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What Are the Side Effects of Heroin?

What Are the Side Effects of Heroin?

therapist explaining to a young woman what are the side effects of heroin

Heroin addiction can be crippling, causing a number of unwanted side effects and symptoms that can disrupt your everyday life. If you or a loved one are starting to experience the side effects of heroin addiction, reach out to Seasons in Malibu at 424.235.2009 to learn more about our comprehensive heroin addiction treatment program.

Heroin Use and Addiction

Heroin is a potent central nervous system depressant that is derived from the poppy plant. People use heroin for any number of reasons, but most of them can be distilled into one of three points:

  1. It makes them feel good
  2. It distracts them from physical or mental pain
  3. Their friends are using heroin

These three reasons — sometimes referred to as enhancement motives, coping motives, and social motives — are the fundamental reasons that heroin use is so prevalent. Many people who start using heroin quickly find that they cannot stop on their own and begin to experience the telltale signs of addiction.

When someone develops a heroin addiction, they are unable to stop on their own despite the consequences that their heroin use causes. The side effects of heroin can be severe, causing physical withdrawal, mental health challenges, physical illness, and more.

Short-Term Side Effects of Heroin Use

Heroin use causes a wave of euphoria, relaxation, and pleasure, but it can also have some undesirable effects. Some of the most common side effects of heroin use include:

  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Itching
  • “Nodding out,” or losing consciousness
  • Dry mouth

These short-term side effects of heroin use can sometimes become serious problems. Heroin-induced constipation can lead to a medical emergency, as people can go days or weeks without bowel movements.

Long-Term Side Effects of Heroin Use

In addition to the short-term effects, there are many long-term side effects of heroin use. Some of the most common effects seen in people who use heroin for years include:

  • Development of a mental health disorder, such as depression
  • Chronic insomnia
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Collapsed veins for people who use heroin intravenously
  • Addiction
  • Abscesses

Many of the long-term effects of heroin use depend on how you use the drug. People who smoke heroin often develop lung-related issues, whereas those who snort heroin have problems with the nose.

People who inject heroin are at the highest risk and face a number of health consequences as a result of their intravenous drug use. Collapsed veins, abscesses, and blood-borne illnesses from sharing needles with others are all possible consequences of this type of heroin use.

Physical Effects of Heroin Withdrawal

Among all the effects of heroin addiction, heroin withdrawal is one of the most severe. The physical effects of heroin withdrawal are incredibly powerful and are one of the many reasons that it is so difficult for people to break free from a heroin addiction on their own. During withdrawal, people may experience symptoms such as:

  • Shakes and tremors
  • Profuse sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Hot and cold flashes

The effects of heroin withdrawal can appear less than a day after your last dose of heroin and can last for up to two weeks. Thankfully, several evidence-based tools can help people make it through the difficult withdrawal stage and start a new life in recovery.

Start on the Road to Recovery with Heroin Treatment at Seasons in Malibu

When you or a loved one is living with a heroin addiction, contact the team at Seasons in Malibu by calling 424.235.2009 or online. Our comprehensive drug treatment facilities carry all the evidence-based tools to help you break free from the side effects of heroin use, learn how to live a healthier life in recovery, and overcome any co-occurring mental health challenges.