The Dangers And Side Effects Of Snorting Heroin
Heroin is an illicit substance that belongs to the opioid family of drugs; as a result, it is intensely addictive and exceptionally dangerous. Snorting heroin is one of the three ways that the drug can be taken, the other two being injecting it, and smoking it. However, no matter how it is taken, people who use the drug will find that they experience a relatively intense high.
Heroin is a derivative chemical alteration of morphine, a substance that is known to originate from the opium poppy plant. Once heroin is taken into the body, when it reaches the brain it is then converted back into morphine. The effects that users of heroin feel once they take the drug is caused when the substance binds itself to opioid receptors that are located in the brain.
A heroin high causes users to experience: drowsiness, altered levels of pain perception, and feelings of euphoria. However, in serious cases it can cause extremely dangerous effects, such as: intense respiratory depression; blackouts & comas; and even death.
Can You Snort Heroin? – Heroin And The Ways That It Is Used
Heroin can be taken into the body in a wide variety of delivery methods, these delivery methods include:
- Intravenous; IV (Injecting it into a vein)
- Intramuscular; IM (Injecting it into a muscle)
- Subcutaneous administration (Injecting it under the skin)
- Rectal insertion
So, if there are so many ways that heroin can be delivered into the body, why is snorting heroin so popular?
The key reason behind the popularity of snorting heroin is the fact that it is such a fast and easy method of delivery.
Unlike injecting and smoking, when heroin is being snorted, no external apparatus or materials are needed; just the drug and the user’s body. In many cases, users may also choose to make use of a piece of rolled up paper or a straw to make the inhalation simpler but these materials are extremely easy enough to get hold of.
After snorting heroin, the substance then goes through the nasal tissues and enters the bloodstream. From there it will then take user’s anywhere from approximately 10 to 15 minutes before they start to feel the effects of the drug.
Compared to users who snort heroin, users who chose to inject the drug directly into a vein experience the effects faster – mere seconds after administration.
The Dangers Of Snorting Heroin
While there is a wide array of negative effects that are associated with heroin use and heroin withdrawal, there are quite a few issues that are directly associated with snorting heroin. Some of the main ones include:
- Irritation/damage of the sinuses
- Irritation/damage to the nasal passages
- Asthma attacks
- Breathing problems
If users share straws, rolls of paper, or other inhalation devices with other users, then they run the risk of contracting several different infections (bacterial or viral) from them.
The Effects Of Heroin Use
The effects that heroin use will have on an individual will be always be similar to other users of the drug; however, there will be some variation to these symptoms (and their intensity) based on several factors.
Some of these factors include; the overall purity of the drug, the user’s physical health, the size of their doses, how frequently they use the drug, and (debatably) the delivery method that they use.
Some of the most common side effects of heroin use include:
- Obsessive alertness
- Sleep problems and insomnia
- Changes in sex drive (increase or decrease)
- Pinpoint pupils
- Breathing problems
Heroin binges are extremely dangerous and oftentimes individuals who go on these binges will forget to eat; which can cause dehydration and malnutrition.
Women also have addition negative effects to worry about, in the form of the possibility of menstrual irregularities – or they may simply stop having their period altogether.
The Symptoms Of Heroin Withdrawal
Heroin is an extremely difficult drug to quit and this is due in part to the unpleasantness of the withdrawal symptoms that are associated with it. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been snorting heroin, injecting it, or smoking it; the withdrawal symptoms will generally be the same – horrible. Some of the common withdrawal symptoms of heroin include:
- Aching muscles
- Dilated pupils
- Dysphoria (unpleasant or dissatisfied mood)
- Spontaneous ejaculation in males
- Goose bumps
- Increased sensitivity to pain
- Runny nose
- Increased eye watering
These withdrawal symptoms usually last for about a week and are usually the reason why many people relapse whenever they try to quit on their own.
Get Help For Your Heroin Addiction
If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction to snorting heroin or having trouble quitting on their own; give us a call (888) 534-4699 or visit us at Blvd Treatment Centers and let us help you make your journey to recovery as smooth and stress-free as possible.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – DrugFacts: Heroin
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – Commonly Abused Drugs Charts
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – What are the treatments for heroin addiction?
- National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens (NIDA) – Heroin
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – Trends In Heroin Use In The United States: 2002 To 2013
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Heroin: Drug Overdose
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – Morphine (And Heroin)
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – Opioids
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – Behavioral Health Treatments and Services
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – Mental and Substance Use Disorders
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Today’s Heroin Epidemic
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – Types of Commonly Misused or Abused Drugs
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Prescription Painkiller Overdoses
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Vital Signs: Overdoses of Prescription Opioid Pain Relievers and Other Drugs Among Women: United States, 1999–2010
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – How does heroin use affect pregnant women?
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – Research Reports: Heroin