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Physical Symptoms of Heroin Addiction

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Physical Symptoms of Heroin Addiction

Heroin is an opioid street drug made from another opioid called morphine. Its use comes with a very high risk for addiction for all people. If you get addicted to heroin, many of the symptoms you feel will be mental or emotional. However, as a rule, your addiction will also have significant physical effects. Some of these effects are used to help diagnose the presence of an addiction. You will also likely experience several additional problems. Heroin addiction treatment will help you recover from your mental and physical symptoms.

Symptoms of Heroin Addiction Doctors Look for During a Diagnosis

Heroin addiction is an example of opioid use disorder or OUD. This disorder also includes addiction to any other opioid substance. In addition, it includes the serious, non-addicted abuse of any opioid.

When diagnosing OUD, doctors look for a specific set of problems. Some of these telltale symptoms have both a physical and emotional component. A prime example of this kind of symptom is rising tolerance to heroin. This is a need for increasing doses of the drug over time, so you can continue to feel its effects.

The second physical/mental symptom is withdrawal. This issue occurs when your brain doesn’t get its expected amount of heroin. The physical effects of heroin withdrawal include:

  • Loose stools
  • Heavy sweating
  • Nausea and an urge to vomit
  • Dilated pupils
  • Achy or sore muscles
  • Abdominal cramping
  • A constant runny nose

In addition, you may experience goosebumps or goose flesh.

Additional Possible Symptoms of Heroin Addiction

If you’re addicted to heroin, you may also experience other physical symptoms. These symptoms don’t play a part in diagnosing addiction because they can affect you if you’re not addicted. The long list of additional potential problems includes things such as:

  • Constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Tuberculosis, pneumonia, and other lung ailments
  • Impotence in men
  • Irregular menstruation in women

Depending on the method you use to take the drug, other serious issues may occur. For example, if you inhale it through your nose, you may damage your nasal tissues. You may also develop a hole in your septum. This is the wall of cartilage that separates your nostrils.

If you repeatedly inject heroin, your affected veins may scar up or collapse. You may also develop a bacterial infection. An infection of this type can damage your blood vessels. It can also lead to damage to the valves of your heart. Other potential physical problems include skin abscesses and blood vessels blocked by impurities in heroin. Sharing non-sterilized needles can lead to hepatitis, HIV/AIDs, or other dangerous viruses.

Heroin Side Effects: Overdose

Heroin use can also trigger a range of side effects. The most serious of the heroin side effects is an overdose. This occurs when the toxic load of the drug overwhelms your system’s ability to cope. A heroin overdose can drastically slow down your normal breathing rate. It can also completely shut your breathing down. This is a dire health emergency. Death is a clear possibility without effective emergency assistance.

Seek Heroin Addiction Treatment at New Start Recovery

Prompt, well-designed heroin addiction treatment is needed to address your physical and mental symptoms. At New Start Recovery, we specialize in this kind of treatment. We begin with a monitored detox process that safeguards your health at all times. This process will help you complete heroin withdrawal.

You can then continue to our active treatment program. This program shows you how to stay heroin-free and provides comprehensive support for your efforts. To learn more about our detox and active treatment options, call us today at 833.433.0448. We’re also available through our online information form.

Posted in Addiction, Addiction Recovery Support, Substance Abuse Treatment