Heroin is a drug made from opium poppy flowers. In some regions, it is being used medically for relieving severe pain such as that caused by cancer, childbirth, or heart attacks. However, heroin is highly abused by many recreational users because it offers a euphoric effect. In most cases, such individuals consume it by snorting, smoking, or injecting it into their veins using syringes. Regardless of this ingestion of a drug, it quickly reaches the brain making a person feel a rush of intense happiness and excitement for a few minutes. After that, one might feel sluggish and dozy for several hours.
Heroin is considered highly addictive, and some people may report being unable to quit it after using it only once or twice. Heroin use could lead to side effects such as nausea, itching, vomiting, and a dry mouth. One might also feel like their brain is fuzzy and experience shallow breathing or sleepiness. Besides these immediate effects, the drug could also cause severe health complications.
In this article, you’ll learn about some of the health risks associated with heroin use. Read on to find out more.
- Health Complications Caused By Heroin
As mentioned, heroin may be highly addictive. In the initial stages, it might be hard to identify dependence. However, as time goes by, some changes can be noticeable. For instance, a user may have needle signs or collapsed veins that may try covering up with long sleeve clothes even in warm weather. Additionally, the person might also be withdrawn and develop money issues. Besides that, they may become less concerned about their studies, job, or family, and this may cause conflicts.
If you notice a loved one with such signs, it’s best to start looking for help as soon as you can. It means finding a good rehabilitation center around your area for them to begin their recovery process. For instance, if you live in Houston, Texas, research online for info about the best treatment centers around you. Alternatively, ask a trusted friend or relative for referrals. If you live in other locations, check online reviews of some of the facilities around you. If you find a center with positive testimonials, take your loved one there because the facility may be reliable.
Considering rehab as soon as you realize addiction symptoms in your family member or friend is quite essential. Because extended heroin use could cause severe health risks that might be life-threatening. Some of the complications associated with this drug may include:
Endocarditis is a form of infection that often affects the inner lining of the heart’s valves and chambers. This condition occurs when germs or bacteria move through the blood and into the heart.
Heroin might cause this condition if someone injects themselves with a dirty or contaminated syringe. Also, the drug itself may contain substances that don’t dissolve. Therefore, if ingested through the veins, the heroin may find its way into the heart, along with the toxic additives it might contain. After a while, the contaminants and unwanted materials may cause clumps of bacteria to start forming in the heart.
In the early stages of endocarditis, a patient might experience bloody urine, night sweats, weight loss, nausea, and fever. If the person doesn’t seek treatment or get to a recovery center, this condition could worsen, leading to a stroke or heart failure.
- Lung Damage
As mentioned earlier, heroin might contain additives that can’t dissolve in the body. Such substances could clog blood vessels that lead to vital organs like the lungs. The blockage caused might lead to infections or cell damage in the lungs. If a person continues taking heroin for longer, the harm caused may eventually lead to permanent lung damage.
- Pregnancy Complications
If a woman takes heroin while pregnant, the drug could cause complications such as premature or stillbirths or lead to a child being born underweight. Besides that, the drug might also lead to conditions like placental abruption, whereby the placenta separates from the uterus prematurely.
If a pregnant friend or family member is using heroin, it’s advisable to take them to the health care professional instead of letting them quit the drug instantly by themselves. It might save the unborn child from death. The expert could treat them with medications that might help them lower their heroin dependence efficiently without harming their child.
Heroin abuse might cause short-term effects such as nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, drowsiness, or itching. However, the drug could also cause severe health complications like endocarditis, pregnancy issues, and lung problems. If you have a loved one struggling with heroin abuse, consider helping them find a treatment or take them to a rehabilitation center for recovery. You could save their lives by preventing the development of the health risks mentioned in this article.