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What Are the Long-Term Effects of Heroin Use?

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Heroin Use?

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Heroin Use?

Despite the many long-term effects of heroin use, it continues to be a drug of choice for so many individuals around the world. Some estimates suggest that more than nine million people use heroin worldwide, while the NIDA estimates nearly one million in the United States alone. 

Additionally, nearly 700,000 Americans have a heroin use disorder, and more than 13,000 people die from heroin overdoses yearly – a number that peaked above 15,000 in 2017 but was as low as 2,000 in 2010. In Florida alone, 700 people die from a heroin overdose every year.

Heroin use is still a problem in today’s society. While the long-term effects of heroin use can severely damage an individual’s quality of life, recovery is possible, and treatment is available.

If searching for heroin addiction treatment, contact ARC today. Atlantic Recovery Center is a top-rated drug and alcohol treatment center in Florida.

What is Heroin?

Heroin is a semi-synthetic and highly addictive opioid drug derived from morphine, a substance found in the seeds of opium poppy plants across South Asia, Mexico, and Colombia. The use of the drug dates back to 1874, but it has been banned in the United States since 1924.

It’s often found as a white or brown powder but can also be seen as a black sticky substance – called black tar heroin.

Heroin is used by people of all different ages and from a variety of different backgrounds. And while it impacts everyone in a unique way, it almost always leads to disaster – not just mentally but physically, socially, behaviorally, emotionally, and spiritually.

If you or a loved one are using heroin, it is crucial to seek help as soon as possible. Contact Atlantic Recovery Center to learn more about how our South Florida rehab programs can help you overcome your heroin addiction.

How Does Heroin Impact the Brain?

When someone uses heroin, it travels directly to the brain, where it binds to certain receptors called mu-opioid receptors (MORs). This stimulates the production and release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that provides a sense of pleasure and satisfaction – which can be addicting.  

Of course, the brain isn’t the only thing affected – here are some of the other short-term effects of heroin use: 

  • Euphoric feeling
  • Dry mouth or warm flushing of the skin
  • Cognitive impairment or mood swings
  • Coming in and out of consciousness
  • Arms and legs feeling heavy or excessive itching
  • Nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, or constipation
  • Loss of appetite 

While mu-opioid receptors are meant to be bound to and activated inside the brain, this process is supposed to happen naturally. When the process is forced, it creates a chemical imbalance in the brain that can impact its ability to function properly when the individual isn’t using heroin. 

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Heroin Use?

Regularly using, misusing, or abusing heroin can make the body dependent on the drug. At the same time, the body is growing more tolerant of the drug. As a result, the user will start to use more often and in higher amounts to satisfy their addiction.

Let’s take a look at some of the other long-term effects of heroin use: 

  • Damaged nose tissue, if snorted or sniffed
  • Collapsed veins, if injected
  • Heart, liver, kidney, and lung disease
  • Insomnia, depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders
  • Sexual and reproductive issues
  • Damaged relationships (family members and friends)
  • Financial issues, legal troubles, and criminal offenses

Heroin can and will impact every aspect of an individual’s life. Over time, their entire life will revolve around the drug and when they’ll get their next high – or how they’ll get their next high. Everything else takes a backseat, including their work, family, friends, and other obligations.

How to Find a Heroin Rehab Program in South Florida

Do you know someone who’s displaying symptoms of heroin use? Are you starting to notice that the long-term effects of heroin start to impact the individual’s quality of life? Are they ready to begin their journey towards a happier and healthier life? If you answered ‘yes,’ then contact us today. Atlantic Recovery Center is proud to offer substance abuse and mental health treatment to those that need it most. Located in South Florida, we take a human-based approach to ensuring that each patient receives the right treatment. Contact us today to learn more about our substance abuse treatment programs in South Florida.

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