Other physical effects may include difficulty breathing, constricted pupils, and nausea. Effects of overdose may include shallow breathing, blue lips and nails, hypotension, convulsions, muscle spasms, and slipping into a coma. Intravenous use can lead to other issues, such as the sharing of contaminated needles, the spread of HIV, hepatitis, and toxic reactions to impurities.
Long-term heroin use can result in medical complications, such as:
Detoxification, or detox for short, is the set of interventions used to manage withdrawal symptoms. Since these symptoms arise a few days after the last dose, a person can detox in a substance abuse treatment center that specializes in medical detox. Medical detox usually starts before heroin ultimately leaves a person’s system, and it generally lasts a week. For someone who is heavily dependent on this drug, detox can last approximately ten days. A doctor monitors a patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, and temperature to make sure they stay safe throughout this process.