The nervous system is the major controlling, regulatory, and communicating system in the body. It is the center of all mental activity including thought, learning, and memory. It is responsible for the delivery of messages between the brain, the spinal cord, and the rest of the body. The central nervous system includes the brain and spinal cord.
It is very important to understand how heroin affects the nervous system because it reveals how heroin can create the effects it does, such as the euphoric high, but it also highlights why this is such a dangerous drug.
Two Important Factors: Immediate Effects And Long-Term Effects
When researching how heroin affects the nervous system, there are two main areas to look at. The immediate effects on the brain, including the nervous system, is the first, and the second is the long-term impact the drug can have on the brain and nervous system.
What Are Heroin’s Immediate Effects?
The area of the brain that is impacted by heroin is the reward system. This is the feel-good feeling when eating dessert or having sex. Doing these things that make you feel good increases your dopamine levels. This is how heroin affects your brain by increasing these feel-good dopamine levels but by significant levels so your brain doesn’t make enough naturally, therefore, messing with your brain’s reward pathways.
After you begin using heroin, your pathways that signal pain become overactive, and in this way, heroin affects the nervous system by creating the feeling that you need to keep using heroin to maintain a sense of normalcy.
Other immediate effects that heroin has on the nervous system are that it causes an irregular heart rate, lowers the body’s temperature and blood pressure, and slows down breathing. This is what causes the majority of heroin users to overdose.
What Are Heroin’s Long-Term Effects?
The immediate effects of heroin on the brain and nervous system happen rather quickly but what happens long-term?
When you use heroin for a long time, the areas responsible for controlling memory, decision-making, self-control of social behavior, and complex thought start being affected. Using heroin over long periods of time can lead to problems with rational thinking, memory, impulse control, and judgment
All Roads Lead To Heroin?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH):
PRESCRIPTION OPIOID PAIN MEDICINES SUCH AS OXYCONTIN® AND VICODIN® HAVE EFFECTS SIMILAR TO HEROIN. RESEARCH SUGGESTS THAT MISUSE OF THESE DRUGS MAY OPEN THE DOOR TO HEROIN USE. DATA FROM 2011 SHOWED THAT AN ESTIMATED 4 TO 6 PERCENT WHO MISUSE PRESCRIPTION OPIOIDS SWITCH TO HEROIN AND ABOUT 80 PERCENT OF PEOPLE WHO USED HEROIN FIRST MISUSED PRESCRIPTION OPIOIDS. MORE RECENT DATA SUGGEST THAT HEROIN IS FREQUENTLY THE FIRST OPIOID PEOPLE USE. IN A STUDY OF THOSE ENTERING TREATMENT FOR OPIOID USE DISORDER, APPROXIMATELY ONE-THIRD REPORTED HEROIN AS THE FIRST OPIOID THEY USED REGULARLY TO GET HIGH.
Start Professional Recovery From Heroin Abuse At Ariafl
Whether you recently started using heroin or have been using it for years, at Addiction Recovery Institute of America, we can help you put an end to it. Fortunately, there’s more hope now than ever. This hope comes from advanced techniques in heroin detox and changing perceptions. Addiction Recovery Institute of America is a part of this “addiction revolution.” Our physicians and nurses help patients stop using heroin by administering the prescription drugs they need to manage withdrawal symptoms.
Remember that no one has to stay addicted. We’re available around the clock to consult with you. We’ll explain to you exactly how our inpatient detox works. More importantly, we’ll listen to your concerns and answer your questions. You’ll feel better just by calling a professional who truly cares. Finally, you’ll hang up the phone and go back to your life feeling hopeful, certain that Addiction Recovery Institute of America will get your life back on track.