Heroin is a highly addictive drug that threatens the health and well-being of thousands of men and women each day. But what is it about heroin that gets people hooked – and what does it feel like to be under the influence of this powerful opiate? The following is a brief look at the effects of heroin on both the mind and the body of the user.
What are the Psychological Effects of Heroin Use?
More than most drugs, heroin abuse carries with it a number of serious psychological side effects. These heroin side effects can lead to long-term mental health problems that keep the heroin addict from maintaining healthy relationships or successful careers.
The most common psychological side effect of heroin addiction include:
- Addiction. After using heroin for a relatively short period of time, the individual may develop an addiction to heroin. This may include developing a tolerance to the drug so that it takes more and more heroin to generate the desired euphoric state.
- Restlessness. Individuals who are taking heroin may be unable to sit still for an extended period of time – or even focus properly on the simplest of tasks at hand.
- Insomnia. Commonly, an individual with is doing heroin will be unable to sleep through the night – waking up often with strong drug cravings.
- Depression. When the heroin user is in between doses of the drug, they may experience serious depression episodes. Opiates such as heroin trick the human body into “forgetting” how to produce pleasurable sensations (that job is taken over by the heroin) so that when the drug is not present, the individual will experience deep bouts of sadness and depression.
What are the Physical Effects of Heroin?
Heroin abuse also affects the human body in significant physical ways. The symptoms manifest themselves differently according to the make-up of each individual.
The most serious physical effects of heroin use include:
- Itching. When an individual is in search of her next heroin fix, she may pull or scratch her skin uncontrollably.
- Constricted pupils. One simple way to spot the effects of heroin is to look the addicted individual in the eyes. Constricted pupils are often the result of heroin use.
- Sleepiness. Individuals who are under the influence of heroin may find themselves nodding off – even during a conversation.
- Constipation. Heroin drug addiction causes many addicts to become “irregular” in the bathroom.
Friends and family of heroin addicts would do well to learn more about the drug and its effects, both short term and long term, so that they will be spurred to action and bring their loved ones to a treatment center immediately.