Heroin gives a high like no other drug. But the sense of empowerment doesn’t last long. In fact, it leaves you worse than before. And most importantly, the drug slowly destroys every cell in the body.
Heroin and the Brain
Heroin is an opiate. It gradually alters brain structure and function. The drug itself goes through many chemical reactions in the brain and changes into morphine. It quickly binds to the opioid receptors, mimics endorphins (natural “feel-good” chemicals) and relieves pain and anxiety, producing a euphoric state. This is what makes heroin so addictive.
Heroin and the Body
The person takes heroin.
Heroin enters the bloodstream quickly.
The heart pumps the blood with the drug in it.
The drug passes through the blood-brain barrier and reaches the brain to undergo chemical reactions and binds to opioid receptors.
Causes euphoria, pain and anxiety relief
The drug undergoes extensive first-pass metabolism in the liver.
The liver produces specific enzymes for this purpose.
The drug enters the body’s circulation.
Heroin has an extremely rapid half-life of 2-6 minutes.
About 7% is excreted as unchanged morphine and 50-60% as glucuronides.
Within 72 hours up to 90% is eliminated in urine.
How Heroin Destroys the Body
Heroin use can cause –
- suppressed breathing
- irregular heartbeat
- hormonal imbalance
- impaired decision-making
- kidney failure
Timely treatment for heroin addiction can help prevent further damage.