How Heroin Effects the Brain of People Battling Addiction

Heroin addiction treatment centers in TX are getting their fair share of clients who are afflicted by heroin abuse. These individuals include those who became dependent on the drug after their first use. Not everyone knows they can get hooked on heroin after their first try. The drug’s ability to do this leads back to how heroin affects the brain. Moreover, the adverse effects continue to be a reason so many people are addicted to the substance. In 2017, About 652,000 people aged 12 or older had a heroin use disorder. Only a few of these individuals received treatment at a substance abuse treatment center.

Heroin and the Risk of Heroin Addiction

Heroin is a highly addictive synthetic opioid made from morphine, a substance that comes from the opium poppy plant. With street names such as Coke, Smack, and China White, the DEA labels heroin as a Schedule I illegal drug. Schedule I drugs have no medicinal purpose and a high potential for abuse.

Pure heroin looks like fine white powder that users smoke or snort. Impure or street heroin is usually mixed or “cut” with drugs or substances that change the color to gray, brown, or black. The substances include caffeine, strychnine, paracetamol, and fentanyl. These toxic additives make a smaller piece of heroin more potent and addictive.

The way the drug is cut influences how heroin affects the brain. In fact, users never really know the actual strength of the drug they’re buying on the street. This puts them at risk of addiction and overdose even from a small dose. Moreover, taking heroin with alcohol or other drugs increases the effects of heroin on mood and the brain. Often individuals with a history of heroin abuse require dual diagnosis treatment for their drug addiction as well as any mental health disorders.

How Heroin Affects the Brain Long-Term

Heroin use causes both physical and psychological effects. The short-term effect is a rush of euphoria, but the long-term effects include brain changes and damage. The drug essentially hijacks the brain’s reward and pleasure system and dopamine function. Dopamine is a brain chemical that plays a role in how a person feels pleasure.

However, Coke prevents the brain from producing dopamine, forcing the user to take more drugs to replicate the initial high. A person is never able to get back the first high. Instead, they grow addicted to the drug. That apart, how heroin affects the brain of a particular individual depends on factors such as age, genetic makeup, and:

  • Drug purity and strength
  • Individual tolerance
  • Alcohol or other drugs involved
  • Existing mental problem
  • Method of use

Effects of Heroin on Mood

The initial effects of heroin on mood are enough to keep the user coming back for more. The psychoactive opioid is used mainly for the high and pleasure it produces. The rush of euphoria creates a sense of well-being until the drug starts to wear off. Not only does heroin affects mood, it also impairs thinking, behavior, and decision-making abilities. Other mood-altering effects include severe mood swings, feelings of fear, anxiety, or depression. These adverse mental effects usually occur when the substance is leaving the system also known as withdrawal. This is why withdrawal is recommended to take place in a medical heroin detox center in Texas such as The Right Step.

Managing the Effects of Heroin with Addiction Treatment

Users addicted to heroin almost always have to go through detox and withdrawal before entering treatment. Because of how heroin affects the brain, the client also needs behavioral therapy to help them lose psychological dependence on the drug.

The Right Step has programs and therapies that work together to provide comprehensive heroin addiction treatment. The various addiction therapy programs help address mental health disorders that contribute to drug abuse. You’ll have the option of receiving treatment at our inpatient or outpatient drug rehab depending on your circumstances. Here’s an example of what we offer:

Are You Ready to Take the Right Step to Sobriety?

Heroin effects on the brain can be treated with therapy. Once you enroll in a program at The Right Step, our therapist will help you address the underlying reason for addiction. Addiction therapies provide a different set of skills and tools that you can use to avoid doing drugs. Our treatment centers in Houston, Dallas Fort Worth, and Hill Country, TX, can help no matter where you live. Find out how by calling 17135283709.

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