Effects of heroin are detailed below. Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine, a natural substance taken from the seed pod of the various opium poppy plants grown in Southeast and Southwest Asia, Mexico, and Colombia. Heroin can be a white or brown powder, or a black sticky substance known as black tar heroin. Other common names for heroin include big H, horse, hell dust, and smack.
It is typically sold as a white or brownish powder that is “cut” with sugars, starch, powdered milk, or quinine. Pure heroin is a white powder with a bitter taste that predominantly originates in South America and, to a lesser extent, from Southeast Asia.
Heroin may be smoked, snorted, or injected. Regardless of the type of use, heroin acts quickly in the body to elicit its dramatic results. Continued use of heroin can bring devastation to both physical and mental health, and is likely to culminate in a number of social and legal ramifications for the user.
As authorities have clamped down on the distribution of pain-relieving medications, such as hydrocodone and Opana, individuals who are addicted to these medications have sought out heroin as an alternative.
The effects of heroin on a person’s health will depend on several factors, including the person’s existing health status, stature, weight, sex, volume of drug intake, method of drug intake, length of abuse, simultaneous use of alcohol or other drugs, and whether there is an underlying psychiatric condition. Even short-term heroin use causes health effects.
The most common side effects related to heroin use may be temporary and subside, but they always present an unnecessary risk to one’s health. Some of the short-term health related effects include; a euphoric rush (can last 3-5hours), a trance-like state (for 4-6 hours), warm/flushed skin, sensation of heaviness in limbs, severe itching and more.
Severe addiction to heroin has been shown to start rapidly after significant abuse, due to its effects on the pleasure and reward center of the brain. The longer someone abuses heroin, the more their physical dependence on the drug increases. When someone develops a physical dependence on heroin, they will need substantially larger and more frequent doses to experience the same effects a smaller dose once had.
Long term effects
Some people believe that the longer they use heroin, the less likely they are to experience an overdose. However, an overdose can happen during initial use of heroin and randomly after that. It is virtually impossible for someone to know the real strength or true contents of the heroin they use, which greatly increases the risk of overdose and possible death.
In addition to the detrimental health effects, heroin use can cause, there are also hidden risks that come with using this drug. These risks are not necessarily due to heroin, but to the lifestyle and habits that come with its use. Some examples of additional effects of heroin use include poor hygiene, inadequate nutrition, and frequent colds.
Long-term heroin use may also cause someone to break up friendships or other personal relationships and ruin their finances. Continuous heroin purchases can cost an individual up to $200 a day, and that isn’t the only expense that comes with heroin abuse. Other possible expenses include paraphernalia, medical bills, legal fees and job loss.