Along with many other addictive drugs, heroin increases dopamine levels in the brain of the user. Heroin also interrupts the natural cycle of opiate receptors in the brain. The body produces endogenous opioids such as dynorphin, enkephalin, and endorphins. These are all naturally occurring chemicals and decrease the perception of pain and elevate mood by increasing endorphins. When heroin is introduced to the brain, the body gets overloaded with extra opioids, and this creates the euphoria that comes from using heroin. The flood of opioids into the system creates addiction and dependency because the body cannot produce the same intense rush of chemicals naturally.
The intense reaction in the body happens with infrequent or small doses of heroin and can lead to addiction after only a few uses. A tolerance to the effects of heroin occurs quickly as the brain won’t produce normal levels of chemicals after heroin has been introduced to the system and more heroin is required to provide the same effects. Heroin can turn you or your loved one into someone you wouldn’t recognize in the blink of an eye. GH Recovery Solutions can show you, or your loved one, how to recover from heroin addiction. We offer a comprehensive program to address the mental, physical and spiritual consequences that come from heroin abuse and addiction. We also provide a Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) program that is specifically geared towards helping to heal from opiate addiction and maintain long-term sobriety.
Identifying heroin addiction can be difficult. Heroin addiction and prescription opiate addiction mimic each other in many ways. The difference is not in what you or your loved one are addicted to, it is identifying the side effects to be able to get help. Common side effects of heroin addiction/abuse are:
- Reduced sensation of pain
- Constricted pupils
- Cycling between being awake and severe drowsiness “nodding out.”
- Slurred speech
- Nausea and vomiting
- Itchy skin
- Slowed respiration
- Slowed heart rate