Heroin’s Effects on the Body

More often than not, young adults who use drugs are doing so to experience the initial effects that substance has on their body; they want to feel that initial high. However, when that person’s drug of choice is heroin, the effects of that drug last far longer.

Whether you have a loved one struggling with addiction or you are recovering yourself, it’s important to understand how long heroin affects the body so you can be proactive in avoiding dangerous consequences.

How Quickly Does Heroin Affect the Body?

Heroin provides users one of the quickest highs but the feelings change throughout several stages. Typically, a person will feel nauseous for about 20 seconds before experiencing a high for about 10 to 20 minutes — the higher their tolerance, the shorter amount of time a person will feel that high.

In the last stage, a user will typically feel dizzy and heavy for anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.

What are the Short-Term and Long Term Effects of Heroin?

As mentioned, heroin provides a person with short-term effects as well as long-term effects — both of which can have dangerous consequences.

Short-Term Effects

Some short-term and immediate effects of heroin use include:

  • Flushed skin

  • Dry mouth

  • Severe itching

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Slower heart rate and lung function

Long-Term Effects

When abused over long periods of time, heroin use can lead to:

  • Collapsed veins

  • Weakened immune systems

  • Respiratory illnesses

  • Lower intellectual and sexual performance

  • Higher risk of STIs

  • Coma

How Long Does Heroin Remain in the Body?

Since it is an opiate, it accumulates inside your fat and tissue, showing up on tests increasingly more if the person is a frequent user. For tests that involve urine, heroin can be detected several days to a week after use, while hair follicle tests can detect heroin used within the past three months.

Withdrawal from Heroin

Withdrawal from heroin can vary by person but is generally painful and very difficult. A person may experience withdrawal symptoms as soon as a few hours after their last use — with those symptoms lasting up to a week. Even once the initial withdrawal symptoms subside, a person can experience less intense side effects for up to several months after they stop using.

If you or someone you love is addicted to heroin, there is hope. Examining heroin addiction and how treatment helps is beneficial in stopping the use of heroin and can empower you to improve your life on many fronts.

See how Silvermist Recovery Center’s heroin addiction treatments in Pennsylvania can help you or your loved one. Call (724) 268-4858 or contact us online today.