Heroin is an extremely addictive opioid drug that individuals may use by sniffing, smoking, or injecting. When heroin enters the body, it rapidly travels to the brain, converts into morphine, and binds to opioid receptors. This causes a surge of dopamine and an intense feeling of euphoria. As the drug leaves the body, users can experience withdrawal symptoms, which further contribute to drug addiction . There are many adverse short-term and long-term effects of heroin abuse. If you or a loved one is struggling with an opioid addiction, you can turn to drug treatment centers in West Palm Beach, Port Saint Lucie, and Sunrise for assistance with safe opiate detox.
There are opioid receptors in the brain stem in addition to those in the brain. The brain stem is responsible for controlling breathing and other functions essential for life. This means that an overdose of heroin can be fatal . When a user overdoses on heroin, breathing is suppressed and the heart rate can slow. Even when an overdose isn’t fatal, the reduction of oxygen to the brain can result in coma and permanent brain damage.
The use of heroin as well as withdrawal from heroin can result in gastrointestinal problems. When drug abuse results in addiction, withdrawal symptoms can include diarrhea and vomiting. Nausea and vomiting can also occur when heroin is in the body. Additionally, this opioid slows down bowel motility, which means users frequently experience severe constipation.
If a heroin addict delays going through drug detox, he or she is at a higher risk of complications from chronic use. These may include endocarditis, which refers to the infection of the heart lining. If left untreated, endocarditis can result in the destruction of the heart valves, which can lead to life-threatening complications. Additionally, chronic heroin abuse commonly leads to collapsed veins. A collapsed vein is caused by repeated trauma, such as by injecting the drug into a particular site. Collapsed veins can result in chronic complications such as poor circulation.
When a user abuses heroin while pregnant, the developing fetus is also exposed to the drug. Heroin can result in spontaneous abortion or miscarriage. If the baby does survive, birth defects, brain damage, and addiction are possible.