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Heroin use effects are extremely serious. There can be lasting health consequences, and even death, associated with heroin use. This drug can cause serious problems even the first time that it is used. Also, due to the culture surrounding heroin abuse, there are indirect problems and diseases that can occur because of heroin use.
One of the reasons heroin is so addictive is because it produces a rather dramatic "rush" or "high." A single dose can be enough to produce a rush, and the after-effects can persist hours later. Here is the progression of heroin's effects on the body:
After the drug is injected (this is the most popular way to abuse heroin, but it can be snorted or smoked as well), the user feels euphoric. This can take place within eight seconds after the injection. Snorting and smoking take longer for the effects to be felt.
The euphoria felt after the injection of the heroin comes with dry mouth, warm flushing on the skin, and the feeling that your extremities (feet and hands) are heavy.
After the initial "rush" wears off, one's state fluctuates between drowsy and alert. This is called being "on the nod." In this state, judgment is clouded, and the feeling of heaviness in the extremities may persist. This leads to a surreal experience that some users find attractive.
Heroin depresses, or slows down, the central nervous system. This can cause the heart rate to slow and blood pressure to drop. Respiratory functions can also be impaired. Prolonged use of heroin can lead to heart and or lung failure. Heroin creates conditions of bad health over all, making the body susceptible to illness. Liver disease and pneumonia are just a couple of the problems that can result from the body's lowered immune system abilities.
Users of this drug develop a tolerance to its effects. This means that as the body becomes used to the effects of heroin, more and more is needed in order to produce the "rush" that the user seeks. Eventually, as increasingly high dosages are needed just to achieve the same thing that the first dose did, the body becomes dependent on the drug. This means that the body needs heroin just to function each day. The heroin has negative effects of the body overall, but the body has become used to having the drug present in its system.
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