What Does Heroin Do To You?

Heroin is one of the most dangerous and deadly drugs, and the number of people who are addicted to it continues to rise. The following outlines answers to questions like what does heroin do to you, and also what heroin does to your face, as well as the general effect it can have on people and how it impacts your brain.

What Does Heroin Do To You?
Heroin is an illegal opioid, and when you take it, it binds to the opioid receptors in your brain. It acts similarly to prescription opioids, and in fact, many heroin users report they started their drug use with abuse of prescription painkillers. Your body contains natural chemicals called neurotransmitters that typically bind to your opioid receptors, and they manage pain and feelings of well-being. When these receptors are activated in your brain’s reward center, it then triggers the release of dopamine, which is how you feel pleasure. However, when you influence your opioid receptors with an outside substance like heroin, it pushes a flood of dopamine into your body. That’s why you feel a euphoric rush from heroin and other opioids. Your brain is wired to want to replicate behaviors that bring pleasure, which is why you feel the urge to use heroin again and again. It doesn’t take long for your brain to become used to the presence of the heroin, which is why you develop a tolerance. You then feel like you need to take more and more heroin to get high. When you’re dependent on a drug like heroin, when you don’t have it in your system, your body goes into a type of shock, which is why withdrawal occurs. Heroin not only changes how your brain is essentially wired, though. It has other impacts as well.
The effects of heroin don’t stay internal. They often manifest themselves in a way that the world can see you have a drug problem. When someone not just uses heroin but abuses it, it impacts their ability to make decisions and respond to stress. Some of the visible warning signs someone is on heroin include:
  • Small pinpoint pupils
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Persistent cough
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Limbs that seem heavy
  • Burn marks around the fingers
  • Symptoms that seem like the flu, such as being cold or vomiting
  • Constipation
In addition to physical signs of what heroin does to you, there are often changes in lifestyle or behavior. These aren’t necessarily exclusive to heroin and can be indicative of drug abuse in general. Some examples include a decline in performance at school or work, a lack of interest in things that were once enjoyable, lack of coordination, slow movement, disorientation, being very alert followed by nodding off, excessive sleep or extended periods of being awake, incoherent speech and a lack of motivation. What does heroin do in terms of other behaviors? A person on heroin may start to display a lack of concern for their appearance or personal hygiene, they may become aggressive, and they may withdraw from friends or family. One of the indicators someone is injecting heroin is also wearing long sleeves or pants to hide the needle marks, even when it’s hot outside. Also relevant to the question of what does heroin do is the fact that it changes your stance and how you carry yourself. It makes it seem like you’re slouching or droopy in the way you’re standing. It may be difficult for you to stand or even walk or change positions, and often because of the heavy feeling in your limbs, it may look like you’re dragging yourself while you walk.
Drugs can impact your appearance in significant, negative ways, and that includes heroin. People often wonder what heroin does to your face. First, people on heroin start to lose weight very quickly, and that rapid weight loss can often show on your face. You may look tired, or older because of sagging skin of your face. People who use heroin often tend to have dark circles under their eyes and pale skin. People might even have a bluish tint to their skin because heroin lowers your heart rate and blood pressure. Heroin can also lead people to have scabs and scars on their faces because it like many other opioids causes itchiness, and that leads to picking at the face and other areas of their body. People who snort heroin often have respiratory problems such as mucous discharge and a constant runny nose or watery eyes, and they may look lethargic, tired and much older than they really are. Also important to consider when looking at what does heroin do and what heroin does to your face is the fact that you will start to show declines in your health and nutrition when you’re abusing this drug, and that will alter your appearance as well.
What Does Heroin Do To You?
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What Does Heroin Do To You? was last modified: July 5th, 2017 by The Recovery Village