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What Are the Side Effects of Heroin?

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a man struggles with the side effects of heroin abuse

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Heroin is a dangerous drug. So, treating an addiction to heroin should be taken very seriously. Using the drug wreaks havoc on one’s physical and cognitive health, and it is also very difficult to stop using the drug once addiction has set in.

Enrolling in a heroin addiction treatment program will provide the best chance to recover successfully. Statistics show that detoxing from heroin on your own has a high relapse rate. Having the right tools, resources, and professional staff to help you through the process will ensure that your treatment and recovery work for you.

Even with treatment and recovery, there can be lasting effects of heroin use. Learn more about heroin abuse treatment and what both the short and long-term heroin side effects can look like by contacting Virtue Recovery Las Vegas today at 866.520.2861. A treatment team member is standing by to answer any questions you have.

What Are Heroin Side Effects?

There are many side effects of using heroin. They may be immediate or develop over time. Others are long-lasting.

Some effects happen when taking the drug, such as:

  • Injecting the drug intravenously with a non-sterile needle can cause infections at injection sites
  • Smoking or taking the drug orally can cause severe lung and digestive issues
  • Reactions to other drugs or substances that get mixed with heroin unknowingly, like fentanyl

Following use of the drug, individuals may experience:

  • Numbness from pain
  • A state of unconsciousness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dulled senses
  • Hindered breathing

Some effects are more long-term following prolonged use of the drug. These can affect both physical and cognitive abilities and include:

  • Lung issues
  • Infections in both tissue and blood
  • Clogged blood vessels
  • Severe constipation
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Issues with sexual performance
  • Menstruation issues in women
  • Memory loss issues
  • Compromised critical thinking
  • Chemical imbalance in the brain
  • Developing poor decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • Trouble managing stress
  • Inability to control impulses

Heroin use can have life-long and even deadly consequences, but it is not recommended that an individual attempt to quit independently. Seeking professional help and treatment is the best option for overcoming heroin addiction.

Getting Help for Addiction with Heroin Abuse Treatment

For those using the drug, the risk of a heroin overdose is high. This is why seeking help for an addiction as soon as possible is so important. The physical and psychological dependence that takes hold due to becoming addicted can lead to a fatal outcome.

Fortunately, there are different levels of treatment available to overcome an addiction. Outpatient programming benefits those not needing 24/7 care or as a next step following residential care.

While heroin use is dangerous, stopping drug use can also be hazardous. The side effects of withdrawal are severe and best managed with the help of a professional program and the accompanying team. Withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Sore muscles
  • Bone and joint pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Cravings
  • Drastic changes in appetite
  • Weight loss or gain

Treatment programs can be customized with therapeutic modalities like group and individual, behavioral, and experiential therapies.

Enroll in Heroin Abuse Treatment at Virtue Recovery Las Vegas

Prolonged drug use increases the risk of causing lasting harm and makes it harder to recover. Don’t delay getting the help you or a loved one needs to live healthier without drugs and alcohol. Virtue Recovery Las Vegas offers flexible outpatient treatment programs that work with each individual’s unique needs and schedules.

Contact the professional treatment team at Virtue Recovery Las Vegas – Substance Use Disorder today at 866.520.2861 to learn more about treatment options. A heroin addiction can be successfully treated, and our team is here to help.

author avatar
Gigi Price LMSW, LCDC Clinical Director
Gigi Price holds licenses as a Master Social Worker and Clinical Drug Counselor. She completed her master's degree in Social Work at Texas State University. Over the last decade, Gigi has been dedicated to utilizing evidence-based practices to enhance patient care and treatment planning, resulting in positive, long-term outcomes for patients and their families. Her passion lies in creating a treatment environment where professionals collaborate to bring about positive change and provide a safe, trustworthy therapeutic experience. Patients can be confident in receiving top-quality care under her leadership. In her role as the Clinical Director of Virtue Recovery Houston, Gigi conducted research to identify the most effective approaches for treating patients with acute mental health diagnoses, PTSD, and Substance Use Disorder. She then assembled a team of skilled clinicians who could offer various therapeutic modalities, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Somatic Exposure, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). Gigi takes pride in overseeing the development and implementation of Virtue Houston's Treatment Program, which includes two specialized therapeutic curricula tailored to the unique needs of individuals struggling with mental health issues, addiction, and PTSD.

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