Heroin Addiction And Its Side Effects
Heroin is an opioid drug synthesized from morphine, extracted from the opium poppy plant. Opium was originally used to treat sleeplessness, pain, etc.
In comparison to morphine, heroin is 2-3 times more potent and faster in its onset of action. This drug is illegal in the USA since 1924.
Heroin is one of the most addictive, alluring and lethal drugs. It causes sensations ranging from stillness and tiredness to state of high and euphoria. It sedates the central nervous system and has a direct impact on critical functions of the body including breathing and heartbeat. An overdose of heroin can quickly lead to unconsciousness, coma, and death.
“According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, heroin abuse has become more prevalent amongst adults in the United States, especially those between the ages of 18 and 25.”
Signs of Heroin Usage
Heroin intake produces a “downer” effect that rapidly induces a state of euphoria. It blocks the ability of the brain to notice pain in your body. Some of the visible symptoms of usage of heroin are:
- Sudden changes in behavior or actions
- Dry Mouth
- Shortness of breath
- Constricted Pupils
- Persistent hacking cough
- Coma or death (due to overdose), etc.
The above signs don’t necessarily mean that the person is heroin abuse.
More definitive warning signs of heroin abuse include the kinds of stuff used to prepare, inject or consume heroin:
- Aluminum foil or gum wrappers with marks of burn
- Plastic bags with white powdery residue
- Burned silver spoons
- Syringes or needles not used for other medical purposes
- Straws with burn marks
- Razor blades, credit cards and IDs with a powder residue on them
- Rolled up dollars or papers, etc.
Behavioral symptoms of heroin abuse and addiction include:
- Lack of interest in hobbies
- Decreasing attention to physical appearance or hygiene
- Wearing full sleeve clothes even in warm weather
- The unexplained absence of valuables, or stealing money
- Aggressive behavior towards the loved ones
- The decrease in performance in school or office, loss of job
- Avoiding eye contact, etc.
Side effects of Heroin
Many people find heroin very unpleasant and never take it again, while some get addicted. Tolerance to Heroin increases the quantity and frequency of heroin consumption. With growing tolerance, more definitive physical signs of heroin addiction emerge.
Intake of heroin can cause:
- Immediate vomiting along with breathing suppression and cough
- Increases the possibility of chocking
- Reduces the sex drive and ability to have an orgasm
- Sudden weight loss
- Needle marks on arms
- Loss of menstrual cycle in case of women
- Infections at injection sites
- Strained or ruined relationships
- Family discord
- Suicidal thoughts and attempts
Overdosing of heroin can result in slow and shallow breathing, muscle spasms, hypotension, convulsions, coma, and death too. Intravenous heroin usage can result in the spread of hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, and other medical complication, etc.
Most of the addicts reach the stage of withdrawal when they know that they’ve had enough of the heroin. But one thing that holds them from giving up is the fear of withdrawals. The truth is that things get uncomfortable at the time of withdrawal.
If an individual is mentally strong and keeps himself distracted then he can easily pass through the withdrawal period. If in case, he has developed a tolerance for heroin it leads to certain changes in the body functions.
Giving up this drug is not easy. Your body needs some time for the readjustment. You might experience mental discomfort and cravings because of drug dependency. Some of the symptoms of heroin withdrawal are:
- Cold sweats
- Difficult with developing a normal sleeping pattern.
- Loss of appetite
- Depression and anxiety
- Unstable moods
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle cramping