What is Heroin definition effects risks and consequences of use


Heroin is an illegal drug derived from morphine, obtained from opium extracted from the medicinal plant Papaver somniferum , also known as poppy, being produced in the form of a brown or white powder, and is usually consumed by injection, because it is a form of get faster and more intense effects. However, some people also smoke or inhale the substance.

Heroin, also known as diacetylmorphine, is highly lipid soluble, crossing membranes in the brain within minutes of use, quickly causing effects such as intense euphoria and a sense of well-being, which leads to continued use to obtain these effects and addiction. .

However, despite the euphoria it causes, in addition to other effects that lead some people to consume this drug, heroin can cause very serious side effects, dependence, withdrawal syndrome and, in some cases, death.

What are the effects of heroin

The immediate effects of heroin are feelings of euphoria and well-being, relief from pain and anxiety, and feelings of calm and tranquility, followed by other effects such as drowsiness and slowed thinking and movement.

These effects occur about 1 to 10 minutes after use, depending on the route of administration used, since heroin is able to quickly cross the brain membranes after being absorbed, exerting its intense euphoric effect.

Usually, the immediate effects of heroin are accompanied by unpleasant effects, such as nausea, vomiting, body itching, dry mouth and a feeling of heaviness in the arms and legs.

Risks of heroin use

Heroin is a highly addictive drug that can cause serious health risks, such as decreased mental function, cognitive ability and breathing rhythm, respiratory depression, decreased blood pressure and pulse rate, respiratory paralysis or even cardiac arrest.

In addition, depending on the route through which the drug is administered, the following may occur:

  • Injected: inflammation in the veins, increased risk of infections, such as HIV, in the case of sharing the syringe, risk of overdose in users who use the drug occasionally or in drug addicts after a period of weaning;
  • Aspirated: injuries to the nasal mucous membranes and infectious diseases if the person shares the inhalation material;
  • Smoked: injuries to the bronchi and lungs.

In addition, a few hours after taking the drug, the person feels the need to use heroin again, to avoid the withdrawal syndrome. This syndrome is popularly known as hangover, in which symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sweating, chills, muscle spasms, body aches, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, tearing and runny nose are manifested, which can cause a lot of discomfort, leading to the person to consume again, to feel better.

heroin overdose

Another risk of heroin is overdose, which occurs when it is used in large amounts, since this drug can cause tolerance, which is when the person needs increasingly larger doses to get the desired effect.

Heroin overdose can cause symptoms such as:

  • Extreme drowsiness;
  • Lethargy;
  • Mental confusion;
  • uncontrolled vomiting;
  • Shallow breathing or difficulty breathing;
  • wheezing;
  • Noises when breathing;;
  • Low pressure;
  • Weak pulse;
  • contracted pupils;
  • Pale, cold, or clammy skin;
  • Blue lips, nails and fingertips;
  • Loss of consciousness;
  • Convulsions;
  • With the;
  • Respiratory depression;
  • Respiratory failure;
  • Cardiac arrest.

It is important that the person with a heroin overdose is seen immediately in a hospital as it can cause death.

Therefore, when detecting the symptoms of a person with an overdose, they should be taken to the emergency room immediately so that treatment can be started, which is usually done with naloxone and measures to restore oxygenation of the blood and organs, such as use of a ventilation mask, in addition to intravenous fluids, monitoring of vital signs, and cardiac massage, in case of cardiac arrest. See how cardiac massage is performed .

What are the consequences of heroin use?

If consumed on a daily basis, heroin can cause serious adverse effects such as lethargy, depression, sexual dysfunction, physical and social degradation, dermatological disorders, tolerance and physical and psychological dependence.

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