The process of heroin addiction is systematic in nature and utterly destructive to anyone who decides to experiment with the substance.
While it is hard to believe that a person simply wakes up one day and decides, “Today I want to get addicted to heroin,” the decision to dabble with heroin is all it can take for a lifetime of physical pain and personal devastation to take root.
1 John 2:16 states, “For everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – comes not from the Father but from the world.”
The decision to experiment with a substance as addictive and personally disparaging as heroin is a decision to embrace all that is wrong within this world in which we live. It opens the door for all manners of sin to enter, forging a potential path of addiction and pain while forsaking the family, friends, and life you once knew.
There is no guarantee that every person who decides to try heroin will lose themselves to a lifetime of addiction, but with the epidemic proportions of heroin addiction and overdose continuing to plague our society, it is no different from playing Russian roulette with a loaded gun.
Understanding how the substance interacts with the body and how long it stays in your system can give you a better idea of just how destructive experimenting with heroin can be.
While heroin affects a number of vital organs within your body, inducing respiratory complications and severe digestive issues, the primary area of devastation is by far the brain.
Heroin binds to opioid receptors within the brain, negatively impacting the mind’s ability to naturally experience everything from pleasure to pain. Your substance use hijacks your brain’s neural pathways, leading to physical changes within your brain and the manner in which naturally occurring neurological chemicals are produced.
The draw for most people struggling with a heroin addiction is the immediate sense of euphoria that heroin brings when ingested.
However, this feeling of elation is quickly replaced by an excessive drowsiness caused by heroin’s ability to decrease your heart rate and lung functioning. Overdosing on heroin has become so common due to the drug’s ability to cause your body to actually forget to breathe, which leaves you helpless to the immediate and residual effects of the substance.
The effects of heroin, and how long it stays in the body, depend on the route in which you administer the drug. Two common methods of ingestion are injecting the substance directly into a vein or snorting the substance into your nose.
These two methods of administering the drug will not only impact how quickly the effects of the substance are felt, but also how long the actual high will last. While the high can be different for every individual taking the substance, there are time frames for which heroin hits your system.
When heroin is injected directly into your system intravenously, the peak onset of the drug’s effects on your brain and body typically occurs within 15 to 20 seconds. This euphoric “rush” leaves you feeling enraptured and elated, which are the results of the substance binding to your brain’s opioid receptors.
Once these initial effects begin to fade, your body will begin to feel heavy and overly lethargic, leading to the typical “nodding off” associated with heroin use.
This phase can last anywhere from 45-minutes to two hours, depending on your tolerance and the substance’s potency. It is in this phase where the most overdose deaths occur due to the manner in which heroin depresses your respiratory system, causing you to simply stop breathing altogether.
When snorting heroin through your nasal passage, the drug enters into your blood stream through your nasal tissue and causes the effects to hit the your body at a slower rate.
Typically, the peak onset of the drug’s effects will be felt within 10 to 15 minutes due to the time it takes for the drug to pass through your nasal cavities and into your bloodstream.
Once this is accomplished, the remaining high will last as long as if the substance were injected, including the same physical ramifications and risk of overdose.
However you are putting heroin into your body, you can be sure the results will be the same. There is no version of the story in which an undeterred heroin addiction ends up with a happy ending.
The drug takes everything you hold dear – your loved ones, your social life, your health – and leaves you lost, lonely, and destitute. But this is not the only way to end your story.
James 4:10 states, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.”
Letting go of your addiction and starting your journey toward recovery can be the first steps toward a reality of hope and promise. Starting that journey with a clinically sound treatment facility is the best way to ensure you achieve long-term sobriety and effectively defeat your heroin addiction for good.
While it may sound impossible, you can walk away from your addiction and start a sober, healthy life.
At Covenant Hills, we place total focus on your mind, body, and spirit as you reclaim control over your life and begin to design the future you’ve always wanted. Anything is possible through our faith-based heroin addiction treatment program.