, we know that specific factors can increase or decrease it.

These factors variables include frequency of use, dosage or volume of each use, how the heroin is consumed (smoking, intravenously, snorting etc.) and the persons physical health. Each person’s body is different, and the way their body gets rid of drugs will vary.

However even though there are many variables, there still is a general timeline for how long heroin stays in your system. Heroin stays in an individual’s urine for 24 – 72 hours after last use.

The drug remains in saliva for up to 36 hours. And finally, heroin will stay in someone’s hair up to 90 days depending on the individual.

The Effects of Heroin Addiction on Your Body

Heroin addiction comes with a host of negative side effects to the body. The questions we often hear include “what are the effects of heroin?”, “what does heroin do to your body”, “what are the short-term effects of heroin on your body” and “What are the long-term effects of heroin?”.

To start heroin can have devastating effects on individuals who have been using the drugs both long-term and short-term. The effects can often be seen for years even after heroin cessation.

Short Term Effects Of Heroin

So, what are the effects of heroin on the body?

For short term users of heroin individuals may experience nausea, changes in body temperature, sensitivity to light, dry mouth, changes in heart rate, and respiratory issues.

Heroin is a sedative, Because of this the major effects of the drug often manifest themselves as a depression of vital bodily functions (breathing, heart rate, brain function).

This depression of vital body functions can be fatal including cardiac arrest, inability to breathe, and brain damage.

Long Term Effects Of Heroin

What are the long-term effects of heroin on the body?

Anyone who struggles with heroin addiction is at risk of the short-term effects listed above. Along with the short-term risks of heroin use, there are some long-term health issues that come with prolonged heroin use.

The long-term health issues include:

  • Depleted immune system
  • Weakness due to malnutrition
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • No Appetite
  • Severe Weight Loss
  • Heart Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Collapsed Veins
  • Death

The most important and often overlooked effect of any form of heroin abuse is death due to an overdose. An overdose often happens when a user takes too much of a drug and their bodily functions become so depressed that it starts to shut down.

Unfortunately, due to the opiate epidemic, heroin overdoses have increased more then four times over the last 10 years.

Heroin Addiction and the Brain

The make up of the brain is vastly affected by heron use and addiction. The effects of heroin addiction on the brain comes in two forms. These include 1) the mental and emotional effect of heroin on the brain, and 2) the physiological effect of heroin on the brain.

Heroin Addiction And Mental Health Disorders

When we speak of the mental and emotional effect of heroin, we touch on how an individual’s personality, thinking and emotions are affected by their addiction.

The results of this include:

  • Obsession about getting high
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Seclusion
  • Anger issues
  • Selfishness and Self-centeredness
  • Loss of personality and self-identity

There may be additional results of the effects of heroin.

Physical Effects of Heroin on the Brain

Physiological effects on the brain stem from the science behind the addiction itself. Long-term heroin use affects the chemical balance in the brain specifically the dopamine levels of the brain.

Dopamine is the chemical released in the brain that allows an individual to experience pleasure. When an individual begins to use heroin there is a rush of dopamine that is released.

As the frequency of heroin use increases, the amount of the substance required to get the same high also increases. This occurs because it takes more of the drug to get an equal release of dopamine.

Eventually the brain becomes so dependent on the drug, that when an individual makes an attempt to stop using heroin, they experience serious and dangerous withdrawal symptoms.

Heroin Withdrawal and Withdrawal Symptoms

Everyone who struggles with heroin addiction will experience withdrawals at some point in their lives. The cause of heroin withdrawals occurs when an individual stops heroin use, either by choice or by circumstance.

Examples of when an individual may experience withdrawals: The person is unable to get their “fix” because they don’t have enough money, or because theycan’t get in touch with their dealer.

Another and perhaps more positive reason why an individual will experience heroin withdrawal, is when they decide to become sober and overcome their addiction.

In the latter case, we highly recommend enrolling in a medical detox where you or your loved ones will be monitored 24/7 by a team of experts who can ease withdrawal symptoms and keep you safe and comfortable.

Withdrawal symptoms of heroin addiction include:

  • RLS (restless leg syndrome)
  • Cold Sweats
  • Insomnia
  • Constipation
  • Fever
  • Flu Like Symptoms
  • Severe Headache
  • Shivers
  • Nausea
  • Death

There may be additional symptoms of heroin withdrawal.

Heroin Addiction Treatment – Enroll in A rehab Today

Heroin addiction affects millions of Americans. If you or someone your love is struggling with heroin addiction, you are not alone.

The good thing is that help is available right here, right now. At resurgence Behavioral health, we offer a full continuum of addiction treatment.

Because of this we can offer an individualized heroin addiction treatment program that is specific to your addiction needs.

This includes Detox, Residential care, Inpatient care, outpatient care and after care solutions.

No matter where you are in your heroin recovery process, we can help.

Start now by calling our 24-hour hotline or by filling out our insurance verification form located on our website.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

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At Resurgence, we accept most PPO insurance. Verify your insurance now.