The effects of heroin addiction


There are two main effects of Heroin:

  • Powerful painkiller 
  • Intense euphoric effect of heroin

Heroin (diacetylmorphine (INN) is a powerful a semi-synthetic opioid drug which is processed from a chemical called morphine. Heroin was first synthesized in 1874 by English chemist C. R. Alder Wright.

Morphine is a natural substance extracted from poppy plants. 
90% of heroin is thought to be produced in Afghanistan.

Heroin is a powdery substance which appears to be white or brown. 

Due to these two main properties Heroin has:

  • Medical use: treatment for acute pain, such as post-surgical pain,  in severe physical trauma, myocardial infarction, and chronic pain, including terminal cancer and other terminal illnesses.
  • Recreational use: to achieve state of relaxation and intense euphoria beyond the range of usual perception.

Heroin effectHeroin can be smoked, snorted, injected intravenously or taken orally.

Intravenous injection is the fastest route of drug administration. It produces the highest feel of euphoria in 8 seconds after injecting and  lasts about  2-3 minutes.
Smoking and snorting produce less intensive “rush” in 1 to 10 minutes which lasts up to 15 minutes.

All the routes of administration of Heroin are the same detrimental for health and all form both physical and psychological addiction.




  • “Rush” - extremely  pleasuring sense a feeling of euphoria, a warm flushing of the skin. (lasts from few seconds to few minutes)
  • “Nodding off” - alternately alert and drowsy state (last to up 4-6 hours)
  •  Dry mouth
  • Severe itching
  • Constricted Pupils
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Slowed mental function
  • Reduced physical pain
  • Warm flushed skin
  • Weakness in muscles
  • Slowed breathing
  • Overdose and/or death

“Rush” and “Nodding Off” are the most pleasuring short term effects of heroin and main the reinforcing components of addiction.


Effects of Heroin

  • Rapid development of extremely addictive, progressive both physical and psychological opiate dependence.
  • Infection of the heart lining and valves, normally due to lack of sterile technique.
  • Deep vein thrombosis due to chronic blood infection (sepsis).
  • Increased risk of developing lethal thrombosis and embolism.
  • Liver disease – due to toxic effects and mixed with it other ingredients and contracting the hepatitis viruses B and C.
  • Chronic kidney diseases such as pyelonephritis and glomerulonephritis due to toxic effect of heroin and chronic blood infection.
  • Chronic rhinitis and sinusitis. Frequent nasal bleeding ( especially among sniffers).
  • Pulmonary complications, which are often infection related. Chronic bronchitis and pneumonia (especially among smokers).
  • Skin infections and abscesses (especially among chronic injectors who suffer scarred or collapsed veins).
  • Decreased appetite and malnutrition.
  • Chronic gastritis, intestinal problems. Chronic constipation.   
  • Increased risk of catching human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other blood-borne viruses. 
  • Immune system deficit. 

The most serious of the long term effects of heroin use is the possibility of death due to accidental overdose.

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