The Link Between Painkillers & Heroin
Many prescription painkillers are made from opioids or opiates, which are key heroin ingredients. It is not unusual for a person someone to try heroin after abusing painkillers. Likewise, anyone who uses heroin should avoid opioid painkillers as they can trigger old cravings.
When prescribed a painkiller, patients must only take them exactly as prescribed. Do not take them as soon as the initial effects wear off. This greatly increases your risk of forming a dependence. Click here to learn more about the dangers of prescription drug addiction.
If you or a loved one suffers from heroin addiction, call (678) 737-4430 today. Our supportive team is here to help.
What Heroin Does
Knowing how heroin affects your mind and body can be helpful when working through recovery. Heroin is extracted from morphine, and once it enters the brain it turns into morphine once again, where it binds to the body’s opioid receptors. This creates a sense of euphoria, reducing anxiety and minimizing the effects of pain. It is this pleasurable sensation that contributes to the addiction. The brain is highly susceptible to “good feeling” and will start to seek them out whenever possible.
While the drug has a pleasurable effect on the brain, it does terrible damage to the body. The effects of euphoria only last for a few minutes, followed by a 10- to 20-minute “rush” period, which is the true “high” feeling the drug creates. Once the drug wears off, the body begins to feel the effects.
Heroin has many detrimental effects on the body, including:
- An itchy feeling on the skin
- Confusion and difficulty thinking
- Sudden feeling of “sleepiness”, more akin to falling unconscious than actual sleep
- Irregular heart rate
- Difficulty breathing
These are only the short-term effects of heroin, and even these can be life-threatening. Long-term use can create a tolerance, which leads to people using the drug in greater quantities. This will exasperate the symptoms and increase the risk of an overdose.
Signs of Heroin Addiction
- Dry mouth
- Flushed skin
- Nausea/ vomiting
- Memory loss
- Hard time making decisions
Long-Term Effects of Heroin
It does not take long to develop a tolerance to heroin, so people who have been abusing it for a long time usually take it in large quantities. Heroin dependency grows at a similar rate to the tolerance, and people will experience withdrawal symptoms not long after their last high fades. It is of the utmost importance that a person admit themselves into a certified detoxification center when they decide to stop using. Cutting off cold-turkey is dangerous, increase the risk of relapse, and could be life threatening.
Some long-term effects of heroin abuse include:
- Kidney disease
- Heart and vascular disease
- Liver disease
- Skin infections
- Pulmonary disorders
- Impaired decision making
- Difficulty controlling moods and dealing with stress
No matter how long you have been using heroin, you can improve your life and health by making the decision to stop.
We serve the communities of Johns Creek, Gainesville, Alpharetta, Canton, Milton, and Dawsonville, Duluth, Buford, Lawrenceville, Peachtree Corners, and Gwinnett County. Contact us today to start your journey through heroin addiction recovery.
Once the body develops a dependency on heroin, cutting yourself off from the drug is hard not only mentally, but physically. Withdrawal can cause anxiety, agitation, diarrhea, stomach cramps, muscle spasms and a variety of other symptoms. If you or a loved one experience any of these after taking heroin, it means an addiction has formed and it is imperative that you receive help.
At The Carter Treatment Center, we support patients with counseling, group therapy, outdoor activities, and life coaching skills that help them learn new ways of coping with stress in order to overcome addiction.
We have dedicated outpatient treatment centers so that our patients can continue recovery after their inpatient rehab program. Through outpatient rehab, you will be able to discuss the successes and challenges you’ve encountered during your recovery with rehab counselors and others in recovery. These services give patients an opportunity to vent, gain new insight on how to deal with temptations, and build a sense of community.
Quitting heroin is a life-changing commitment that takes resolve, but moments of weakness are expected, and we’ll be there for you when you need us.