Heroin is an opioid produced from morphine. The natural substance is from the seed pod of opium poppies. Heroin binds to opioid receptor sites throughout the body, particularly the central nervous system. Heroin is highly potent, creating a euphoric high and desirable relaxation. Forms of heroin are a white or brown powder or a sticky substance labeled black tar heroin.
Heroin travels quickly to the brain to bind with the opioid receptors on cells directly responsible for feelings of pleasure and pain. These areas of the brain control essential functions such as heart rate, sleeping, and breathing.
Heroin addiction treatment in Atlanta begins with medically monitored detox programs to avoid dangerous withdrawal symptoms once dependence is present. Those using heroin inject, snort, sniff, or smoke the drug, but some people mix heroin with crack cocaine, called speedballing.
The short-term effects of heroin include any of the following signs and symptoms:
- Flushing of the skin
- Arms and legs feel heavy
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dry mouth and itchiness
- Foggy mental function
- Nodding in and out of consciousness
The long-term effects of heroin include any of the following signs and symptoms:
- Collapsed veins from multiple injections
- Kidney and liver disease
- Infection of the heart lining
- Lung complications, such as pneumonia
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Development or escalation of mental health symptoms
- Sexual dysfunction
Tolerance is quickly achievable through the misuse of heroin. As tolerance builds, higher dosages are necessary to achieve the effects. This cycle is how addiction develops. Heroin addiction treatment in Atlanta provides an assessment and evaluation with medical and mental health professionals to determine the level of addiction, the patient’s physical condition, and the patient’s comprehensive history.
Empowered Recovery Center offers heroin addiction treatment in Atlanta and addresses the underlying causes of each case. Examining the grounds of the substance use disorder will help achieve long-term sobriety. Several treatment options include partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs. If inpatient rehab is necessary, the center will issue a referral.