What Does Heroin Feel Like?

What does heroin feel like? What is it about this illegal drug sold on the streets that has gripped so many people in the U.S. and around the world? Why do people continue to do heroin despite the incredibly dangerous nature of the drug and the adverse effects it has?

It’s difficult to know if you’re someone who doesn’t know what heroin feels like or someone who’s never done it, but there’s obviously something incredibly powerful about this illicit opioid.

There have been descriptions and essays frequently posted online by people who try to convey the answer to “what does heroin feel like.” They describe it as something that makes their life worth living, and something that makes them feel worthwhile and peaceful.

Unfortunately, those good feelings quickly turn to a sense of desperation and also a sickness that comes from not being able to get enough of the drug.

What Does Heroin Feel Like?
While many people are aware of the heroin problem the U.S. is in the midst of, they still might not know a lot about the drug. They might not even know that someone close to them is using it. Heroin is a highly addictive drug that comes from morphine, and it’s sold as powders or a tar-like substance that can range in color including white, brown and black.

Much of the heroin in the U.S. comes from South American and Mexico, and some comes from Afghanistan and areas in Southeast Asia as well.

Heroin has a lot in common with prescription opioid drugs, in that when someone takes it, it binds to their opioid receptors in their brain. This impacts how their brain feels and regulates pain, reward and feelings of well-being.

When someone takes a hit of heroin, it floods their brain with dopamine, creating intense feelings of pleasure and well-being. Some of the terms people have used to describe the use of heroin when they first take it includes having a rush of intense pleasure. This also comes with flushing of the skin, a feeling of heaviness, and dry mouth. Less pleasurable feelings associated with heroin include extreme itching, nausea, and vomiting.

After the initial rush of pleasure, people who use heroin will typically then enter a period of drowsiness for a few hours, and during this time their breathing may slow, and their cognition and functioning may be impaired.

Some of the effects of the drug and understanding what does heroin feel like are based on how it’s taken. It can be smoked, injected or snorted. When someone injects heroin into a vein, it creates the most intense high almost immediately, and the full effects are experienced in under 10 seconds. When it’s injected into a muscle, effects aren’t as intense and peak in about 10 minutes.

When someone snorts it or smokes it, the effects take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes to manifest and are less intense.

Also, because tolerance to heroin builds quickly, the first high is usually the most intense for people who abuse this drug.

So along with understanding what does heroin feel like, people often wonder what the heroin withdrawal experience feels like as well. Since you build a tolerance to heroin so quickly, withdrawal symptoms are something a lot of people grapple with, even if they weren’t heavy users of the drug.

The symptoms of heroin withdrawal usually last around a week, and when someone stops using the drug suddenly or cold turkey, they will experience these symptoms, which can range from mild to severe.

Some of what heroin withdrawal feels like can be somewhat similar to having the flu, or it can be milder or worse. The withdrawal symptoms for someone who uses heroin often depend on how long they abused the drug and how heavy their use was.

Mild withdrawal symptoms of heroin can include:

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Tearing
  • Runny nose
  • Sweats
  • Yawning
  • Chills
  • Achiness

Moderate symptoms can also include diarrhea, agitation, tremors, concentration problems, and fatigue. Severe heroin withdrawal often includes anxiety, depression and insomnia, hypertension, muscle spasms, respiration problems, cravings, and difficulty experiencing pleasure.

Ultimately as most heroin users will tell you, what heroin feels like is never worth the consequences of using it. The effects of this opioid wear off quickly, and you also rapidly build a tolerance which means you will experience a difficult and uncomfortable withdrawal period when you don’t use the drug.

What Does Heroin Feel Like?
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