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Is Heroin a Depressant?

an individual looks out of a window sadly wondering is heroin a depressant?

essHeroin use has been an issue for decades and only continues to get more dangerous. The illicit opioid drug is highly addictive and can quickly lead to overdose and death. There are many types of drugs that classify what type of effects someone might have when using them, like stimulants and depressants. Is heroin a depressant or a stimulant?

If you need heroin addiction treatment, turn to the experts at Evoke Wellness at San Marcos. Our compassionate approach to recovery can help you or your loved one overcome heroin addiction and achieve long-term sobriety. Get the help you or a loved one needs at our Texas treatment center by calling 888.450.2285 now.

What Is Heroin?

Heroin, derived from morphine, is an illegal opioid drug known for its potent euphoric effects. It’s been used for medicinal purposes in the past, but its highly addictive nature and potential for abuse have led to it being classified as a Schedule I drug in the United States. Heroin is typically consumed through injection, snorting, or smoking and can lead to a rapid onset of intense pleasure and relaxation.

Stimulants vs. Depressants

Depressants and stimulants are two types of drugs that have opposite effects on the brain and body. Stimulants, like cocaine or methamphetamine, increase activity in the central nervous system, resulting in heightened alertness and energy. On the other hand, depressants, such as alcohol or benzodiazepines, slow down activity in the central nervous system and can induce relaxation and sedation.

Is Heroin a Depressant?

Heroin is classified as a depressant because it slows down the activity in the central nervous system. It binds to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, reducing pain and producing a calming effect. This can result in side effects like:

  • Drowsiness
  • Slowed breathing and heart rate
  • Constricted pupils
  • Nausea and vomiting

Just because heroin doesn’t bring the intense bursts of energy that stimulants do doesn’t mean that it’s any less addictive. The euphoric sensations of heroin can quickly lead to dependence and addiction, causing individuals to continually seek out the drug for its pleasurable effects.

The Dangers of Heroin Abuse

Heroin abuse poses many risks, including the immediate risk of overdose. Some of the dangers of heroin abuse include:

  • Infection – Injecting heroin increases the risk of infections like HIV or hepatitis C due to sharing needles or using unsanitary equipment.
  • Mental health issues – Chronic heroin use can lead to mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
  • Physical health problems – Long-term heroin use can have detrimental effects on the body, including damage to the liver, lungs, brain, and heart.
  • Overdose – Using heroin can lead to breathing problems and, in some cases, respiratory failure and death. Overdose is a significant risk for individuals who use opioids.

Opioid overdose deaths continue to rise in the United States, with heroin being a significant contributor.

What to Do in Case of an Opioid Overdose

If you or someone you know struggles with opioid addiction, you should be able to recognize the signs of overdose:

  • Slow or shallow breathing
  • Blue lips or fingertips
  • Unresponsiveness

If you suspect an overdose, call 911 immediately. In many states, including Texas, naloxone (Narcan) is available without a prescription and can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose if given quickly. Even if you administer a dose of Narcan to someone experiencing an overdose, emergency assistance is still needed since they may require additional doses or medical attention.

Call Evoke Wellness at San Marcos to Get Help

We understand the complexities of heroin addiction and the challenges that come with seeking treatment. That’s why our team is committed to providing compassionate and evidence-based care to help individuals overcome their substance use disorder. Our comprehensive treatment programs include medical detox, therapy, and aftercare support to address both physical and psychological aspects of addiction. Call 888.450.2285 or contact us online now to get started.