What You Should Know About Heroin Addiction and Withdrawal Symptoms of Heroin
Heroin is one of the most addictive substances on the planet Earth, and while once upon a time officials in the United States thought that they were beginning to get the upper hand on heroin distribution and use in the country, the number of people abusing and becoming addicted to heroin have surged in recent years. If you believe that you or people you love have fallen victim to the dangers of heroin addiction, you are not alone and help and treatment is available. Before you try to quit or encourage others to do so, though, it is important to better understand heroin as well as the withdrawal symptoms of heroin that can occur when you decide to make a change. That way, you can better understand what heroin addiction does to the body and what going through withdrawal from heroin will involve.
Why Can Heroin Be So Addictive?
The primary reason that heroin is so addictive is that the effects the drug occur quickly and are extremely strong and potent. Instant gratification is something that many people yearn for but also something that is hard to get in regular life. However, when a person wanting instant gratification uses heroin for the first time, they get that instant rush of feeling good and relaxed that they wish they could get anytime. And, of course, they now know that heroin does just that and may continue using it.
But the reasons heroin can be so addictive are not all that simple. Yes, there is that instant gratification that can lead a person to mentally become dependent on heroin. There are also internal physical processes that occur when heroin is consumed that cause physical heroin dependence.
The chemicals in heroin use the bloodstream as a super-highway to reach the brain where those chemicals begin to attach themselves to certain neurons and send signals to others to control the way the brain is functioning, which in turn affects how the person feels. Heroin slows down body processes and brain signals, triggers the release of feel-good hormones, and blocks out pain receptors. And because of these strong effects on the brain, the brain will quickly adapt to heroin’s presence and only slow down or release those feel-good hormones when told to do so.
What Are Some Heroin Addiction Symptoms?
There are many heroin addiction symptoms that a person might experience once they become mentally and/or physically addicted to heroin. Some of these signs and symptoms include:
- Mental confusion
- Excessive sleeping
- Nausea and vomiting
- Slow or labored breathing
- Slower heartbeat
- Track marks on arms or elsewhere
- Dry mouth
- Reduced appetite
- Weight loss
- Messy or unhygienic appearance
- Skin infections
- Heart problems
What Causes the Withdrawal Symptoms of Heroin?
Whether a person is trying to break free of a heroin addiction or they simply have not used heroin as frequently as their body has come to need it, they will begin to experience withdrawal from heroin. However, many people are not sure what causes the withdrawal symptoms of heroin. The previously discussed physical addiction that a person develops to heroin is the culprit for the withdrawal symptoms. Because the brain relies on signals from heroin to function, it cannot function or operate properly without it. This denies the body important hormones and signals it needs and this causes both the brain and body to react negatively. These negative reactions are the withdrawal symptoms of heroin.
What Are Some of the Withdrawal Symptoms of Heroin?
Now that you understand what causes withdrawal from heroin, it is important to know more about some of the withdrawal symptoms of heroin. These include:
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Body aches and muscle aches
- Stomach pains
- Sleep disturbances
- Excessive sweating and night sweats
- Muscle spasms
- Heart palpitations
- Anxiety and nervousness
- Heart failure
With a more extensive understanding of heroin addiction and heroin withdrawals, you can better determine if you are suffering from an addiction and what you can expect when trying to overcome your addiction. And because these withdrawal symptoms of heroin can be so intense, always be sure to go through that process under medical and addiction treatment center supervision.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.