What Heroin Does To Your Body

Heroin is a serious and all-too-often deadly opiate drug. It’s a drug that has the potential to drastically change everything from your emotions and the functionality of your brain to your physical appearance. There’s not any aspect of a person’s physical health and life that are untouched when heroin is involved.

The following highlights what heroin does to your body and how it affects you physically.

What Heroin Does To Your Body
Heroin is an opiate, and it binds to the brain’s opioid receptors when it’s taken. This creates a rush of dopamine that’s much more significant than what could ever happen naturally. That dopamine flood is what creates the euphoric high someone feels when they do heroin. Your brain starts to want to replicate that feeling, which is why you have the urge to use heroin again and again.

Over time, however, what heroin does to your body is create a tolerance to it. This means that in a way your brain has been rewired to feel like it’s normal when heroin is present. Your body adjusts to the heroin and the dopamine that’s present, and so you don’t feel a high anymore, even right when you take heroin. You need to take larger doses to feel anything, and when your body has developed a tolerance to the drug, it’s when you don’t have it that you feel abnormal. That’s what contributes with heroin withdrawal symptoms.

When you’re a long-term user of heroin, it ultimately changes the structure and the physiology of your brain, and the impacts on your hormone systems are difficult to reverse. There has been research showing heroin use can cause a decline in the white matter of your brain causing a range of cognitive, memory and decision-making problems.

The physical dependence on heroin can lead you to have as mentioned above withdrawal symptoms if you stop using it, that can range from flu-like to severe pain, insomnia, and gastrointestinal issues.

Along with the impact heroin has on your brain over time, what heroin does to your body immediately or in the short-term includes:

  • Pain and anxiety relief
  • Flushing of the skin
  • Feeling that your arms and legs are heavy
  • Increased body temperature
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Extreme itching
  • Going in and out of consciousness
  • Slowed heart rate or irregular heart rate
  • Slowed breathing

What heroin does to your body can ultimately be what leads to a deadly overdose.

Some of the ways what heroin does to your body can kill you include:

  • It can cause your brain to not receive enough blood
  • Your respiratory system can shut down so you can’t breathe
  • It can lead to something called infectious endocarditis on the surface of the heart which can result in heart failure
  • Kidney failure can occur
It’s not just what heroin does to your body in the short-term that can be deadly. What heroin does to your body in the long-term can include:

  • Oral health problems including damaged teeth and swelling of the gums
  • Skin problems from scratching
  • Extreme constipation
  • A weakened immune system
  • Malnutrition
  • Sleep problems
  • Problems with sexual functioning

Along with the above ways heroin impacts your body in the long-term, there can be even more dangerous ways it can destroy your health.

What heroin does to your body in the long-term also includes organ damage to the liver and kidneys from infectious diseases and brain damage from a lack of oxygen that occurs during overdoses.

People who use heroin also report having problems including infections of the heart valves, bacterial infections, and abscesses. Chronic heroin users often have lung problems including the development of tuberculosis and pneumonia, women have irregular menstrual cycles, or they stop altogether, and people who snort heroin have damage to their mucosal tissue.

If you inject it, what heroin does to your body includes leading to scarred and collapsed veins, blood infections, and soft tissue infections. Tissue in your vital organs may be damaged or destroyed, and because of immune reactions to contaminants often found in heroin, it can lead to arthritis and other similar problems.

It’s essential to understand what heroin does to your body so that you either never try it, or if you do you get help as soon as possible to avoid the long-term damage that can occur.

What Heroin Does To Your Body
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