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The Mental Effects of Heroin Abuse

a woman sits with her hands to her head and neck thinking about the psychological effects of heroin abuse

The United States has witnessed record numbers of overdoses in the last decade. Most fatal overdoses were related to heroin and other opioids laced with fentanyl. Unfortunately, the opioid epidemic still harms everyone, and mostly younger adults are dying daily from heroin use and overdose. Not only does heroin use cause physical and psychological harm, but it also causes psychological effects that can last for years.

The psychological effects of heroin abuse include depression, anxiety, memory loss, paranoia, irritability, mood swings, difficulty concentrating, and sleep disturbances such as insomnia. If you or someone you love is experiencing heroin addiction, Evoke Waltham’s Massachusetts heroin rehab center can provide psychological treatment to help you tackle the psychological effects of heroin use and learn how to manage them.

We offer various psychological services, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, and group sessions. These psychological treatments will help people suffering from heroin addiction get back on track with their lives and learn how to cope with their psychological issues. Call our specialists today at 866.276.1920 to learn more about treatment for heroin addiction.

Psychological Effects of Heroin Abuse

When someone uses heroin, their brains adapt to an external opioid fulfilling the duties of the body’s natural pain defenses. The human body provides endorphins and dopamine to minimize pain. However, when a person uses heroin or any other opioid, the brain stops making its painkillers. This psychological effect of heroin use is called tolerance.

Tolerance means that a person will need more and more of the drug to achieve their desired effects, which can lead to psychological issues such as depression and anxiety. Heroin addiction also alters brain chemistry, leading to cravings for more drugs and behaviors associated with addiction. Other psychological side effects of heroin use include:

  • Feeling detached from reality
  • Having difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Experiencing extreme mood swings, agitation, irritability, or paranoia
  • Engaging in high-risk behaviors such as shoplifting, stealing, or gambling to support their habit.
  • Becoming socially isolated and losing interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Feeling exhausted, unable to go to work or socialize

The psychological effects of heroin abuse can be severe and should not be taken lightly. Professional treatment is the only way to break mental and physical addiction, so seek help before it is too late.

The Effect of Heroin on Mental Health

Heroin has been a significant concern due to its devastating physical and mental health effects. Long-term use or misuse of this drug can cause a range of both short-term and long-term psychological issues. Hearing hallucinations, feeling paranoid, experiencing panic attacks, and acute confusion are some short-term mental health effects associated with heroin use. Prolonged heroin use is linked to:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Altered personality or behavior
  • Inability to think clearly and make decisions
  • Impaired judgment
  • Distorted reality

It usually takes months or years for these changes in mental health to become noticeable after regular drug use. Getting treatment from rehabilitation centers and other social services is the most reliable way to begin recovery from addiction and any coexisting mental health issues it may have caused.

Physical Effects of Heroin

People with a heroin addiction often use it because it is incredibly relaxing and causes euphoria and sedation. When people inject, smoke, or snort heroin, the person feels a surge of pleasure or rush, and they will feel warm and calm. Unfortunately, their arms and legs will also go limp, and nausea and vomiting accompany the high heroin. Itching is typical as the smaller blood vessels constrict. A person using heroin usually nods off or looks tired for several hours.

Their cognitive function will decline, and they may slur or be unable to walk or move suddenly. Also, the heart rate slows, as does respiration. Respiratory failure is how most individuals die. In addition, slowed breathing can cause comas and brain damage.

Withdrawal Symptoms of Heroin Abuse

Heroin addiction changes a person far more than other drugs. The reason people become different when they are addicted to heroin is that the physical dependency on heroin drives their priorities. People with heroin must use it all the time. Heroin is expensive and illegal. Therefore, people with a heroin addiction become expert shoplifters, rob money from their families, and lie more than any other addiction.

It is understandable why people change so dramatically. The withdrawal symptoms that they are trying to avoid are horrendous. They cause the following, which worsen the longer someone does not use heroin:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Paranoia and agitation
  • Cold flashes with goosebumps
  • Severe vomiting and diarrhea

It is not easy to quit heroin for psychological reasons as well as physical addiction. The psychological effects of heroin use are far-reaching, and most people with addiction suffer from depression and anxiety. To recover from heroin addiction, a person will need psychological care and possibly medication to get through the psychological trauma of heroin addiction. Seeking treatment from a treatment center like Evoke Waltham is the best way to overcome heroin addiction.

Find a Heroin Addiction Program at Evoke Waltham

The initial step in assisting a person with heroin addiction is helping them get into a detox program. Heroin detox symptoms require medical attention. Medical practitioners specializing in heroin and other opioid drug addiction will immediately supply the individual with all necessary medication to help diminish and reverse their withdrawal symptoms. The most common medicines prescribed for heroin withdrawal are buprenorphine and methadone. When prescribed, these medications stop the withdrawal symptoms and allow the person to rest and recover.

Evoke Waltham can have you admitted today to a medically supervised heroin detox and treatment program. Contact us today at 866.276.1920 to learn more about the psychological effects of heroin abuse.