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What Are the Long Term Effects of Heroin Use?

How does your body react to the prolonged use of heroin?

What Are the Long Term Effects of Heroin Use?Heroin use may seem to have become more commonplace in modern society. Drug use doesn't have to take over your life. In fact, only 10% of drug users have an excessive relationship with drugs. It's just a habit and, like any other habit, can be changed if you have the commitment, proper tools, and information to do so.

Heroin is a drug derived from opium but is more potent. Once heroin enters the system, it is converted to morphine and binds to opioid receptors in the same way. It gives users a euphoric rush that affects the nervous system. It can temporarily relieve pain. Heroin is often injected, but it can also be smoked or snorted. When in your system, the drug's effects can last a few hours. However, it can cause withdrawal symptoms if you are physically dependent on the drug.

Tolerance and Withdrawal

Heroin's effects quickly become weakened with each use. Tolerance is when heroin users seek more of the drug to receive the same effect. Habitual users suffer from side effects such as weakened immune systems, muscular weakness, and depression. High doses can induce comas, brain damage, and even be lethal. Frequent users can be at higher risk for diseases like AIDS and other contagious infections.

Withdrawal can seem a bit scary but can be achieved. Depending on your usage, withdrawal can last anywhere from 3-7 days. Symptoms can occur in a few hours from the last use and withdrawal symptoms usually peak at 24-48 hours. Heroin withdrawal feels like intense flu-like symptoms and, as long as you have no other chronic health conditions or adverse withdrawal experiences, withdrawal can be accomplished safely at home.

Safety is Always First

Insurance providers will often refuse to cover a medical detox for heroin as it is unlikely to be life threatening unless you or your loved one has other medical issues that complicate withdrawal. As with any medical issue, it is important to speak with your medical provider to discuss any individual medical complications you may face with withdrawing from heroin. If you are unsure about your medical detox needs, please call one of the Family Consultants at Saint Jude Retreats who can help you with appropriate referrals to determine what is best for the safety and well-being of you or your loved one.

Now Your Life Change Begins

Once you or your loved one has detoxed from heroin, a program can truly begin. Only you as the substance user have the power to commit to make a significant change in your life — and you always have! The Saint Jude Retreats program can help you to determine what you want to change in your life and how you want to change it. Our program emphasis is on how you can be empowered to move forward with your life and enjoy truly self-sustaining happiness and fulfillment. By taking responsibility for your decisions and behavior, you can eliminate self-limiting beliefs and plan for your success and best outcomes. Cognitive Behavioral Learning (CBL) can help you with solidifying new life skills and helps you address the changes that you want to make.

Saint Jude Retreats is based on the science of change. We know you or your loved one can change, the science says it and thousands who have gone through our program are a testament to the effectiveness of it. If you'd like to learn more and decide if Saint Jude Retreats is a good fit for you, please call one of our caring and knowledgeable Family Consultants who can listen and provide information on a personalized program option for you. All our calls are private and confidential — we're here to help.


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Thank you all for giving me an opportunity to dream again.Karla Sober & In Control Since 2010
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