Heroin is one of the most notorious illegal drugs in the world. Approximately 9.2 million people worldwide suffer from abusing this drug. The dangers of heroin abuse extend far beyond merely its mental and physical effects – heroin often destroys communities. It leads to an increase in violence, poverty, fetal effects, HIV/AIDS, and disruptions to families, workplaces, and schools.
To free yourself from the clutches of heroin addiction, reach out to the heroin detox center in Florida.
An Overview of Heroin
Heroin is an illicit opiate drug derived processed from morphine, which comes from poppy plants. It often comes in a white or brown powder that’s “cut” with other white powdery substances such as sugar, powdered milk, quinine, or starch.
Heroin is an opiate, meaning that it is a central nervous system depressant and comes from opium. There are many legally prescribed opiates such as Vicodin or OxyContin, which serve as pain relievers.
However, opiates of all kinds provide the user some kind of a euphoric high. Legally prescribed opioids have a much less euphoric effect than their illicit counterparts, but opioid abuse still occurs and often act as gateway drugs to heroin. In fact, 80% of heroin users started by abusing opiates. Those who get addicted to prescribed drugs often seek out illegal ones either to achieve a more significant high or because they lose access to their prescription.
The number of heroin abusers has been on the rise over the past several years. According to research by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), there were 90,000 new heroin users in 2006. That number nearly doubled to 170,000 by 2016.
Dangers of Heroin Abuse
Like most drugs, one of the main dangers of heroin abuse is that users easily become addicted. It binds to and activates the mu-opioid receptors (MORs) in the brain. Those MORs then stimulate a release of the “feel-good” hormone called dopamine, which generates positive feelings and reinforces such behavior.
Like all addictive drugs, heroin causes the user to build up a tolerance over time. That means that if the user takes the same amount of heroin each time, each session will be less effective than the last. If users want to achieve the same high, they must take greater amounts of heroin – something which can result in a deadly overdose.
Heroin addiction causes many short and long-term effects that worsen the lives of the individual and the whole community.
Short-Term Side Effects
Some common short-term effects include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe itching
- Dry mouth
- Hazy thoughts
- Slowed breathing and heart function
- Risk of coma and brain damage
Long-Term Side Effects
Some of the long-term dangers of heroin abuse include, but aren’t limited to:
- Bad teeth and inflamed gums
- Weakened immune system
- Inability to achieve orgasm
- Muscular weakness and partial paralysis
Heroin effectively rewires your brain and causes you to crave more of it. That’s why even when you want to quit, quitting heroin cold turkey is so dangerous. Most people have trouble with extreme heroin withdrawal symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, increased heart rate, depression, anxiety, and hallucinations.
Don’t let heroin addiction and its harmful effects take over your life. Reach out to a drug detox center to mitigate painful and uncomfortable withdrawal effects.
Stop Heroin Abuse Today
The dangers of heroin abuse can ruin lives and communities. If you or a loved one is suffering from heroin abuse, don’t wait any longer. Contact us today by calling 866.341.0638 to find out how we can help. Learn about our comprehensive drug detox programs that will help get you back onto the road of recovery. The rest of your life starts today.