21 Dec The Nature of Heroin Addiction: Beginnings of Heroin Treatment
Heroin is a compelling drug that manipulates both the body and the mind to strong effect. Many patients come in seeking recovery from this drug alone. Although they may be urgent to get through recovery, they don’t always grasp the full extent of the Heroin’s effects. To help better prepare patients and their loved ones for Heroin treatment, here are some facts about the nature of Heroin. The more we understand something, the better equipped we are to attack it.
How it affects the brain
Heroin is an Opioid, a synthetic chemical derived from morphine. Once Heroin enters the brain, it becomes morphine again and connects to opioid receptors in the brain. These receptors control the person’s feelings toward desire and reward, which makes the addiction mental as much as it is physical. Once this happens, the person feels an immediate high (or ‘Rush” as it is referred to), usually accompanied by other effects such as dry mouth, lowered emotions, reduced pain, and clouded mental functioning. From the first usage of heroin, dependency/addiction can occur almost immediately.
How it affects the body
As soon as Heroin meets the brain, it spreads out its effects through the body’s nervous system. Short term use of Heroin includes: Dependency/Addiction, Confusion, low body temperature, itchy skin, reduced heart rate, and reduced breathing. Long-term effects include: reduced sexual capability, sedation, constipation, tooth damage, trouble sleeping, liver damage, bacterial infections, circulatory damage, brain damage, coma, overdose and death. Another possible effect is the reduction of decision-making skills. Heroin use is currently being investigated for the deterioration of white matter, the part of the brain responsible for decision-making. This adds to another direct connection between the physical effects of Heroin and its mental effects.
As continued use progresses, a physical dependency develops. This is where a person needs the drug in order to function properly. They might also build up a tolerance to it, where they need an increased dosage every time in order to get the desired effect. This increases the chance of overdosing.
In order for Heroin recovery to be treated properly, it requires the patient to withdrawal immediately, which brings on both physical and mental pain. However, with proper medical and emotional support, withdrawals can be overcome. From there on, the patient will have to learn how Heroin has affected his or her own mental and physical functions. Once we at Florida Recovery Group find out how the drug affects your body specifically, we can begin customizing your recovery plan. For more information on how we can offer you a treatment plan, please contact Florida Recovery Group here.