Heroin Use and Abuse Explained

What is Heroin?

Heroin is an opioid. Opioids are drugs meant to reproduce the effects of opium on the body, a substance that can be made from poppy plants. People use heroin by injecting the usually milky substance under the skin, or in the vein, snorting the powder form of the drug up their nose, or smoking heroin, often from a pipe.

 

How does heroin affect your body?

Once heroin passes the barrier into the brain it becomes morphine. The morphine binds to neurotransmitters in the brain and alters the brain chemistry of whomever put the needle to their skin. What happens next is the payoff. Once the heroin binds to the neurotransmitter the user feels a rush of pleasure, a temporary state of bliss. Brain functions cloud and instincts slow. The user feels lethargic and heavy, sleepy. And sometimes sick to their stomach. Their whole body might itch. With the rush of joy also comes a flush of heat all over the body. The user’s heart and breath slows, sometimes to dangerous speeds. If the user took too much, this can lead to coma, permanent brain damage, even death.

Prolonged use of heroin can affect someone’s brain chemistry permanently.  It can weaken someone’s ability to deal with anxiety, diffuse tense situations, regulate their behavior, and threaten their ability to make decisions. It can lead to other physical symptoms as well, like abscesses at the needle’s injection site, it can compromise heart and lung health, it can even lead to infections of the circulatory system.

 

Use begets abuse

The more you use heroin, the more heroin you need to get a fix.

Heroin hooks a user fast and tolerance builds at a steady and startling pace. The dopamine that the drug releases in the brain leads to powerful physical and emotional dependence, a strong addiction that can become so controlling a person needs to use again mere hours after their last dose.

 

If heroin has taken hold of yourself or a member of your family in Florida, call us right away to get help beating the addiction.  You can reach us at (855) 441-2449.

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