Heroin is an opioid street drug with a high potential for addiction. Many of the effects of heroin addiction are mental or psychological. However, the condition also produces a range of damaging physical effects. To recover your mental and physical health, you must enroll in a heroin addiction treatment program. That’s the only way to ensure that you get the help you need for a successful recovery.
At Women’s Recovery, we offer a range of women-focused options for heroin addiction treatment. Some of these options address the direct effects of addiction. Others address important secondary factors that increase your risks. The overall result is a thorough, personalized approach to effective addiction treatment. If you or someone you love needs help to get their life back on track, reach out to an addiction specialist by calling 833.754.0554.
Why Does Heroin Produce Physical Effects?
Why does heroin have an impact on your physical health? There is a brief, straightforward answer to this question: heroin is toxic to the human body. This means that when you take the drug, its effects don’t just influence your mental state. They also have the potential to produce serious physical harm.
The worst of heroin’s physical effects appear over time. This means that long-term users are especially susceptible to serious problems. And the fact of the matter is that many, or even most, long-term heroin users suffer from addiction.
Primary Physical Effects of Heroin
The effects of heroin addiction can alter systems throughout your body. Some of these effects depend on the method used to take the drug. For example, if you inject heroin directly into your bloodstream, the veins around the injection site may collapse. You may also develop an infection in the skin or soft tissue. If you snort the drug, you can do serious damage to the tissue in your nasal passages.
However, many heroin side effects don’t depend on your method of use. The list of potential problems in this category includes:
- Sleep deprivation
- Abdominal cramps
- Pneumonia or other lung ailments
- An infection in your heart tissue
- Irregular menstruation
In addition, you expose yourself to serious kidney and liver disease.
Secondary Side Effects of Heroin
Heroin addiction can also harm your body in less direct ways. For example, batches of the drug often contain harmful additives. The list of such additives includes:
- Powdered milk
- Corn starch
All of these substances are capable of clogging your blood vessels and triggering severe organ damage. If you inject heroin, you also expose yourself to hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, and other major bloodborne illnesses.
Symptoms of Heroin Addiction
In order to be able to recognize when someone is struggling with heroin addiction, you need to know what to look out for. Some signs and symptoms of heroin abuse include:
- Isolating from family and friends
- Inability to stop heroin use even if they may want to
- Legal or financial trouble due to heroin use
- Problems at home, work, or school
- Neglecting responsibilities or avoiding obligations
- Becoming much more secretive about what they’re doing, who they’re with, or where they are
- Sudden changes in friend groups or behavior
- Nodding off
- Extreme mood swings
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using heroin
- Nausea or vomiting
- Cognitive impairment
- New or worsening mental health issues
- Being “high” or euphoric
Once a problem is acknowledged and identified, healing can begin. The best and safest way to start the recovery process is with professional help and support from an addiction treatment facility.
The Benefits of Heroin Addiction Treatment
Some of the physical effects of heroin addiction are potentially irreversible. Once you develop problems, you may be affected for life. The changes in your health can seriously reduce your ability to function. And in a worst-case scenario, the physical consequences of addiction can end up killing you. That’s true whether the impact on your health is primary or secondary.
A heroin addiction treatment program can help you avoid the long-term damage associated with the drug. This is a crucial step in preserving your health and ability to function. Prompt entry into heroin addiction treatment can also help you avoid making existing problems worse. Taking action will allow you to avoid a downward spiral of ongoing damage.
Learn More About the Dangers of Heroin Addiction at Women’s Recovery
To learn more about the dangers of heroin addiction, speak to the professionals at Women’s Recovery today. We’ll help you understand both the physical and mental risks of untreated addiction.
Women’s Recovery offers an intensive outpatient heroin addiction treatment program to help you, or a loved one start down the road to recovery. This program allows you to live at home while getting the help you need. Such an approach is perfect for many women affected by addiction. For more information, call us at 833.754.0554 or complete our online form.