Soon after use, heroin causes a rush or surge of pleasurable sensation. The intensity depends on how the drug is taken, how pure it is and how much tolerance to the drug a person has developed. Injecting heroin provides the biggest rush.
When a person is a chronic user and does not have much money, he (or she) may just be able to get his hands on enough heroin to keep withdrawal sickness from kicking in. An addict will refer to this as “getting well.” There is no rush of euphoria in this situation. The person is just coping with the urgent need for the drug and is not able to get enough of the drug to get high.
The other effects of heroin include:
- Warm flush
- Dry mouth
- Heavy feeing in the extremities
The primary effect of long-term use of heroin is addiction. While there are a few heroin users who manage to function, care for families and hold jobs, the vast majority of heroin addicts suffer severe declines in health, relationships, financial situations, personal integrity and responsibility for others. Many are lost to productive society completely. They turn to theft, assaults, prostitution and other crimes to keep their habits going.