How Does Heroin Affect the Brain?

Heroin works in the body to cause a reduction of pain, but it also negatively impacts the brain and can cause addiction. 

If you are worried that you or a loved one may be addicted to heroin, contact Findlay Recovery today. Our Ohio addiction treatment center is designed to support individuals with multiple types of addiction and can safely help you get clean and teach you the strategies to stay clean.

What is Heroin?

Heroin is an opioid painkiller that impacts how the body reacts to pain stimuli. When an individual is in pain, chronic or temporary, the opioid pain receptors work to identify the painful location and inflame the nerve endings. The chemical compound in heroin works to block this pain receptor and calm the nerve endings, effectively numbing the pain. 

Heroin, while it was used as a medication approximately 100 years ago, was found to be an addictive substance and has since been made illegal. When individuals use heroin, they experience pain relief and a calming and “restful” high. This is due to the slowing of the system. This depressant slows the body and numbs it.

How Does Heroin Affect the Brain?

Heroin’s effect on the brain is multifaceted. Heroin affects multiple brain parts, including the reward center and the nervous system.

Heroin mimics the brain’s neurotransmitters, but in doing so, it confuses the system and causes them to attach to the drug instead of naturally produced neurotransmitters. When the attachment occurs, it activates the nerve cells but in a manner that confuses the brain and body. 

When heroin overstimulates the reward center with its calming and mellow high, individuals start to crave and want the drug. This is one of the first red flags of addiction. The drug is beginning to run in the body, and when the body doesn’t get it, it will react badly.

What are the Signs of Heroin Abuse?

The signs of heroin abuse look different based on the effects of heroin on the brain. Individuals who use heroin often struggle with multiple personal and social issues and the physical problems that heroin can have an impact on the body.

Heroin impacts a person’s personal and social life. Individuals struggling with addiction will spend a significant amount of time thinking about the drug, using, recovering from use, and because heroin is illegal, thinking about how to hide or cover up their use. This can cause issues for individuals at work, including attendance, responsibility, and accuracy problems. 

Physically, heroin is a dangerous opioid that can result in overdose. When an individual uses heroin to excess, it can shut down the body’s functions. Slowed breathing, inability to wake, and loss of consciousness are common for individuals who use heroin. This can cause brain damage. Other specific health concerns come into play with how the drug is used. Because heroin can be smoked, snorted, injected, or rubbed on the gums, specific health concerns are raised with each location. Smoking heroin impacts the lungs while snorting heroin impacts the blood vessels in the nose specifically. Injecting heroin can increase the likelihood of transmittable diseases and injection site infections, and rubbing heroin on the gums can cause receding gumlines. All heroin use has been connected with a higher-than-average probability of cancer development. 

What to Look for in a Heroin Detox Program

When looking for a heroin addiction program, it is important to consider the severity of the addiction and the client’s needs. Many heroin users struggle with multiple disorders and are more likely to be using various substances than other illegal substances. In many cases, using a heroin detox program in Ohio is going to be about more than just getting clean. 

Heroin detox programs are broken down and differentiated by the client’s needs. In many cases, individuals who need the most help start with detoxification and transition directly into inpatient rehabilitation, like that available at Findlay Recovery.

Individuals who utilize Findlay Recovery’s heroin addiction treatment program are more capable of maintaining their sobriety in the face of triggers and stressors after completing their combination of traditional and alternative treatment programs with fidelity.
Findlay Recovery also uses personalized treatment options to support clients’ well-being. Allowing individuals to work through treatments and the best and safest options for each person makes the program more supportive. Contact Findlay Recovery today to find comprehensive addiction treatment in Ohio.

Download this article

9 Addiction Intervention Strategies That Make a Difference

Interventions can be a critical turning point in the life of someone struggling with addiction. For family and friends, the process can be daunting, emotional, and rife with uncertainty. You want to help, but what if you say the wrong thing or make things worse? In...

Synthetic Opioids and Addiction: Tracing the Steps of Dependence

The opioid crisis in the United States is an escalating health emergency that demands immediate attention and public education. While natural opium derivatives, such as morphine and codeine, have long been used for their medicinal properties, the advent of synthetic...

Understanding Gender Differences in Addiction: Statistics and Facts

Addiction is a profound health issue that affects individuals from all walks of life. However, while men and women may both grapple with the challenges of substance abuse, the complexities of addiction often differ between the genders. In this comprehensive analysis,...

7 Signs to Watch For: Next-Day Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning

After a festive evening or a raucous night out, the morning after can bring with it a tinge of regret or, in more serious cases, a silent danger: next-day symptoms of alcohol poisoning. Many are unaware that the effects of excessive drinking can cascade into the next...

Medical Detox Vs MAT Treatment in Addiction Therapy

Deciding to go into treatment for an addiction is courageous and once that’s done, you need to choose the right treatment approach. Two commonly employed methods in addiction therapy are medical detox and medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Both these methods play...

Get In Touch With Us Today

Pick up the phone, fill out a form or chat with us below to get started on your free consultation and treatment assessment.

Complete Pre-Assessment

Once you reach a Findlay Recovery Center treatment coordinator, we will do a simple pre-assessment to make sure we’re a good fit for you.

Plan Travel & Admit

Our caring treatment advisors will help plan travel & anything else you need before you enter our drug rehab program in Ohio!


Get Help Now

Call Now Button