Healthy Ways to Cope with the Effects of Heroin


Heroin addiction can ravage a person’s mind and body. What begins as self-medication or recreational use can quickly turn into an unstoppable urge to use the drug. People don’t choose to become dependent on heroin; the nature of the drug hooks them and draws them into a cycle of self-destruction.

The source of heroin is a type of poppy plant that produces opium. Drug producers, legal or illegal, use the seeds from the opium-producing poppies to manufacture opioids like morphine or heroin. Growers who manufacture heroin depend on the addictive nature of the drug to ensure a steady need for their product. If you have moved on from heroin use but still feel its effects, learn more about how to cope and heal for good.

Effects of Heroin on the Body and Mind

First, it’s good to understand the physical and mental impact of heroin use. The short-term and long-term effects of heroin addiction can vary. Most require medical and behavioral therapy to beat. In the moment, heroin use provides a feeling of euphoria that fades, leaving far less pleasant sensation, such as:

  • Lethargy
  • Warm feeling in the skin
  • Dry mouth
  • Heavy sensation in the limbs

Other, more harmful effects can include:

  • Slowed heart function
  • Decreased lung function
  • Mental incapacity

If a person’s breathing or heart slows down, they can end up in a coma, incur irreversible brain damage or die. 

The long-term effects of heroin use are crippling and potentially lethal. The brain sustains physical or physiological damage that is almost impossible to reverse. This damage affects the neurons and hormone receptors. 

Prolonged heroin use can lead to deterioration of the brain’s white matter, impairing a person’s ability to make decisions, control behavior, or respond to stressful situations. As a person becomes increasingly dependent on heroin, their body adapts to the dose. With increased tolerance comes an increased need to use more heroin to create a feeling of euphoria. 

Comprehensive Treatment for Heroin Use

Withdrawal from opioids such as heroin can produce harsh and even deadly effects. Medical assistance during the detoxification process is essential in maintaining the safety of the patient. 

Treatment for heroin addiction starts once a person decides to stop using heroin. The process of recovery is a long yet worthwhile one. Comprehensive treatment that includes individual, group and holistic therapy, as well as post-treatment resources, is essential to restoring a person’s well-being and maintaining long-term recovery. 

Individual & Group Therapy

Individual and group therapy are safe places for a person to discuss their mental and physical well-being. In group therapy, they can learn from others and work towards building a support system. Individual therapy provides patients with a chance to discover aspects of their mental health and addiction. Each person is unique in their needs during treatment; a treatment center focused on the individual will tailor therapy around their needs.

Holistic Therapy

Holistic therapy provides the opportunity to build a connection between the mind, body and spirit. After living a life of constant ups and downs, seeking drugs, or losing contact with loved ones and themself, a person can lose touch with their inner self. 

Yoga and meditation classes turn attention toward strength, focus and reflection. Mindfulness practices teach people to remain present in the moment, free from the distractions of thoughts of the past or future that may induce anxiety. Breath control therapy can focus the mind, reduce stress and restore natural functions in the body. These are but a few of the holistic therapies a person can explore on their recovery journey.


The human body relies on healthy, sustaining nutrients to live. The food people eat can hurt or help them, making good nutrition a vital part of the healing process.  

Heroin can wreak immense damage on the body. Proper nutrition can begin to heal the brain, organs and other parts of the body. A nutritionist can provide education about what foods are healthy and how they repair the body and brain. Nutrition classes can teach a person how to shop for and prepare healthy meals.

Treatment for heroin addiction is vital for a person’s mental, emotional and physical well-being. There are healthy ways to cope with the effects of heroin addiction so a person can finally leave it behind them once and for all.


Casa Palmera believes comprehensive treatment starts with understanding the person. We take the time to assess your physical, emotional and other needs. Our skilled staff work with each person to design a treatment plan that is as individual as they are. For more information on overcoming a heroin addiction, call (855) 508-0473.


This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for medical advice. We understand that everyone’s situation is unique, and this content is to provide an overall understanding of substance use disorders. These disorders are very complex, and this post does not take into account the unique circumstances for every individual. For specific questions about your health needs or that of a loved one, seek the help of a healthcare professional.