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Heroin Addiction: What Happens During the High

Posted on :  January 29th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Most heroin highs last for two hours. This highly addicting drug affects the body and the mind so those two hours need to be constantly repeated. What exactly happens during a heroin high that makes the drug such a necessity for people who start taking it?

What Happens During the High

The human brain has receptors that are specifically designed to receive opioids. When heroin enters the body, it turns into morphine so the brain can receive it. The morphine attaches to the receptors which immediately gives the body a pain-free feeling. This is exactly what medical morphine does to the body. But, heroin does more.

The drug also attaches to receptors that affect the autonomous system that regulates heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure. The calm feeling that comes from the opioid receptors forces the automatic systems to slow down, which is why some heroin addicts suffer from heart attacks.

After a regular use, heroin changes the way the brain works. The brain builds tolerance to the drug, so users need to increase their dosages to get the same feeling they had the first time they took the drug. Along with the physical need for heroin, the mind decides it also needs the drug to fight the possibility of pain and negative behaviors. Once the drug begins to affect the way of life of the user, that user can be called an addict. The changes will be in the user’s personality and behavior, since nearly everything the person does is with the goal of getting high.

How Heroin Can Be Administered Into the Body

There are several ways to administer heroin into the body. It can be snorted, injected, or smoked. When heroin is injected, the high comes immediately and can last up to four hours. Smoking heroin takes longer for the high to begin, but the high will last a bit longer than if the drug is injected. Because the high occurs so quickly, most addicts will resort to injecting it.

As soon as the high begins, users will immediately experience a feeling of euphoria. As the body temperature rises, users also feel a rush of energy. Unfortunately for the user, the euphoria disappears in just a few minutes or less. However, the high can last for hours. But, once the high is over, the user will become sleepy and will not want to engage with other people.

This high may not sound that bad, there are other experiences that create havoc in the body. Many people will experience a sensation of nausea and this can last about 15 minutes. Many users say that during this time, the body feels like it is radiating heat from the inside which makes the body feel like liquid. After the 15 minutes of this experience, the body feels heavy and uncomfortably dizzy. This stage can last up to two hours.

The danger with the drug comes with the way the drug affects the receptors in the brain. When breathing slows, concentration, perception, and thinking can change, too. People who inject heroin can suffer from difficulty breathing, which can create life-threatening problems that can result in comas, unconsciousness, and potentially, death.

People who take heroin on a regular basis find that the drug shows up in drug tests. The drug can build up in tissues so it eventually enters the bloodstream. It can remain in hair follicles for months after it was used. It can also show up for days in urine tests, too. Regular users report it showing up in saliva and blood tests for up to seven days after use.

There is nothing good about developing an addiction to heroin. Fortunately, the counselors at Towards Recovery Clinics can help users overcome their addictions. Contact us at 905-527-2042 for help.

Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
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