The effects of heroin and opium in both the short-term and the long-term are overwhelming in a number of different ways. The high or euphoria experienced in the short-term can overtake the senses, making you incoherent, unresponsive and unable to focus. In the long-term, the health effects can erode major organ systems and cause infections that are life threatening. From the first use, heroin overdose is a risk as well, and once physical addiction has set in, withdrawal symptoms are a constant threat.
Opium and Heroin Short-Term Effects
The short-term effects of opium and heroin are generally the reason why people use opiates in the first place. This is when you experience the high or euphoric rush associated with the drug. Less than 10 seconds after intravenous injection, opiate users will feel a rush while an intramuscular injection provides a high in under 10 minutes. For those who snort or smoke the drug, the euphoria takes up to 15 minutes. Other short-term effects of heroin and opium include dry mouth, a warm feeling, and heavy arms and legs.
When heroin is cut with poisons or dangerous drugs like Fentanyl or when too much heroin is taken, a short-term effect of the drug can be overdose or death.
Long-Term Effects of Using Heroin and Opium
The long-term effects of opium and heroin will depend upon the method of intake. For those who inject heroin, collapsed veins happen quickly and infections in the heart lining and valves is a huge risk. Abscesses are a problem as well and those occur whether you shooting up heroin intravenously or intramuscularly.
No matter how you go about doing heroin, there are problems with liver and kidney disease as well as liver failure, pneumonia, and issues with the lungs and the brain. Those who have an addiction to heroin are more likely to develop co-occurring medical conditions too, because their defenses are weakened and they are more susceptible to infection and disease.
Opium and Heroin Addiction
The most significant effect of heroin and opium use is addiction, and it can affect anyone, anywhere. With regular use and in a relatively short period of time (especially when needles are the chosen method of ingestion), heroin addiction develops quickly. Opium use and addiction is less common than heroin addiction simply because heroin is more readily available. For both drugs, though, the more you use it, the more you need it and the more difficult your addiction will be to break and the more severe will be your heroin experience with heroin withdrawal symptoms should you miss a dose or run out.