Heroin Side Effects
By: Lakeview Health Staff
Published: December 6, 2019

Heroin side effects can significantly impact your life not only while you are using, but also long afterward. Heroin is highly addictive and fast-acting, leading to its role as one of the most commonly abused opioids, especially because it is associated with feelings of euphoria and relaxation. Unfortunately, heroin and other opioids are deadly and can lead to devastating consequences. When you understand the side effects of heroin use, you can make the best decisions for your body and mind.

Physical Heroin Side Effects

Many physical side effects of using heroin are short-term. They include some changes that are immediate upon heroin use, like quick behavioral changes, small pupils, nodding off and shortness of breath. With addiction and regular use, the side effects become more severe. They may include skin flushing, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, and feeling like the arms and legs are heavy.

In some cases, the side effects are related to physical behaviors that other people notice. They include feelings of shame, leading to isolation from loved ones. People who are dependent upon heroin may argue with their family members and friends, and they may even begin stealing from loved ones in an attempt to pay for drugs. You may notice a loved one wearing long sleeves all the time in order to hide the marks needles leave behind. Behavioral changes make it very easy for family members and friends to see that something is not quite right, even if they do not know what it is.

One of the biggest problems that develop with heroin use is tolerance and physical dependence on the drug. When somebody has built up a tolerance for the drug, they need to use more and more of the substance over time to experience the same effect. The more heroin an individual uses, the more their body adapts to its presence. Withdrawal symptoms develop when the individual has not used heroin. Tolerance is especially dangerous because an individual who returns to using the substance after a period of not using may overdose by reverting back to their normal dosage.

Mental and Emotional Heroin Side Effects

For many people who use heroin, the side effects become psychological. Changes often include different priorities for life, meaning that drug use becomes the main focus of an individual’s life. This reprioritizing of life leads to a diminished sense of responsibility. Heroin users may become more hostile, irritable, and depressed. The lack of sleep that comes with heroin dependence can also have mental side effects, like inability to focus.

Repeated heroin use can actually impact the physical structure of your brain. This establishes an imbalance in your brain that is long-term and not easy to reverse. These changes can impact one’s ability to make good decisions, regulate their behavior, and deal with life’s stressors.

Heroin Addiction Treatment at Lakeview Health

Lakeview Health is an addiction treatment center located in Jacksonville. We offer individualized treatment centered on your needs, and we pride ourselves in treating people with all different types of traumas. Our medical model is informed and integrates the 12 steps. Additional treatment options include:

Are you interested in making a change? You can start now. Call us at [Direct] to learn more about heroin side effects and the treatment options available to you. You have a bright life ahead of you, and treatment can help you overcome the obstacles in the way.