Symptoms and Effects of Heroin
While the signs and symptoms of heroin addiction can vary depending on the individual, amount used and how it was administered, there are some signs that are the same across the board. If you think a loved one may be addicted to heroin, look for these warning signs:
- Constricted pupils
- Impaired mental functioning (inability to focus, apathy)
- Slowed down respiration
- A sense of being separate from the world
- Loss of appetite
Long-term effects of heroin abuse
Heroin is a dangerous drug. Consistent abusers will most definitely face adverse effects because of it. Without any rehab, it only gets worse because the longer your body has to get used to the heroin, the more it needs in order to satisfy the addiction. The effects of heroin abuse are mostly physical, but also psychological. It becomes psychological in that the user becomes dependent physically and psychologically. Some long-term effects of heroin abuse include:
- Infection of the heart lining and valves
- Liver disease
- Spontaneous abortion
- Collapsed veins because of injecting too often
- The needle sharing that often accompanies heroin addiction can also spread infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.
- Sometimes, street heroin will have additives that do not dissolve well. If this happens, blood vessels that lead to the brain, kidney, heart, etc. can become clogged and will lead to other infections.
As if the desire to need more heroin is not enough for those who are trying to break the addiction, there are also symptoms of heroin withdrawal that make it incredibly difficult to stop. These symptoms happen when one goes through detox. This is why it is important to support your loved ones that want help and seek a medically supervised heroin detox rehab program. It is nearly impossible for them to do it by themselves.
Some symptoms can occur within hours of the last dose. Usually, the major symptoms occur within 24 to 48 hours after the last dose. Typically, most of the symptoms subside within 10 days; however, there are cases where they have lasted several months (at a lesser magnitude). It is safer to go through detox in a rehab facility because there are trained professionals who know how to deal with user. These symptoms include:
- Muscle and bone pain
- Cold spells
Effects of using while pregnant
Above all else, it is especially dangerous to use heroin when pregnant. Those who are using while pregnant are at a high risk of:
- Losing the baby during the infancy stage
- Premature delivery
- Low birth weight
- Breathing difficulties
- Bleeding within the brain
- If the mother contracts HIV from sharing needles, that can also be passed on to the baby
- The baby could even be born dependant on the drug. When an expecting mother uses drugs, the drug passes through the placenta, and goes straight to the baby. Since heroin is such an addictive drug, the baby can become as addicted as the mother since the drug is going to the baby as well.
If you or a loved one is addicted to heroin, it is important to seek help. Once addicted, the effects are devastating. Most lose their jobs, dreams, and ambitions. In some cases, it only takes one shot to become addicted. But, there is hope. If you are interested in receiving information on heroin detox or rehab, please call our toll free number at 855-315-4777.