Some people smoke heroin to avoid the stigma associated with injecting it. Others smoke it because they believe it is safer or less addictive. But heroin is dangerous no matter how the drug is used. All ways of using heroin can lead to addiction. However, the drug reaches the brain more quickly when smoked or injected. Because of this, smoking heroin can increase the odds that a person becomes addicted.
The dangers of smoking heroin can be serious and even deadly. Fortunately, with the right heroin rehab center, freedom from heroin addiction is possible. Contact Vertava Health today at 844.470.0410 to learn more about treatment options.
Effects of Smoking Heroin
When heroin is smoked, the effects are felt more slowly when compared to other ways of using the drug, with euphoric feelings experienced in 10 to 15 minutes.
Other short-term effects of smoking heroin include:
- Clouded thoughts
- Dry mouth
- Nodding out
- Extreme itching
- Heaviness in the arms and legs
- Nausea and vomiting
- Warm, flushed skin
Long-term effects of smoking heroin can be more serious and include constipation, deterioration of the brain’s white matter, insomnia, and mental health disorders, such as antisocial personality disorder and depression. Chronic heroin smoking may also cause hormonal imbalances that lead to sexual dysfunction for men and irregular menstrual cycles for women.
Lung Problems From Smoking Heroin
Smoking heroin can take an immense toll on the lungs. As an opioid, heroin can block air from making its way into the lungs and cause respiratory depression. Respiratory depression slows breathing and often results in life-threatening breathing problems. When paired with the poor health that often accompanies heroin use, depressed respiration can lead to serious lung complications, such as pneumonia and tuberculosis.
Smoking heroin can also lead to other health and medical problems:
Chronic Coughing From Heroin
Even though heroin normally suppresses coughing, smoking it regularly may cause a chronic, racking cough. If heroin is laced into cigarettes, the tobacco tar and nicotine may worsen the cough.
Smoking Heroin and Asthma
Individuals who have asthma and smoke heroin may experience a worsening of their asthma symptoms. Research also suggests that heroin use may lead to the development of asthma.
People with asthma who smoked heroin were more likely to be hospitalized in the intensive care unit, requiring intubation and invasive ventilation. An asthma attack from heroin may become so severe that a person dies.
Individuals who use heroin may not take care of themselves and use their medications as they should. This could worsen a person’s symptoms and increase the risks of these serious complications even more.
Overdose From Smoking Heroin
When people think of a heroin overdose, they may be quick to picture someone injecting it. Some may even wonder if you can overdose from smoking heroin. As such a potent opioid drug, heroin can cause overdose any way it’s taken, including when it’s smoked. Severe overdose from smoking heroin can cause coma or death.
Signs and side effects of an overdose from smoking heroin include:
- Bluish nails and lips
- Low blood pressure
- Pinpoint pupils
- Shallow, slow, or stopped breathing
- Weak pulse
Stop Smoking Heroin at Vertava Health
Heroin addiction can be severe. Because of this, a detox program is often recommended prior to rehab. Severe addiction may be best treated in an inpatient drug rehab program as well. A detox program for heroin treats the physical addiction, while rehab treats the psychological and behavioral elements. The best heroin addiction treatment programs offer individualized services that tailor treatment to meet the unique needs of each client.
Contact the caring staff at Vertava Health today via our secure online form or by calling us at 844.470.0410. We can help you or a loved one find effective treatment for heroin smoking and move toward long-term sobriety.