What Does Heroin Feel Like?

Heroin is an addictive opioid drug that can cause a rush of euphoria and relaxation. It can also be dangerous, particularly when taken in high doses or with other drugs.

Heroin is an illicit opioid drug that slows down the central nervous system. This can have effects on breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and movement.

Heroin can be used by:

  • injecting (shooting)
  • smoking
  • sniffing
  • plugging

Heroin can have physical, as well as emotional, cognitive, and psychological effects. The consequences of heroin use may vary depending on how it’s used and whether it’s taken with other drugs.

Learn more about heroin addiction here.

Physical Effects Of Heroin

Heroin is a central nervous system depressant. That means it slows down activity in the brain and spinal cord, which depresses bodily movement.

Taking heroin can cause:

  • feeling of relaxation
  • slower breathing rate
  • decreased heart rate
  • tiny pupils
  • feeling of warmth
  • dry mouth
  • nausea and vomiting
  • slurred speech
  • reduced pain
  • severe itching

Heroin can make a person feel relaxed and happy. It can also cause sluggishness, lethargy, and affect the brain in a way that can make a person want to take more.

Cognitive And Psychological Effects Of Heroin

Heroin is frequently used for its euphoric effects. That is, it can make a person feel a rush of happiness, relaxation, and warmth within minutes—depending on the route of administration.

Mental and psychological effects of heroin can include:

  • euphoria
  • foggy thinking
  • difficulty concentrating
  • lessened anxiety
  • calmness
  • disorientation

Frequent or high doses of heroin may also affect sleep. A person may find it difficult to fall asleep. Over time, heroin can also become psychologically addictive and cause drug cravings.

What Happens After The Rush?

After using heroin, a person may feel something like a “crash”. This can be a sign of heroin withdrawal, or the body’s process of metabolizing heroin and getting it out of the system.

After heroin effects wear off, you may feel:

  • very tired
  • muscle or bone pain
  • chills
  • nauseous
  • unable to sleep
  • itchy
  • anxious

People who have developed a high tolerance to heroin, or have become dependent, may feel even more severe effects after their last dose of heroin has worn off.

Can You Become Addicted After One Use?

You’re unlikely to become addicted to heroin after one use, although the pleasant effects (such as euphoria) may cause a person to want to take more.

Addiction is a chronic, relapsing condition that develops over time.

You’re more likely to become addicted to heroin if you:

  • have a personal or family history of substance misuse
  • have a mental illness
  • are genetically predisposed to developing an addiction
  • use high doses of heroin
  • use heroin very often

Finding Treatment For Heroin Addiction In New England

Heroin is a highly addictive drug that can have harmful effects on physical health, mental health, and general wellbeing over time. High doses of heroin can also be life-threatening.

If you or a loved one is addicted to heroin, Spring Hill Recovery Center offers residential rehab and intensive outpatient treatment from our top-rated treatment center in Massachusetts.

Call today to learn whether our heroin addiction treatment program is right for you.

  1. Drug Policy Alliance https://drugpolicy.org/drug-facts/what-is-heroin
  2. U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/heroin
  3. U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) https://easyread.drugabuse.gov/content/signs-heroin-use

Written by Spring Hill Recovery Editorial Team

© 2024 Spring Hill Recovery | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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