Depending upon how an addict introduces heroin into their system, the euphoric effects of the drug can come about almost immediately. As heroin enters the brain, it transforms to morphine and binds to opioid receptors to create this experience.

This so-called rush is a direct correlation of how much drug is taken and how rapidly it enters the brain to bind against the opioid receptors.

With heroin use, a warm flush flows over the user, usually accompanied by dry mouth and a heaviness in the arms, legs and other extremities. Newcomers to heroin may experience nausea, vomiting, and severe itching due to the strength of the drug and whatever other drugs the heroin has been cut with.

After the initial high of the drug, users usually become drowsy. Normal mental function may also wane. Heart rates slow, and along with that, so does breathing. An addict’s breathing, can slow so much while on heroin, it can lead to coma and permanent brain damage.


Overdose fatalities are always a threat when using heroin. This is because the opioid receptors that heroin effects, control several core functions of the human body. These functions include:

  • Breathing
  • Heartbeat
  • Blood circulation
  • Relaying of messages concerning pain


According to the  National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), heroin alters into morphine once it reaches the brain. The morphine then attaches itself to the opioid receptors in the brain. While the opioid receptors allow the human body to experience pain and feel pleasure, morphine disrupts these receptors, which is what makes the heroin user experience the euphoria heroin/morphine provides.

Injecting heroin will provide a near immediate feeling of euphoria. Then, after this initial rush, the user will experience drowsiness that alternates between being awake and nodding off.


To continue receiving that euphoric feeling heroin provides, the addict has to keep using the drug. Soon, he or she builds up a tolerance, and will either need increased dosages or a stronger strain of heroin.

This presents a distinct danger of overdose for the addict as they mentally and physically adjust to the presence of heroin. In the end, larger dosages of heroin are needed to obtain that initial euphoria. This increase in tolerance and continued need for the drug is what leads a person into addiction.

If you feel you or a loved one has an issue with heroin, contact BLVD Treatment Centers. At BLVD Treatment Centers we custom tailor our recovery programs within the safe and nurturing confines of our rehab treatment centers. Located throughout California, in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and in Portland, OR, our mission is to assess the severity of your addiction to help you achieve true recovery within 30 days. Call us now at 1-866.582.9844.