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What Does Heroin Feel Like for Users?


Heroin is a highly infamous substance in the world of illicit drug usage, and because of its significant impact on people's lives, it has long aroused interest and worry. Banyan Philadelphia is here to answer an often-asked question: What does heroin feel like? We hope that this investigation will promote a better understanding of the effects of heroin usage. By identifying its impacts, we hope to spread knowledge, empathy, and practical solutions for dealing with the problems this illegal substance causes for both individuals and our communities.

What Is Heroin Made Of?

The opium poppy plant (Papaver somniferum), which produces heroin, is a potent and dangerous opioid narcotic. It is produced via a complicated procedure that turns natural ingredients into a strong illegal narcotic.

Fundamentally, morphine—a naturally occurring chemical found in the sap of the opium poppy—is used to create heroin. Acetylation, a chemical alteration procedure, is used to turn morphine into heroin. This includes converting morphine to diacetylmorphine, also referred to as heroin, by reacting it with acetic anhydride or acetyl chloride. Acetylation improves heroin's potency and modifies its pharmacological effects, allowing it to quickly penetrate the blood-brain barrier and be more easily soluble in fat.

Although opium poppy is heroin's primary source, the drug is frequently produced through several steps, including refining, purification, and packaging. Heroin is secretly manufactured in underground facilities utilizing a variety of chemicals, solvents, and machinery. These laboratories work to produce the finished product with the appropriate consistency and purity, which, depending on the particular production technique, can be anything from a white powder to a brown or black sticky material known as "black tar" heroin.

What Does a Heroin High Feel Like?

A heroin high is a powerful and sedative sensation that impacts the body and mind. When the drug enters the brain, it begins to work quickly because it attaches to opioid receptors and releases a wave of happy feelings. The precise effects and potency of a heroin high might change based on the dosage, purity, user tolerance, and administration technique.

On a physical level, a heroin high causes an overwhelming feeling of relaxation and exhilaration. A warm, comforting sensation that permeates throughout the body is frequently described by users, along with a numbing of tension and physical pain. It can produce a dream-like haze when cares and anxieties vanish, causing a feeling of blissful detachment from reality. Along with these enjoyable effects, heroin also reduces coughing, slows heart rate, and slows breathing, which results in a visible decrease in respiration.

Mentally, a heroin high produces a profound sense of tranquility and contentment. It causes a state of mental haziness and disconnection from the environment. The dulling of thoughts and feelings can relieve users of psychological or emotional anguish. The sedative properties of the substance can cause sleepiness, dozing asleep, or even entering a semi-conscious condition known as "nodding." Users may experience a sense of time slowing down and a deep sense of relaxation that is sometimes characterized as a "warm blanket" engulfing the mind.

While we understand the curiosity that upholds the question "What does heroin feel like?" it is crucial to consider the dangers associated with this form of drug use and the ease at which addiction can develop, even after one use.

Why Is Heroin So Addictive?

Heroin is a highly addictive substance due to its profound effect on the brain's reward system and its propensity to induce intense physical and psychological reliance. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter linked to pleasure and reward, is released at enormous levels when heroin enters the brain by binding to opioid receptors. This spike of dopamine intensifies the desire to consume the drug again by generating a strong feeling of euphoria.

Signs of heroin addiction include:

  • Tolerance development
  • Intense cravings
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Loss of control
  • Neglecting personal obligations
  • Social and financial difficulties
  • A decline in physical health
  • Psychological health problems

If a person is exhibiting one or more of the addiction signs listed above, it is crucial that they seek out the proper resources to address the problem. For individuals currently using heroin, the most crucial aspect stressed is to prioritize seeking help immediately, regardless of the circumstances or reasons behind their usage. It is underscored that the main focus should be on taking steps to get assistance without delay, as this is of utmost importance.

 Individuals seeking treatment for opioid use can call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA's) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357). Luckily, our rehab in Philadelphia offers a heroin addiction treatment program that can begin the recovery process. The issues are addressed in many ways, with various levels of care available. Patients at our drug rehab in Langhorne, PA, can also utilize our many therapy programs, which will be the setting for most of their healing.

Call Banyan Treatment Centers at 888-280-4763 to learn more about our Philadelphia substance abuse programs and how they can enrich the lives of you or a loved one.

Related Reading

How Many People Die From Heroin Abuse?

How Does Heroin Affect the Nervous System?

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.