How Heroin Works
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How Does Heroin Work?

How does heroin work?

Heroin effects take place quickly. This drug works by depressing the users central nervous system. It does this by depressing nerve transmission in sensory pathways of the spinal cord and brain that signal pain. This explains why heroin is such an effective pain killer. This drug also inhibits the users brain centers that controlling coughing, and breathing.

How does heroin work at being so addictive?

Heroin is a highly addictive drug. It quickly produces tolerance and dependence in those who use it. Heroin is an even more effective painkiller than morphine and codeine. However, because it is so highly addictive, its use is illegal.


 How does heroin work to make the user feel high?

Soon after injection (or inhalation), heroin crosses the blood-brain barrier. In the brain, heroin is converted to morphine and binds rapidly to opioid receptors. Abusers typically report feeling a surge of pleasurable sensation, a "rush." The intensity of the rush is a function of how much drug is taken and how rapidly the drug enters the brain and binds to the natural opioid receptors. Heroin is particularly addictive because it enters the brain so rapidly. With heroin, the rush is usually accompanied by a warm flushing of the skin, dry mouth, and a heavy feeling in the extremities, which may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and severe itching.

How does heroin work on the user?

After the initial heroin effects, abusers will usually be drowsy for several hours. Mental function is clouded by heroin's effect on the central nervous system. Cardiac function slows. Breathing is also severely slowed, sometimes to the point of death. Heroin overdose is a particular risk on the street where the amount and purity of the drug cannot be accurately known.

How does heroin work towards drug addiction?

One of the most detrimental long-term heroin effects is drug addiction. Addiction is a characterized by compulsive drug seeking, heavy drug use, and by neurochemical and molecular changes in the brain. Heroin also produces profound degrees of tolerance and physical dependence, which are also powerful motivating factors for compulsive use and abuse. As with abusers of any addictive drug, heroin abusers gradually spend more and more time and energy obtaining and using the drug. Once they are addicted, the heroin abusers' primary purpose in life becomes seeking and using drugs. The drugs literally change their brains.

Tolerance: When more and more heroin is needed to produce the euphoria and other effects on behavior.

Addiction: When users feel they need the drug psychological and physiological. They will go to any length to get more heroin and feel ill if they are unable to obtain it. They will also experience cravings for heroin.

Withdrawal: About 8-12 hours after their last dose of heroin, addicts' eyes tear up, they yawn, and they feel anxious and irritable. Excessive sweating, fever, stomach and muscle cramps, diarrhea and chills can follow several hours later. These withdrawal symptoms can continue for 1 to 3 days after the last dose and can last 7 to 10 days. In some cases, full recovery can take even longer.

How Heroin Works
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