Substance Use

Heroin Overdose: What You Need to Know

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Heroin Overdose: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Heroin overdose has become a severe health crisis in the United States. Each year, overdose death rates are increasing, and more people die from heroin overdoses than from car accidents. Most people don’t know there are many simple ways to prevent heroin overdoses and save lives. This article will discuss the symptoms of a heroin overdose, the causes of heroin overdoses, and how to treat them.

If you have concerns about overdosing on heroin, speak with your doctor or closest medical resource center. You can also reach out to treatment centers like Zinnia Health for professional medical guidance on tapering down from heroin safely to avoid heroin withdrawal symptoms. To find out additional information about our services, please give us a call at (855) 430-9439.

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Can You Overdose on Heroin?

Yes. You can overdose on heroin. Heroin overdoses are becoming more common in the United States. Each year, around 13,000 people are victims of drug overdose deaths involving heroin.

What to Do in An Emergency?

If you suspect someone close to you is overdosing on heroin, call 911 immediately.

Please call 911 to get help and advice for a person who is overdosing.

What Are the Treatment Options for a Heroin Overdose?

There are two common medication options for a heroin overdose: naloxone and methadone.

  • Naloxone: Naloxone is a medication that can reverse the effects of a heroin overdose. Doses of naloxone are available as an injection or a nasal spray. It works by binding to the same receptors in the brain that heroin does, but it does not produce the same “high” that heroin does. Naloxone can save the life of someone who is overdosing on heroin.
  • Methadone: Methadone is a medication used to help people addicted to prescription opioids wean off the drugs and avoid opioid overdose. This is not a medication that can be taken to counteract a heroin overdose, but it can be used in prevention. It can be taken in pill form or as a liquid

There are also a few other things that can be done to help someone who is overdosing on heroin. If the person is not breathing, CPR can be performed. If the person is conscious and able to swallow, activated charcoal can be given to absorb the heroin in the stomach.

Treatment options are available if you or someone you know is struggling with opioid addiction. Contact a healthcare provider or a substance abuse treatment center to learn more about your options.

Is a Heroin Overdose Dangerous?

Yes. A heroin overdose can be dangerous and even life-threatening. If you think someone close to you is overdosing on heroin, call 911 immediately.

How Much Heroin Does It Take To Overdose?

There is no one answer to this question. The amount of heroin that it takes to overdose can vary from person to person. It depends on various factors, including the person’s tolerance to substance use, the strength of the heroin, and whether or not the person is using other drugs (such as alcohol).

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of a Heroin Overdose?

The signs and symptoms of a heroin overdose can vary from person to person, but you should be aware of some common signs and symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of a heroin overdose are similar to those from other opioids and may include:

  • Slow or shallow breathing
  • Small pupils
  • Clammy skin
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Bluish tint to the lips or nails

If you’re worried about your heroin usage or someone close to you is using too much, get help immediately. If addiction has taken over your life, call Zinnia Health at (855) 430-9439 for assistance. We’ll figure out what kind of care you need and make a personalized plan for you. Regardless of where you are in your journey, we can support you.

Other Heroin Side Effect Complications

Aside from the overdose itself, a few other complications can occur as a result of using heroin.

One common complication is collapsed veins. This happens when the veins become damaged from injecting heroin. Collapsed veins can cause pain, swelling, and infection.

Another common complication is an abscess. An abscess is a collection of pus that forms under the skin. Abscesses can be caused by injecting heroin into the skin instead of into a vein. Abscesses can be painful and can lead to infection.

What Increases The Risk of a Heroin Overdose?

A few things can increase the risk of overdosing on heroin. These include:

  • Using heroin that has been cut with other drugs, such as a synthetic opioid like fentanyl (known under the brand name Duragesic)
  • Using heroin after a period of abstinence
  • Mixing heroin with other stimulants or drugs, such as methamphetamine
  • Injecting heroin instead of smoking it or taking it intranasally

Why Does a Heroin Overdose Occur?

Heroin is a type of opioid drug. Opioid drugs bind to receptors in the brain and spinal cord, which prevents pain signals from being sent to the brain. Heroin also releases the neurotransmitter dopamine, which produces a feeling of pleasure.

Due to these effects, heroin is highly sought after by people looking to get high or relieve pain. This demand has led to a black market for the drug. The black market is unregulated, meaning the drug’s strength and purity can vary from batch to batch. This makes it difficult for people to know how much heroin they take. The uncertainty in dosage and the highly addictive nature of the drug are two of the main reasons why heroin overdoses occur.

How to Tell Someone Is on Heroin?

If you think someone close to you is using, there are some signs and symptoms of heroin use that you can look for. These include:

  • Changes in appearance, such as weight loss or decreased hygiene
  • Changes in behavior, such as isolating themselves from friends and family or being more secretive
  • Changes in mood, such as depression or irritability
  • Changes in sleep habits, such as sleeping more or less than usual
  • Changes in appetite, such as eating more or less than usual

Why Would Someone Take Heroin?

There are a few reasons why someone might take heroin. These include:

  • To get high
  • To relieve pain
  • To escape from problems or reality

How to Help Someone With a Heroin Use Disorder?

If you think family members or friends around you are struggling with a heroin or opioid use disorder, you can do a few things for opioid overdose prevention.

  • Encourage them to seek professional help from a doctor or therapist.
  • Offer to go with them to appointments.
  • Encourage them to attend a support group, such as Narcotics Anonymous.
  • Help them develop a healthy coping strategy for dealing with stress and other triggers.
  • Help them develop a plan for avoiding people and places associated with drug use.
  • Encourage them to stay active and healthy by participating in activities they enjoy.
  • Seek a treatment center that offers a comprehensive approach to recovery, such as detox, inpatient therapy, and aftercare planning.

With plenty of options for care available, it may take time to pick where to begin your journey. Do not worry — our professional medical staff at Zinnia Health will help you determine the perfect addiction treatment program depending on your needs. No matter how far along you are, we value offering compassionate service to every person who walks through our doors.

Head over to our website or give us a call today so that we can start helping you heal (855) 430-9439.

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