The use of heroin, especially if the drug has been abused for years, can have serious effects on the entire body. However, specific damage can be done to the heart as a result of heroin use. The drug also slows the function of the entire cardiovascular system, which can lead to clogged arteries and heart attack. The 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that nearly 3.8 million Americans have tried heroin at least one time; 366,000 people admitted to using heroin just in the previous year.
What Is Heroin?
Heroine is said to be the most addictive form of narcotic, and is an opiate drug. Opiate prescription medicines are used to treat pain and inflammation. However, all opiates promote feelings of euphoria in some degree, and should be used in moderation and only as prescribed. Opiates that are created to be used recreationally, such as heroin, can alter the mood significantly and make a person sleep more. The drug also causes hyperactivity in some individuals, along with mood swings and bouts of angry or erratic behavior. Heroin was actually used as a pain medication in the early 1900s, but doctors soon started to see that this substance was much too potent to be used for medical purposes.
Heroin is often taken by injection; part of the reason that the drug causes harm to the heart is that the veins collapse as a result of too many needle injections. Too much heroin in the bloodstream can also lead to a stroke or myocardial infarction. According to About.com, just one use of heroin will depress the respiratory system, and this can significantly slow breathing and lower the blood pressure. This lowers the amount of oxygen in the blood, and irregular heartbeat is the result.
How To Deal With Heroin Addiction
If you suspect that a patient or family member has been abusing heroine and is showing signs of cardiovascular disease, purchase a drug test from Complete Drug Testing Solutions. The test will reveal the presence of heroin in the bloodstream right away, so that you can get the necessary treatment for the individual abusing heroin.